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一问三不知 (yí wèn sān bù zhī) To Be Entirely Ignorant (Advanced)

May. 11, 2010

三不知 (yí wèn sān bù zhī) To be entirely ignorant (Advanced)

 

This Chinese saying originates from the famous Chinese works 《左传》 (Zuǒ Zhuàn) Tso Chuan, a commentary on the Spring and Autumn Annals. “问 (wèn)” means to ask and “知 (zhī)” means to know. The original meaning is that one doesn’t know the beginning, development and result of an event. Now it means to be entirely ignorant of something.

 Example:

    Tīngshuō nǐ zuìjìn zài zhǔnbèi HSK kǎoshì, wǒ lái kǎokǎo nǐ ba.  Zhè ge cí zěnme dú?
A:     听说     你 最近 在   准备    HSK   考试,我 来  考考   你   吧。这  个 词  怎么 读?

 

     I heard that you were preparing for the HSK test. Let me test your knowledge. How to read this Chinese word?

    Bù zhīdào.
B: 不  知道。

 

     I don’t know.

    Zhè ge cí shì shénme yìsi?
A: 这   个 词 是   什么   意思?

 

    What does this word mean?

     Bù zhīdào.
B: 不   知道。

 

    I don’t know.

     Nǐ zěnme yí wèn sān bù zhī ya.
A: 你   怎么   一  问  三  不  知   呀。

 

   Why are you entirely ignorant about the knowledge in the HSK test?


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