Go Back

Learning the Mandarin Chinese Idioms with the Animal Rabbit

According to the dating methods of twelve animals in Chinese Lunar Calendar, the year of 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit. In Chinese culture, there are many set phrases and idioms related to animals. In the following parts, some idioms related to the rabbit will be learned.

For students who learn Chinese in China, some set phrases that are commonly seen in daily life should be learned. For examples, “龟兔竞走” is a set phrase describing the race between tortoise and rabbit, telling the reality that the genius failed but the unwise successes through endeavor. It carry the same meaning with “龟兔赛跑”.

The most familiar one for Chinese people of the students who attend to Chinese school in China must be “守株待兔”. It describes a story of waiting a rabbit beside the tree stub, indicating the stubborn and inflexible people who want to gain without pain. On the contrary, “兔起凫举” and “动如脱兔” are used to describe that the action are very fast and nimble.

There are some set phrases are applied to express the meaning of the time is fleeting such as “兔走乌飞”, “兔缺乌沉”, “东兔西乌”, “白兔赤乌”. Students who show great interest in learning Mandarin Chinese would find that there is a “乌” in each phrase, which is a kind of bird has three feet.

But why they all carry the meaning of flying time may be a question that students study Chinese will ask. Here is a set phrase “金乌玉兔”, which means the sun and the moon. “金乌” stands for the sun and “玉兔” is the moon. So when we lead this meaning into the above set phrases, it is easier for us to find out the reason of meaning the flying time.

In some phrases, there are not only the rabbit is mentioned. Another animal is combined to express their meanings. The following are needed to know to help students learn to speak Chinese. “兔死狗烹” means the fact that one will be appointed but abandoned when things are done. “兔死狐悲” indicates one feels sad when someone of his kind dies. “蛇兔联盟” implies the strong inveigles the weak to cooperate but then swallow the weak side.

Besides, when you learn Mandarin in China, you will see Chinese people often use the following ones. We use “兔迹狐踪” to express desolate and uninhabited, “犬兔俱毙” to express die together. We express “to remedy immediately” by “见兔顾犬” and “to find the right time to take action for profits” by “见兔放鹰”. “狮子搏兔” is applied to indicate “to take full energy to do things even very unimportant”.

The set phrases with rabbit are not just these mentioned above. More will be learned if you learn Chinese language in China. “玉兔东升” is used to show the time is already at night. “兔毛大伯” is one phrase used in Song and Yuan dynasties to indicate the aged person. For “兔起鹘落”, it not only means the movement is very quick but also shows the calligraphy is very vigorous. We often express “appearance without reality” by using “兔丝燕麦” and “things won’t happen” by “兔角龟毛”.

There are some famous and frequently-used idioms with the animal rabbit to help students to learn Mandarin. We often hear people say “兔子不吃窝边草”, which means the rabbit does not eat the grass around its “house” to protect them from the enemy, indicating not violate the rights around them.

Another two idioms should be learned when you study in China are “得兔而忘蹄” and “驰韩卢而搏蹇兔”. The former one carries the meaning of “forget the assistance provided when one become successful”. The later one is used to describe that the enemy is very easy to beat.

There are so many set phrases and idioms with the same animal rabbit but carry the different meanings, so students should try hard to tell them apart and put them into use.

Are you ready
to take the next step
in your future?

Apply Now


Aliza testimonial for keats chinese school

Aliza | USA

Intensive One on One Chinese Classes

I found Keats School and I am so glad that I did. In the school, you are fully being taken care of. My teacher is really great and we become lovely friends.

Steve testimonial for keats chinese school

Steve | UK

Small Group Chinese Class

I really enjoy coming here because it is like kind of a home for me. It is a great great environment to learn Chinese and meet great people from all over the world. Every one here is extremely friendly. Kunming has a really nice climate. It is a very good mix of modern city and also a lot of historic Chinese culture. Probably got the cleanest air in China and possibly the cleanest water too. I invite you to come.

Ben testimonial for keats chinese school

Ben | USA

Small Group Chinese Class

My first semester that I studied at another school, and the pressure there was pretty high, the classroom hour was long, and the homework was pretty tedious. Since I came to Keats, I found I have a lot more opportunities to speak in the classroom. My classmates all are fluent and love speaking and participating in the class. We have great classroom dynamic.

Kim | UK

Intensive One on One Chinese Classes

I’ve had an amazing time at Keats. I am amazed of how much I’ve learned over the last 3 weeks and I will be really sad to go. We are already planning on next trip of coming back because we had such fantastic time here. They really tailor the course to you and your individual needs.

Jope testimonial for keats chinese school

Joep | Netherlands

Intensive One on One Chinese Classes

I have been to Keats School for 4 times now. The reasons for coming back to this school is pretty much that the teachers I did work with were very good teachers. I make it a 5-year plan or even 10-year plan to come back to this school.  All the teachers have methods of looking at what your skills are. They are aware of at what level you are. I think it is worth for everyone.

Matteo testimonial for keats chinese school

Matteo | Italy

Small Group Chinese Class

Martine testimonial for keats chinese school

Martine | France

Intensive One on One Chinese Classes

I really enjoy this place because we have private lessons. I took the 6-hour program, 4 hours in the morning, 2 in the afternoon. Even though it is quite a lot, the teaching is complimentary. This is very helpful because I could review what I did before and learn new things. My 2 teachers are fantastic. We live in the school, so it is convenient. It is interesting to me to meet people from all over the world.

Hitanshu testimonial for keats chinese school

Hitanshu | UK

Intensive One on One Chinese Classes

It doesn’t matter what level of Chinese you have, or even you can start from the zero level. Your teacher will prepare the lessons according to your requirements. The advantage of living in the school is that you will have your tutoring, you will have your private accommodation with your own bathroom and all the meals provided. I highly recommend everybody to actually take the whole package because you get to meet other students.

Please use vertical scrolling on your mobile device.