Ancient Chinese Proverbs & Sayings

Best selected Chinese Proverbs for your motivation and to enlighten your thoughts and wisdom.

Chinese Proverbs
You can hardly make a friend in a year, but you can easily offend one in an hour.
You must scale the mountains if you would view the plain.
Runaway son, a shining jewel; runaway daughter, tarnished.
Unplowed fields make hollow bellies; unread books make hollow minds.
Garden flowers larger, field flowers stronger.
Make happy those who are near, and those who are far will come.
Men in the game are blind to what men looking on see clearly.

All people are your relatives, therefore expect only trouble from them. [Family]
Experience is a comb which nature gives to men when they are bald. [Experience]
Thatch your roof before rainy weather, dig your well before you become parched with thirst.
Nature is better than a middling doctor.
Chinese Proverbs
If an enemy is annoying you by playing well, consider adopting his strategy.
A hundred men may make an encampment, but it takes a woman to make a home. [Home]
The Yangtze never runs backwards; man recaptures not his youth.
So long as a man is angry he cannot be in the right.
Alms given openly will be rewarded in secret.
Forget the favors you have given; remember those received.
Far waters cannot quench near fires.
With reason one can travel the world over; without it, it is hard to move an inch.
When you fall into a pit, you either die or get out.
Mallet strikes chisel; chisel splits wood.
A dog won't forsake his master because of poverty; a son never deserts his mother because of her homely appearance.
If you must play, decide on three things at the start: the rules of the game, the stakes, and the quitting time.
Sorrow is the child of too much joy.
Chinese Proverbs
It is easier to know how to do than it is to do.
The sheep has no choice when in the jaws of the wolf.
Never write a letter while you are angry.
To forget one's ancestor's is to be a brook without a source, a tree without root.
One never needs their humor as much a when they argue with a fool. [Humor]
When a large vessel has opened a way it is easy for a small one to follow.
The best memory is not so firm as faded ink.
To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.
Do not anxiously hope for that which is not yet come; do not vainly regret what is already past.
I dreamed a thousand new paths. I woke and walked my old one. [Dreams]
Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still. [Progress]
Use power to curb power.
We are not so much concerned if you are slow as when you come to a halt.
The saving man becomes the free man. [Freedom]
A country where flowers are priced so as to make them a luxury has yet to learn the first principles of civilization.
To understand your parents' love you must raise children yourself. [Parents and Parenting]
On entering a country, ask what is forbidden, on entering a village, ask what are the customs, on entering a private house, ask what should not be mentioned.
Life is a dream walking death is a going home. [Death and Dying]
What the eye sees not, the heart craves not.
The broad-minded see the truth in different religions; the narrow-minded see only the differences.
One happiness scatters a thousand sorrows.
Two barrels of tears will not heal a bruise.
Parents who are afraid to put their foot down usually have children who step on their toes.
You cannot hook trout? Try digging clams.
Deep doubts, deep wisdom; small doubts, little wisdom. [Wisdom]
What you cannot avoid, welcome.
When the tree falls, the shadow flies.
Insanity is doing the same thing in the same way and expecting a different outcome. [Insanity]
Once on a tiger's back it is hard to alight.
When you have only two dollars left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a rose with the other.
In a broken nest there are few whole eggs. [Family]
Beauty is the wisdom of women. Wisdom is the beauty of men. [Wisdom]
He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever. [Fools and Foolishness]
Rich men accumulate money; the poor accumulate years.
The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.
Slander cannot destroy an honest man: when the flood recedes the rock is there.
He who hurries cannot walk with dignity.

More Motivational Chinese Proverbs & Sayings

If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed. [Direction]
Walls have ears.
Man cannot stir one inch without the push of heaven's finger.
Get the coffin ready and watch the man mend.
He who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount.
A thousand cups of wine do not suffice when true friends meet, but half a sentence is too much when there is no meeting of minds.
All things at first appear difficult.
Transgressions should never be forgiven a third time.
Do not have each foot on a different boat.
Rivers and mountains may change; human nature, never.
The older the ginger, the more it bites.
Never try to catch two frogs with one hand.
Kill the chicken to frighten the monkey.
Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without one. [Faults]
Deviate an inch, lose a thousand miles.
The rose has thorns only for those who would gather it.
