Chinese expression 百闻不如一见 – “seeing” once is better than “hearing” one hundred times

Posted by Grace Feng on March 29, 2012

Chinese expression 百闻不如一见 - "seeing" for one time is better than "hearing" for one hundred timesYou might have heard about someone’s name being mentioned as an important reference on a certain topic. But you’ve never had the opportunity to see that person with your own eyes. Then no matter how popular his or her name is, you can’t really say he or she is as good as what people recommended untill you do meet him or her in person, right?

Chinese expression 百闻不如一见 bǎi wén bù rú yī jiàn is a very good summary for this purpose. Literally 百闻 bǎi wén means “have heard about 100 times “. 一见 yī jiàn means “get to see once. ” 不如 bù rú means “not as good as”. To piece them together, 百闻不如一见 means “seeing” once is better than “hearing” one hundred times.

Do you have any person in mind that you think 百闻不如一见?

In the following examples, you’ll see how it is used:


cháng tīng rén shuō, nǐ shì zhè yīdài zuì yǒumíng de fēngshuǐ dàshī. jīntiān shì bǎiwénbùrúyījiàn ā.

常听人说, 你是这一带最有名的风水大师.今天是百闻不如一见啊.

I’ve heard about it so often that you are the more famous Feng Shui master in this area. I’m finally able to meet you in person today.

[mp3j track=”bai-wen-bu-ru-yi-jian-e1.mp3″]


bǎiwénbùrúyījiàn, nǐ háishi qīnzì qù bàifǎng yīxià tā ba!

百闻不如一见, 你还是亲自去拜访一下他吧!

Seeing is believing, it’s better you go to visit him in person!

[mp3j track=”bai-wen-bu-ru-yi-jian-e2.mp3″]

Have you ever met anyone that you’ve known by his/her name for a long time and finally got the chance to see once? If you do, try to use 百闻不如一见 to express your experience. Don’t be shy to drop your sentence in the comment area. It will be of help for other learners on this site too.

Good night and see you next time, my dear friends!



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Category: Chinese idioms

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2 Responses to “Chinese expression 百闻不如一见 – “seeing” once is better than “hearing” one hundred times”

  1. nothing


    04-03-2012 11:49 am

    Hello Grace, been a while since I visited your website (too busy recently). How is the following sentence?


    Can you improve it by making it more natural-sounding? Thanks.


    • nothing


      04-03-2012 11:07 pm

      Hi Barry, nice to see you again! Same here, I’ve been really busy at work lately…

      I rephrased your sentence to be more “natural”:


      Let me know if you need any more help …



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