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Popular Words (Advanced Level)

eChineseLearning is your one stop for all the hot, trending Chinese words and phrases that are a key part of any Chinese speaker’s day to day live. These words are popular on the Internet, in the News, and among certain age and social groups. This is real, current Chinese and is not what you will learn from a typical, dated textbook. Our FREE popular Chinese vocabulary resources include tips and points to keep you in-the-know and up-to-speed with modern-day China. Pair these resources with a personally-tailored Chinese study program from eChineseLearning for the best learning experience possible!

碰壁(pèngbì) Be rebuffed
In this word, 碰(pèng) means “bump” and 壁(bì) means “wall.” The whole word 碰壁(pèngbì) literally means “run up against a wall.” But people usually use it to describe a situation in which you are turned down or rebuffed. In Chinese feudal times, a corrupted 衙门(yámen) government was always closed to the common people ...


淡定(dàndìng) Be Calm

Origin and Meaning
It is said that the phrase 淡定(dàndìng) first appeared in the work 空山灵雨•银翎底使命(kōngshān língyŭ•yín líng dĭ shĭmìng) 许地山(Xŭ Dìshān): “Only several wild flowers in front of us are 淡定(dàndìng) enough to look at the fish thrashing in the stream, which eat their residual petals.” In today’s usage, ...


A Legend of Mid-Autumn Festival
嫦娥奔月(Cháng É bēnyuè) Chang Er Flies to the Moon

It is said that one year in ancient times, there appeared 10 suns in the sky, and every drop on the earth was melted away under such heat. As a result, the civilians couldn’t make a living any more. There was ...


做东(zuòdōng) Act as a Host

Where does it originate from?

In ancient China, most houses are oriented north and south. There is a drawing room in the middle with two seats placed to the east and to the west. The host usually seats the guest at the western seat before taking the other seat to ...


厚道(hòudao) Honest and kind; Decent and magnanimous

The origin of the word
The word 厚道(hòudao) comes from a sentence “做人要厚道(zuòrén yào hòudao) one should be honest and kind.” a famous line from the movie Cell Phone 手机(shŏujī) in 2003. Since the movie was released, the word has been widely used in China.
The meaning ...


People in China love to sent text messages for blessings on Christmas. It is worth noting, but in Chinese, the pronunciation of the Chinese word for Christmas sounds exactly like another very common expression, "生蛋 (shēngdàn) lay an egg." Thus we get a play on words and imagery. Let's see some popular and interesting messages.

Zhèxiē tiān yìzhí ...


Learn Mandarin: 心急吃不了热豆腐 (xīn jí chī bù liǎo rè dòufu ) Haste Makes Waste (Advanced)

 

Example:
    Bié zháojí, xué hànyǔ xūyào yǒu nàixīn, yǒu héngxīn, xīn jí chī bù liǎo rè dòufu.
A: 别    着急,学   汉语   需要   有    耐心、有     恒心, 心 急 吃 不 了 热 豆腐。

 

    Be patient. Learning Mandarin needs patience and persistence. Haste makes ...


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舍不得 (shěbude) Hate to part with or leave (Advanced)

 

Example:

Tā shěbude huā hěnduō qián mǎi piàoliang de yīfu, yīnwèi tā xiǎng zǎnqián
她  舍不得    花    很多     钱    买      漂亮   的衣服,因为  她  想     攒钱

wèi AP hànyǔ kǎoshì bào míng.
为 AP   汉语    考试     报  名。

 

She hates to spend so much money on buying beautiful clothes, because ...


说大话 (shuōdàhuà) Brag (Advanced)

 

说 (shuō) means to talk, 大话 (dàhuà) means exaggerated words.
Example:
A: Nǐ   de xuéshù nénglì pínggū kǎoshì zhǔnbèi de zěnmeyàng le?
     你  的    学术   能力     评估    考试      准备     的    怎么样     了?

 

     How is your preparation for the SAT exam going?

B: Kěndìng méi wèntí.
     肯定       没   问题。

 

     No problem.
A: Shì mɑ? Nǐ bié yòu zài ...


路上小心 (lùshang xiǎoxīn) Take Care on Your Way Back (Advanced)

 

“路上小心 (lùshang xiǎoxīn) Take care on your way back” is often
communicated to people who are about to leave.
Example:
A: Jīntiān zài nǐjiā wánr de fēicháng kāixīn, dànshì wǒ xiànzài yào zǒule.
    今天    在 你家 玩儿 得 非常       开心, 但是   我   现在    要    走了。

 

I really had a wonderful time today ...