Even a hare will bite when it is cornered.
Pure gold does not fear the smelter.
Listen to all, plucking a feather from every passing goose, but, follow no one absolutely.
To go beyond is as bad as to fall short.
When the tree waves, wind is stirring.
A bad word whispered will echo a hundred miles.
The father in praising the son extols himself.
Who is not satisfied with himself will grow; who is not sure of his own correctness will learn many things. [Discontent]
The remedy for dirt is soap and water. The remedy for dying is living.
Just scales and full measure injure no man.
Out of a dog's mouth will never come ivory tusks.
One monk shoulders water by himself; two can still share the labor among them. When it comes to three, they have to go thirsty.
Often one finds one's destiny just where one hides to avoid it.
When the tree dies, the grass underneath withers.
Add legs to the snake after you have finished drawing it.
The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.
Man must be sharpened on man, like knife on stone.
Easier to bend the body than the will.
There is no economy in going to bed early to save candles if the result is twins.
To violate the law is the same crime in the emperor as in the subject.
Long roads test the horse, long dealings the friend.
To meet an old friend in a distant country is like the delight of rain after a long drought.
Better to do a kindness near home than go far away to burn incense.
A single beam cannot support a great house.
A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.
It's your own lantern; don't poke holes in the paper.
Those who have free seats at a play hiss first.
If you are poor, though you dwell in the busy marketplace, no one will inquire about you; if you are rich, though you dwell in the heart of the mountains, you will have distant relatives. [Money]
Men fated to be happy need not haste.
He who could foresee affairs three days in advance would be rich for thousands of years.
Rotten wood cannot be carved.
Great business is good; to sit and sip this glass is better.
An ambassador bears no blame.
Easy to know men's faces, not their hearts.
To attract good fortune, spend a new coin on an old friend, share an old pleasure with a new friend, and lift up the heart of a true friend by writing his name on the wings of a dragon.
Plan your year in the spring, your day at dawn.
Man who waits for roast duck to fly into mouth must wait very, very long time. [Ask]
You think you've lost your horse? Who knows, he may bring a whole herd back to you someday.
Water and words are easy to pour but impossible to recover.
Good fortune may forebode bad luck, which may in turn disguise good fortune.
Learning is weightless, treasure you can always carry easily.
Because men do not like the cold, Heaven does not cause winter to cease.
O man, you who do not live a hundred years, why fret a thousand minutes?
Before you beat a dog, find out who its master is.
Careless rat chewing on a cat's tail: beware lightning!
Virtue practiced to be seen is not real virtue; vice which fears to be seen is real vice.
Be on a horse when you go in search of a better one.
If you can't change your fate, change your attitude.
A single conversation across the table with a wise man is worth a month's study of books. [Wisdom]
Don't open a shop unless you like to smile. [Business]
If there is a wave there must be a wind.
Climb mountains to see lowlands. [Growth]
Laws control the lesser man; right conduct controls the greater one.
Keep your broken arm inside your sleeve.
If you bow at all, bow low.
Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere. [Learning]
Water that has reached its level does not flow.
If what we see is doubtful, how can we believe what is spoken behind the back.
Politeness wins the confidence of princes.
With time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown.
Corner a dog in a dead-end street and it will turn and bite.
The happiness in your pocket, don't spend it all.
The one who plants the tree is not the one who will enjoy its shade.
The water that bears the ship is the same that engulfs it.
Customers are jade; merchandise is grass.
Grass fears the frost, frost fears the sun.
When the cat is gone, the mice come out to stretch.
If you have never done anything evil, you should not be worrying about devils knocking at your door.
No melon-peddler cries: Bitter melons! No wine-dealer says: Sour wine!
Those who despise money will eventually sponge on their friends.
A bar of iron continually ground becomes a needle.
To talk goodness is not good... only to do it is. [Action]
The day your horse dies and your money's lost, your relatives change to strangers.
Covet wealth, and want it; don't, and luck will grant it.
Don't consider your reputation and you may do anything you like.
A dog in desperation will leap over a wall.
A maker of idols is never an idolater. [Religion]
When you want to test the depths of a stream, don't use both feet.
The careful foot can walk anywhere.
If heaven made him, earth can find some use for him.
Dig a well before you are thirsty.
Slow in word, swift in deed.
