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Do you understand every occurrence of the Chinese characters “大 big” and “小 small”?

Posted by Grace Feng on August 30, 2012

Do you understand every occurrence of Chinese character "大 big" and "小 small"?Big and small, 大 dà and 小 xiǎo, are two of the simplest Chinese characters you’ve ever learned. Do you think you understand all of their occurrences? On this Learn Mandarin online blog, I will try to lead you go deeper into Chinese language through simple characters like these. I’ve done it once with another two high frequency Chinese characters 上 and 下.

First of all, let’s look at a few phrases that you might often come across on Chinese news media :

大方向 dà fāngxiàng (big vision)
大局 dàjú (the benefit of the majority )

You also could use the following words on a daily basis :

大家 dàjiā (we all, or you all)
大众 dàzhòng (general taste )
大体上 dàtǐshàng (overall )

Then some small phrases:

小家子气 xiǎojiāziqì (small-minded)
小人 xiǎorén (petty person)

You may also encounter the Chinese idioms with both characters in the following list.

大事化小 dàshì huà xiǎo (reduce major issues to minor ones)
以小见大 yǐ xiǎo jiàn dà (to get the big picture from small details)
大大小小 dàdàxiǎoxiǎo (big and small)
小巫见大巫 xiǎowūjiàndàwū (a giant in the presence of a super-giant; appear insignificant when compared with)

I’ll show you how to use the above idioms in the following examples:

lǐngdǎo duì zhè jiàn shì de chǔlǐ yìjiàn shì dàshì huà xiǎo。

领导对这件事的处理意见是大事化小

Our boss’s opinion towards this is to reduce major issues into minor issues.

 

wǒmen yīnggāi xuéhuì yòngyǐ xiǎo jiàn dà de fāngfǎ qù fēnxī shìchǎng de zǒuxiàng。

我们应该学会用以小见大的方法去分析市场的走向。

We should learn to use the method of drawing big picture out of small facts in analyzing the trend of the market.

 

měi dào Zhōngqiūjié diàn lǐ jiù huì bǎimǎn dà dàxiǎo xiǎode yuèbǐng。

每到中秋节店里就会摆满大大小小的月饼。

Every Moon Festival, there will be full of moon cakes displayed in the store, big or small.

 

nǐ shì yī gè hěn bàng de wǎngqiú shǒu, kě gēn nǐmen jiàoliàn yīduì dǎ jiù hǎoxiàngxiǎowūjiàndàwū。

你是一个很棒的网球手可跟你们教练相比就好象小巫见大巫

You are a very good tennis player.  But comparing to your coach, you still have a long way to go.

 

Do you know any interesting Chinese words with both and in it? Feel free to share, thanks!

 

 

 

Related posts:

Lesson 11 How to describe “doing things at the same time” in Chinese?
Use Chinese expression 要什么,没什么 to describe a popular internet slang: 屌丝
The interesting usage of Chinese character "倒" [reverse]

 

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4 Responses to “Do you understand every occurrence of the Chinese characters “大 big” and “小 small”?”

  1. nothing

    Cliff:

    08-30-2012 6:56 pm

    Thanks.

    Reply

  2. nothing

    白睿:

    08-31-2012 4:31 pm

    哇,太不可思议!,虽然我学汉语快要六年了,但是以上的例子除了一两之外,我似乎都不知道…:( 看来在汉语文化中联最普遍的字都有很深深的意义!

    Reply

    • nothing

      Grace:

      09-03-2012 2:04 pm

      白睿, 中文的组合词(compound words)确实很多, 这是需要通过很多中文接触(Chinese exposure)来一步步积累.不过只要你已经具备阅读中文的能力, 并且坚持阅读, 你的进步一定会很快的. :-)

      Reply

  3. nothing

    白睿:

    09-03-2012 4:14 pm

    希望如此Grace! :)

    Reply

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