兴高采烈 (xìnggāocǎiliè) In High Spirit/ Overjoyed (Advanced)

 

When the character “兴 (xìng)” takes the falling tone, it means happy. But when it is pronounced as “xīng” it means to flourish. “高 (gāo)” means high. “采 (cǎi)” means to gather. “烈 (liè)” means violent.
Example:
A: Nǐ  jīntiān zuò shénme shìr  dōu xìnggāocǎiliè de. Yǒu shénme xǐshìr  ma?
    你  ...


高楼大厦 (gāolóudàshà) High Buildings and Large Mansions (Advanced)

 

The character “高 (gāo)” means high and “楼 (lóu)” means floor. “大 (dà)”
means large and “厦 (shà)” means tall building.
Example:
Xiàndàihuà de chéngshì lǐ  biàndì shì gāolóudàshà.
现代化        的  城市       里  遍地    是    高楼大厦。

 

In modern cities there are high buildings and large mansions everywhere.
 
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打折 (dǎzhé) To Give a Discount (Advanced)

 

The character “打 (dǎ)” means to beat and “折 (zhé)” means fold or
discount.
Example:
A: Tīngshuō Bǎishèng dǎzhé ne,  xiǎng qù kànkan ma?
     听说         百盛         打折 呢, 想    去    看看    吗?

 

I heard that there is sale at Parkson, do you want to check it out?
B: Hǎo a,  qù kànkan ba!
    好   啊,去 ...


跑题 (pǎotí) Digress into a Different Subject (Advanced)

 

The character "跑 (pǎo)" means to run; "题 (tí)" means topic or subject.

Example:

Zhècì zuòwén  wǒ hǎoxiàng xiě  pǎotí le.
这次   作文      我  好像        写    跑题了。

 

I seem to digress from the subject in this essay writing.


乐观 (lèguān) Optimistic (advanced)

 

The character "乐 (lè)" means happy; "观 (guān)" means view.
Example:

Tā  jíshǐ zài zuì zāogāo de shíhou yě zǒngshì fēicháng lèguān.
她 即使 在 最 糟糕     的    时候   也  总是     非常        乐观。

 

She was always optimistic, even when things were at their worst.


幸亏 (xìnɡkuī) Fortunately/ Thanks to  
The character “幸 (xìng)” means lucky and “亏 (kuī)” originally means loss.
Example:
Xìngkuī huǒchē wǎndiǎn le, wǒmen cái gǎnshàng le chē.
幸亏      火车       晚点    了, 我们   才     赶上      了   车。 
Fortunately, the train came late so we did not miss it.

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盼 (pàn) To Expect/ To Hope for (Advanced)

 

The character “盼 (pàn)” means to expect or to hope for.
Example:
Chúxīyè hái méi dào, háizimen jiù kāishǐ pàn le, yīnwèi tāmen kěyǐ dédào
除夕夜    还   没   到,  孩子们 就 开始    盼 了,因为 他们 可以 得到
yāsuìqián ne!
压岁钱     呢!

 

Children start to expect the arrival of New Year’s Eve even though it hasn’t
come yet, ...


红红火火 (hónghónghuǒhuǒ) Flourishing (Advanced)     

The character "红 (hóng)" means red and "火 (huǒ)" means fire.

Example:

Chūnjié dào le, dàjiā dōu hónghónghuǒhuǒ guò xīnnián.
春节到了,大家都红红火火过新年。  

Spring festival is coming; people are celebrating the New Year with excitement.


搞笑 (gǎoxiào) Funny/Provoke laughter   

The character "搞 (gǎo)" means to make or to cause; the character "笑 (xiào)" means laugh.

Example:   

Zhè bù xǐjùpiān fēicháng gǎoxiào.

这部喜剧片非常搞笑。

This comedy is funny.


开窍 (kāiqiào) Be enlightened/ Begin to understand    

The character "开 (kāi)" means to open and "窍 (qiào)" means aperture.

Example:

我给他解释了很多遍,他终于开窍了。  

Wǒ gěi tā jiěshìle hěnduō biàn, tā zhōngyú kāiqiào le.

I explained it to him many times. Finally, he became to understand it.

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