Posted by Grace Feng on May 11, 2013
Based on your best knowledge, could you please try to figure out what does Chinese expression “多一事，不如少一事。 duō yī shì， bùrú shǎo yī shì。” mean? I’d suggest you to break down the expression into individual words like this first: 多(more) 一事(one thing)，不如(not as good as) 少(less) 一事(one thing)。
Now let’s complete the broken down sentence to get a better picture: it is better to have less things to deal with than more. Then swap “things” with “troubles”. Here we go: it is better to have less troubles to deal with than more. Or, it can also be translated like this: to not get yourself into unnecessary troubles, it’s better to save trouble.
This expression is usually used to persuade others to stay out of something other than get involved. The “something” usually refers to difficult situation and accident that is waiting to be taken care.
I’ll show you how to use it in everyday conversation in the following examples:
jiù dāng nǐ méi kànjiàn， duō yī shì， bùrú shǎo yī shì。
Pretend you didn’t see it, stay out of trouble.
duō yī shì， bùrú shǎo yī shì。 nǐ jiù bùyào guǎn tā le。
Please don’t invite trouble. Just leave him alone.
Can you memorize it now? Please go ahead and practice it in different sentences until you can recall and use it freely.
Category: Chinese vocabulary
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