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These Chinese proverbs are mostly expressed as four-character idioms. Like any idiom, they are expressive, precise and often leave meaningful afterthoughts for listners.



Chinese Proverbs 5:

  1. If you suspect a man, don't employ him; if you employ him, don't suspect him.
  2. If you want a year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want ten years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want a hundred years of prosperity, "grow" people.
  3. If you wish to know the mind of a man, listen to his words.
  4. In reviling, it is not necessary to prepare a preliminary draft.
  5. It is easy to dodge a spear that comes in front of you but hard to keep harms away from an arrow shot from behind.
  6. It is later than you think.
  7. Jade stone is useless before it is processed; a man is good-for-nothing until he is educated.
  8. Judge not the horse by his saddle.
  9. Keep your broken arm inside your sleeve.
  10. Kill a chicken before a monkey.
  11. Kill one to warn a hundred.
  12. Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.
  13. Life is a dream walking death is a going home.
  14. Like ants eating a bone.
  15. Lift a stone only to drop on your own feet.

Chinese Proverbs 6:

  1. Listen to all, plucking a feather from every passing goose, but, follow no one absolutely.
  2. The longer the night lasts, the more our dreams will be.
  3. Looking for the ass on its very back.
  4. Make happy those who are near, and those who are far will come.
  5. Man who waits for roast duck to fly into mouth must wait very, very long time.
  6. Married couples tell each other a thousand things without speech.
  7. Mend the pen only after the sheep are all gone.
  8. Never do anything standing that you can do sitting, or anything sitting that you can do lying down.
  9. Never write a letter while you are angry.
  10. No wind, no waves.
  11. Of all the strategems, to know when to quit is the best.
  12. Of all the thirty-six alternatives, running away is best.
  13. Once bitten by a snake, he/she is scared all his/her life at the mere sight of a rope.
  14. Once on a tiger's back, it is hard to alight.
  15. One dog barks at something, the rest bark at him

Chinese Proverbs 7:

  1. One cannot refuse to eat just because there is a chance of being choked.
  2. One monk shoulders water by himself; two can still share the labor among them. When it comes to three, they have to go thirsty.
  3. One never needs their humor as much a when they argue with a fool.
  4. One should be just as careful in choosing one's pleasures as in avoiding calamities.
  5. Only when all contribute their firewood can they build up a strong fire.
  6. An overcrowded chicken farm produce fewer eggs.
  7. The palest ink is better than the best memory.
  8. Paper can't wrap up a fire.
  9. Pick up a sesame seed but lose sight of a watermelon.
  10. Play a harp before a cow.
  11. Regular feet can't be affected by irregular shoes.
  12. Reshape one's foot to try to fit into a new shoe.
  13. The saving man becomes the free man.
  14. Shed no tears until seeing the coffin. s
  15. A single conversation with a wise man is better than ten years of study.

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