Posted by Grace Feng on February 28, 2012
People are inclined to be close to other people that have similar opinions and attitudes, hobbies and interests. To describe such a fact, there’s a very popular Chinese idiom to serve the purpose – 物以类聚, 人以群分 (pinyin: wù yǐ lèi jù, rén yǐ qún fēn; meaning: Birds of a feather flock together.) .
But be careful, it is mostly used with negative implications.
When you quote this idiom, your readers will sense the disrespect that you have torwards the people you’re referring to. See whether the following example explain it at all:
zhēn shì wùyǐlèijù, rén yǐ qún fēn, dào tā diàn lǐ bāngmáng de duōbàn yě dōu shì hé tā yīyàng de rén.
真是物以类聚, 人以群分, 到他店里帮忙的多半也都是和他一样的人.
People of a mind fall into the same group. Most of those that came to his store to help are no different from him.
Well, if you want to compliment people for their similar wise thoughts, long-term vision, or whatever points are not only similar, but also great, you can use this popular idiom – 英雄所见略同 (pinyin: yīng xióng suǒ jiàn lüè tóng; meaning: Great minds think alike). This idiom is used in a very positive way unless it’s used in irony. The following example could explain how to use it in your communication:
xiǎo yún tíchū de hé zhāng lǎoshī tíchū de fāng’àn hěn jiējìn, dōu hěn bàng, zhè jiào yīngxióngsuǒjiànlüètóng.
小云提出的方案和张老师提出的方案很接近, 都很棒, 这叫英雄所见略同.
The solution that was proposed by Xiao Yun is quite similar to Teacher Zhang’s, both are awesome, this is called great minds think alike.
Both Chinese expressions can be used in written or oral Chinese communication. Please practice them and try to use them in your Chinese articles or communication.
Category: Chinese idioms
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