He that has no money might as well be buried in a rice tub with his mouth sewn up.
A single conversation with a wise man is better than ten years of study.
A man's conversation is the mirror of his thoughts.
Learning is a weightless treasure you always carry easy.
When you cease to strive to understand, then you will know without understanding. [Knowledge]
A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives you roses.
The less power a man has, the more he likes to use it.
Leave a bit of the tail to whisk off flies.
Illness comes in by mouth; ills come out by it.
Just as tall trees are known by their shadows, so are good men known by their enemies.
To talk much and arrive nowhere is the same as climbing a tree to catch a fish.
We forget even incense in easy times; come hard times, we embrace the Buddha's feet.
Forethought is easy, repentance hard.
Virtue never dwells alone, it always has neighbors.
Enjoy yourself. It's later than you think.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. [Beginning]
Beat your drum inside the house to spare the neighbors.
To listen well is as powerful a means of influence as to talk well and is as essential to all true conversation.
Look for a thing until you find it and you'll not lose your labor.
The delicacy of the feast is the learned guest.
Every day cannot be a feast of lanterns.
Great souls have wills; feeble ones have only wishes. [Will and Will Power]
If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow. [Anger]
Fortune and flowers do not last forever.
If you want happiness for an hour -- take a nap. If you want happiness for a day -- go fishing. If you want happiness for a month -- get married. If you want happiness for a year -- inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime -- help someone else. [Happiness]
Don't build a new ship out of old wood.
The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. [Action]
The rich man plans for tomorrow, the poor man for today.
You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair. [Control]
When you say one thing, the clever person understands three.
Medicine can only cure curable disease, and then not always.
Man fools himself. He prays for a long life and he fears old age.
Dead songbirds make a sad meal.
Behind an able man there are always other able men.
The tongue can paint what the eye can't see. [Persuasion]
Married couples who love each other tell each other a thousand things without talking.
Flowers leave a part of their fragrance in the hands that bestow them.
A smile will gain you ten more years of life.
If you stand straight, do not fear a crooked shadow. [Character]
A jade stone is useless before it is processed; a man is good-for-nothing until he is educated.
An inch of time is an inch of gold, but you can't buy that inch of time with an inch of gold.
Gold has its price; learning is beyond price.
Be not disturbed at being misunderstood; be disturbed at not understanding.
Who teaches me for a day is my father for a lifetime.
A cloth is not woven from a single thread.
He who carves the Buddha never worships him.
O eggs, never fight with stones!
Reform a gambler . . . cure leprosy.
Patience and the mulberry leaf become a silk robe.
Do not employ handsome servants. [Hiring]
A man without a smiling face must not open shop.
A closed mind is like a closed book; just a block of wood.
You can't catch a cub without going into the tiger's den.
Many books do not use up words; many words do not use up thoughts.
Gold is tested by fire, man by gold.
Judge not the horse by his saddle.
Take a second look; it costs you nothing.
Your fingers can't be of the same length.
In the presence of princes the cleverest jester is mute.
Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends whom we choose.
A nation's treasure: scholars.
Raise your sail one foot and you get ten feet of wind.
Those who have free seats at a play hiss first. [Critics and Criticism]
It's as difficult to be rich without bragging as it is to be poor without complaining.
One can care little for man, but we need a friend.
Biggest profits mean gravest risks. [Danger]
No medicines can cure the vulgar man.
To be uncertain is to be uncomfortable, but to be certain is to be ridiculous. [Certainty]
A clever person turns great troubles into little ones and little ones into none at all.
The house with an old grandparent harbors a jewel.
Be not a jack of all trades, but a master of one.
One step at a time is good walking. [Planning]
Your friend has a friend; don't tell him. [Gossip]
Never answer a letter while you are angry.
Don't stand by the water and long for fish; go home and weave a net.
The longer the night lasts, the more our dreams will be.
Virtue becomes a wife; beauty becomes a concubine.
Easy to run downhill, much puffing to run up.
Riches: A dream in the night. Fame: A gull floating on water. [Fame]
An inch of time cannot be bought with an inch of gold. [Time and Time Management]
Mankind scorns a virtuous man, but heaven does not.
The one who understands does not speak, the one who speaks does not understand.
Peace and tranquility are a thousand gold pieces.
Be in readiness for favorable winds.
