To jump up and down – Chinese idiom 上蹿下跳

Posted by Grace Feng on July 26, 2013

To jump up and down - Chinese idiom 上蹿下跳Chinese idiom “上蹿下跳 shàng cuān xià tiào” means “jump up and down due to either being too excited, or too worried, or even too high”. It can also implicates that someone is actively connecting with important people trying to pull some strings to get things done. For the second meaning, it is used with negative tone.

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


[example 1 – jump up and down due to being excited ]

tīngshuō míngtiān yào qù lǚxíng, tā gāoxìng dé shàng cuān xià tiào。


It is said that we’ll be on trip tomorrow. He happily jumper up and down upon hearing this news.


[example 2 – jump up and down due to anxiety ]

děng bùdào tā de xiāoxi, tā jí dé shàng cuān xià tiào。


Without any word from her, he was anxiously jumping up and down.


[example 3 – actively move around to pull strings]

wèile shēng zhí, tā dàochù shàng cuān xià tiào zhǎo guānxi。

为了升职, 他到处上蹿下跳找关系。

In order to get a promotion, he moved up and down to pull strings.


Now could you use 上蹿下跳 shàng cuān xià tiào to make three sentences in different situations? Don’t be shy to show your work.


Related posts:

Lesson 10 How to understand and use Chinese sentence pattern “...把...”
How much you really know about "上 (up)" and "下 (down)" when you learn Chinese?
Words of wisdom while you're thinking about giving up - 行百里者半九十


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9 Responses to “To jump up and down – Chinese idiom 上蹿下跳”

  1. nothing


    07-27-2013 1:28 pm

    Hello Grace,抱歉,我最近忙着没时间来这里留言。以下三个例子怎样?:





    • nothing

      Grace Feng:

      07-29-2013 2:25 pm

      白睿, 很高兴看到你的留言!对于你的三个例句, 我想作如下评述:

      她得到最高的分数之后,就上蹿下跳地跑回家了。 (It’s better to use 蹦蹦跳跳, instead of 上蹿下跳. 上蹿下跳 is used as a complete action in itself, not proper to be followed by another action, such as running.bavkqq)

      找不到她的孩子,妈妈急得上蹿下跳。 (very good!)

      他在工作的时期总是上蹿下跳,拍马屁。没有人喜欢他。(very good!)

      还是要认真地说一句, 你的中文造句能力非常不错, 继续加油!



  2. nothing


    07-30-2013 12:59 pm

    谢谢鼓励,Grace。我也在写第一例句时就想着”这个小女孩怎么能一边jump up and down,一边run?”。好像它是一个不可能的事情。:D


  3. nothing


    08-01-2013 5:38 pm

    heeeeeeyy Grace,

    i don’t know if you still remember me, its kaviche the polyglot-wannabe,

    I just came back from my trip to china, and i loved that country !!
    i still can’t hold a proper conversation but now when people talk i understand far more than before going to china, and i can get myself understood in most situations.but that’s not enough, i want to have a level where i can participate in a debate and express arguments seamlessly

    i bought lots of children story books, i’m a great believer in the “reading makes you internalize language” theory, so i thought that as i dont have the level to read adults books, i’d better read children story books…i also bought two agatha christie in chinese, and its sort of a secret dream in my head to one day being able to handle em.

    i’m gonna take the HSK + HSKK[oral] level 3 in october, wanted to take l4 but the 3 is the highest my local chinese cultural centre offers.wish me luck ! lol

    still addicted to your blog and your stories,


    • nothing

      Grace Feng:

      08-02-2013 4:15 pm

      Hi Kaviche,

      I remember you well :-) It’s such a pleasue to know that your trip had been a good one. For all the effort you’ve given to practicing your Chinese, I believe your progress got to be impressive. As ambitious as you are, sky is your limit. I fully believe you’ll be able to handle a debate in your near future, when the time comes that you can think in Chinese freely.

      By the way, I’m having my family trip in China now. If you’d like to know, I’m half way through my first novellet (upper intermediate level Chinese). I will publish it in a series of posts on JLC when I come back.

      Best luck to your HSK exam!!!



  4. nothing


    08-09-2013 9:23 am

    Hello Grace, 你在中国哪些地方?玩得怎样?


    • nothing

      Grace Feng:

      08-09-2013 3:42 pm

      Kunming, my hometown. 主要是看望病人,没时间玩。:-(


  5. nothing


    08-09-2013 6:01 pm



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