Easy and practical Chinese idiom 言过其实

Posted by Grace Feng on March 23, 2012

Easy and practical Chinese idiom 言过其实Some Chinese idioms are very easy to understand and remember. They’re also very practical to use. This kind of idioms are must-to-learn if you’re learning Chinese and trying hard to improve your way of talking to be more engaging and charming. At the same time the vocabulary you use should be easy for people to understand with no ambiguity.

Chinese idiom 言过其实 yán guò qí shí is such a word that you should train your brain to memorize and recall whenever you need it. Literally, yán means “talk”, 过 guò means “too much, over”; means “it”; 实 shí means “the fact, the actual way it is”. By piecing together the four characters, the meaning of the idiom is almost obvious : exaggerate, overstate.

This idiom can be used to point out that something is being overstated. Or it can be used to accept people’s compliment on you in a modest way – a way of 客气 kèqi.

Now let’s have a look at how it is used in different context:

shèjì bùmén rènwéi wǒmen tíchū de chǎnpǐn bāozhuāng shàng de wèntí shì yánguòqíshí le.


The design department thought that the packaging issue that we raised was overstated.

[mp3j track=”yan-guo-qi-shi-e1.mp3″]


nǐ zhèyàng kuājiǎng mèimei yǒudiǎn yánguòqíshí le ba?


Don’t you think you over praised my sister for what she had done?

[mp3j track=”yan-guo-qi-shi-e2.mp3″]

Try to practice some conversations using this idiom. Let’s meet again soon, good night!


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One Response to “Easy and practical Chinese idiom 言过其实”

  1. nothing


    08-15-2014 8:48 am

    Knowing some idioms could mean or could appear as if you have knowledge about a certain language. Learning Chinese especially Mandarin is fun when you are with friends.



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