Silly toad: planning a meal of goose!
Rats know the way of rats.
Riches add to the house, virtues to the man.
To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping.
If you want an audience, start a fight.
Better do a kindness near home than go far to burn incense.
Cheap things are not good, good things are not cheap.
You burn incense before the god, and then topple him.
Exaggeration is to paint a snake and add legs.
Sit atop the mountain and watch the tigers fight.
Wait long, strike fast.
Empty the clear path to heaven, crowded the dark road to hell.
Vicious as a tigress can be, she never eats her own cubs.
If you see in your wine the reflection of a person not in your range of vision, don't drink it.
A fall into a ditch makes you wiser.
Donkey's lips don't fit onto a horse's mouth.
What is told into the ear of a man is often heard a hundred miles away. [Secrets]
Paper can't wrap up a fire.
Insects do not nest in a busy door-hinge.
If there is beauty in character, there will be harmony in the home. If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.
A crisis is an opportunity riding the dangerous wind.
The path of duty lies in what is near at hand, but men seek for it in what is remote.
Man is the head of the family, woman the neck that turns the head. [Family]
A sly rabbit will have three openings to its den.
Steal a bell with one's ears covered.
Happiness is like a sunbeam, which the least shadow intercepts, while adversity is often as the rain of spring. [Happiness]
Learning is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back.
In the broken nest there are no whole eggs.
Think of your own faults the first part of the night when you are awake, and of the faults of others the latter part of the night when you are asleep. [Thoughts and Thinking]
It is later than you think. [Time and Time Management]
One cannot manage too many affairs; like pumpkins in water, one pops up while you try to hold down the other.
The woman who tells her age is either too young to have anything to lose or too old to have anything to gain. [Age and Aging]
A book holds a house of gold.

Some More Chinese Sayings for You

An ignorant doctor is no better than a murderer.
Present to the eye, present to the mind.
A good dog does not block the road.
A man need never revenge himself; the body of his enemy will be brought to his own door.
Whenever the water rises, the boat will rise too.
Those who do not study are only cattle dressed up in men's clothes. [Studying]
The man who comes with a talk about others has himself an ax to grind.
The man who does not learn is dark, like one walking in the night.
Want a thing long enough, and you don't.
With true friends... even water drunk together is sweet enough. [Friends and Friendship]
If I keep a green bough in my heart, the singing bird will come. [Heart]
After three days without reading, talk becomes flavorless.
Yellow gold is plentiful compared to white-haired friends.
Deal with the faults of others as gently as with your own.
You can't fill your belly painting pictures of bread.
Conquerors are kings; the beaten are bandits.
In every family's cooking pot is one black spot.
If there is a strong general, there will be no weak soldiers.
Four horses cannot overtake the tongue.
He who sacrifices his conscience to ambition burns a picture to obtain the ashes. [Conscience]
Dangerous enemies will meet again in narrow streets.
If you want 1 year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people. [Prosperity]
Count not what is lost but what is left.
A razor may be sharper than an ax, but it cannot cut wood.
If a man fools me once, shame on him. If he fools me twice, shame on me. [Fools and Foolishness]
Great souls have wills; feeble ones have only wishes.
Fail to steal the chicken while it ate up your bait grain.
Better the cottage where one is merry than the palace where one weeps.
He painted a tiger, but it turned out a dog.
If you don't scale the mountain, you can't view the plain.
The fire you kindle for your enemy often burns yourself more than him. [Enemies]
If you suspect a man, don't employ him, and if you employ him, don't suspect him. [Hiring]
A single untried popular remedy often throws the scientific doctor into hysterics.
If you have two loaves of bread, sell one and buy a lily.
One generation plants the trees, another gets the shade.
He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.
All cats love fish but fear to wet their paws.
The black dog gets the food; the white dog gets the blame.
If you always give, you will always have.
A rumour goes in one ear and out many mouths.
Outside noisy, inside empty.
Pleasure for one hour, a bottle of wine. Pleasure for one year a marriage; but pleasure for a lifetime, a garden. [Pleasure]
Large demands on oneself and little demands on others keep resentment at bay.
We can study until old age and still not finish.
Pick your inn before the dark; get on your road before the dawn.
Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time. [Children]
Jade and men, both are sharpened by bitter tools.
