Have you ever come across Chinese expression 生命不能承受之重?

Posted by Grace Feng on March 20, 2012

Have you ever come across Chinese expression 生命不能承受之重?The Chinese expression 生命不能承受之重 shēngmìng bùnéng chéngshòu zhī zhòng is not a phrase that was handed down from Chinese ancient culture like most of the others. The origin of this Chinese expression actually comes from title of the translation of Milan Kundera’s novel “Nesnesitelná Lehkost Bytí”. The title was called “生命中不能承受之轻 shēngmìng zhōng bùnéng chéngshòu zhī qīng“. Then somebody reused the title and turned it into a popular phrase: 生命不能承受之重.

It describes a heavy emotional burden or sorrow in one’s life. Literally it is elegant and not hard to comprehend: “The weight that a life can not handle”. At the same time it feels like a poem phrase and can easily go along with any context. That might be one of the reasons that people like to use it.

Now you can learn how to use this phrase from the following examples and use it in your own writing as well :

wǎnnián sàng zǐ shì shēngmìng bùnéng chéngshòu zhī zhòng.


Losing children during one’s late years is something that very tough to handle.

[mp3j track=”sheng-ming-bu-neng-e1.mp3″]


tā tūrán fāxiàn shīqù de àiqíng shì shēngmìng bùnéng chéngshòu zhī zhòng.


He suddenly realized that the lost love is his unbearable loss.

[mp3j track=”sheng-ming-bu-neng-e2.mp3″]

This expression should mostly be used in written Chinese. You can try to write or type some sentences with this expression to practice the use of it. Don’t be shy to show your creation in the comment area.

Good night, my friends! See you soon!


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Category: Chinese idioms

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