Mankind fears an evil man but heaven does not.
Though you live near a forest, do not waste firewood.
Cheat the earth and the earth will cheat you.
To open a shop is easy, to keep it open is an art.
When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them.
A vacant mind is open to all suggestions, as a hollow mountain returns all sounds.
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.
Without rice, even the cleverest housewife cannot cook.
When planning for a year, plant corn. When planning for a decade, plant trees. When planning for life, train and educate people. [Planning]
He who seeks revenge should remember to dig two graves.
It is the beautiful bird which gets caged.
Kill one to warn a hundred.
Dogs do not dislike poor families.
Begin with an error of an inch and end by being a thousand miles off the mark.
Ceremony is the smoke of friendship. [Ceremony]
A person whose heart is not content is like a snake which tries to swallow an elephant.
Practice no vice because it's trivial; neglect no virtue because it's so.
It is harder to be poor without complaining than to be rich without boasting.
Swiftest horse cannot overtake the word once spoken.
Temptation wrings integrity even as the thumbscrew twists a man's fingers.
The journey is the reward. [Achievement]
Clumsy birds have need of early flight.
Honey in his mouth, knives in his heart.
In the midst of great joy, do not promise anyone anything. In the midst of great anger, do not answer anyone's letter. [Promises]
Two good talkers are not worth one good listener.
Reshape one's foot to try to fit into a new shoe.
Learn to handle a writing-brush and you'll never handle a begging-bowl.
A red-nosed man may be a teetotaler, but will find no one to believe it.
Men know not all their faults, oxen all their strength.
Among ten matchmakers only nine will lie.
Friend, do not try to borrow combs from shaven monks.
How can you put out a fire set on a cart-load of firewood with only a cup of water.
Of all the thirty-six alternatives, running away is best. [Caution]
Happy people never count hours as they pass.
A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows the public opinion. [Decisions]
If a son is uneducated, his father is to blame.
From the lowly perspective of a dog's eyes, everyone looks short.
The peony is beautiful, yet it is supported by a stalk.
Easier to rule a nation than a son.
A whitewashed crow soon shows black again.
One should be just as careful in choosing one's pleasures as in avoiding calamities.
When you bow, bow low.
Crows everywhere are equally black.
A day of sorrow is longer than a month of joy.
With money one may command devils; without it, one cannot even summon a man.
If you wish to know the mind of a man, listen to his words. [Words]
Dream different dreams while on the same bed.
Small ills are the fountains of most of our groans. Men trip not on mountains, they stumble on stones.
Waiting for a rabbit to hit upon a tree and be killed in order to catch it.
Avoid suspicion: when you're walking through your neighbor's melon patch, don't tie your shoe.
Only he that has traveled the road knows where the holes are deep.
A man grows most tired while standing still. [Work]
The pen can kill a man; no knife is needed.
No wind, no waves.
Better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness. [Blame]
I hear and I forget, I see and I remember. I do and I understand. [Action]
Better do a good deed near at home than go far away to burn incense. [Action]
You must have crossed the river before you may tell the crocodile he has bad breath.
Hold back some goods for a thousand days and you will be sure to sell at a profit.
You want no one to know it? Then don't do it.
Great doubts deep wisdom. Small doubts little wisdom. [Doubt]
To climb a tree to catch a fish is talking much and doing nothing. [Speakers and Speaking]
Everyone pushes a falling fence. [Failure]
Don't waste good iron for nails or good men for soldiers.
Man has a thousand plans, heaven but one.
One joy scatters a hundred grieves. [Joy]
Falling hurts least those who fly low.
The man who strikes first admits that his ideas have given out.
If you get up one more time than you fall you will make it through.
Pleasures are shallow, sorrows deep.
Great blessings come from heaven; small blessings come from man.
Deer-hunter, waste not your arrow on the hare.
When the mantis hunts the locust, he forgets the shrike that's hunting him.
A good neighbor is a found treasure.
If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.
A child's life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark.
You cannot draw white cloth from a dying vat.
We all like lamb; each has a different way of cooking it.
Easy to enroll a thousand soldiers. But, ah, one general!.
A young doctor makes a full graveyard.
Habits are cobwebs at first; cables at last. [Habit]
Misfortune is not that which can be avoided, but that which cannot.
Girls marry to please parents, widows to please themselves.
The loftiest towers rise from the ground.
A person who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the man doing it.
Virtue is not left to stand alone.
If you are standing upright, don't worry if your shadow is crooked.
A bride received into the home is like a horse that you have just bought; you break her in by constantly mounting her and continually beating her.
Easy to believe in heaven's law, but so hard to keep.
Enough shovels of earth -- a mountain. Enough pails of water -- a river. [Growth]
The best cure for drunkenness is whilst sober to observe a drunken person.
A man must despise himself before others will.
Man is heaven and earth in miniature.
Do not tear down the east wall to repair the west.
Better go than send.
Abroad we judge the dress; at home we judge the man.
Never do anything standing that you can do sitting, or anything sitting that you can do lying down. [Simplicity]
One dog barks at something, the rest bark at him. [Complaints and Complaining]
The great question is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with failure. [Failure]
A beautiful bird is the only kind we cage.
Talk doesn't cook rice. [Action]
One family builds the wall, two families enjoy it.
To believe in one's dreams is to spend all of one's life asleep.
Losing comes of winning money.
Better be kind at home than burn incense in a far place.
An old friend met in a far country is like rain after drought.
If you share a man's wealth, try to lessen his misfortune.
Only when all contribute their firewood can they build up a strong fire.
No matter how stout one beam, it cannot support a house.
Wealth is but dung, useful only when spread.
One's shadow grows larger than life when admired by the light of the moon.
Flowing water never goes bad; our door hubs never gather termites.
Rather once cry your heart out than always sigh.
He who cannot agree with his enemies is controlled by them.
In his decision the judge with seven reasons gives only one in court.
The best soldiers are not warlike.
Schoolmaster, stick to your books; farmer, to your pigs.
The court official in one life has seven rebirths as a beggar.
Sow much, reap much; sow little, reap little. [Giving]
Know thyself to know others, for heart beats like heart.
A great fortune depends on luck, a small one on diligence. [Fortune]
Not wine . . . men intoxicate themselves; not vice . . . men entice themselves.
When men speak of the future, the Gods laugh. [Future]
It takes little effort to watch a man carry a load.
Govern a family as you would cook a small fish -- very gently. [Family]
Better die ten years early than live ten years poor.
Be resolved and the thing is done.
Beat your gong and sell your candles.
A young branch takes on all the bends that one gives it.
The mind is the emperor of the body.
Small men think they are small; great men never know they are great.
The one who first resorts to violence shows that he has no more arguments.
Priests return to the temple, merchants to the shop.
Virtue: climbing a hill; vice: running down.
If your strength is small, don't carry heavy burdens. If your words are worthless, don't give advice. [Advice]
How can you expect to find ivory in a dog's mouth?
Do not add legs to the snake after you have finished drawing it.
You can't expect both ends of a sugar cane to be as sweet.
In reviling, it is not necessary to prepare a preliminary draft.
Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.
Looking for fish? Don't climb a tree.
A thorn defends the rose harming only those who would steal the blossom.
Fight a wolf with a flex stalk.
For the sake of one good action, a hundred evil ones should be forgotten.
A hasty man drinks his tea with a fork.
He who can predict winning numbers should not set off fire crackers.
A man must make himself despicable before he is despised by others.
Better be too credulous than too skeptical.
To persecute the unfortunate is like throwing stones on one fallen into a well.
The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. [Names]
Clear conscience never fears midnight knocking. [Character]
Man concocts a million schemes; god knows but one.
Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friend's forehead. [Critics and Criticism]
With virtue you can't be entirely poor; without virtue you can't really be rich. [Virtue]
The net of heaven is large and wide, but it lets nothing through.
What is whispered in your ear is often heard a hundred miles off.
Teachers open the door but you must walk through it yourself. [Action]
The palest ink lasts longer than the most retentive memory. [Memory]
Curse your wife at evening, sleep alone at night.
A chicken is hatched even from such a well-sealed thing as an egg.
The weasel comes to say "Happy New Year!" to the chickens.
Sending charcoal in the snow is better than adding flowers to a brocade.
Virtuous for ten years is still not enough; evil for one day is too much already.
You can't clap with one hand only.
Many a good face is under a ragged hat.
The first half of the night, think of your own faults; the second half, the faults of others.
Patience is power; with time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown. [Patience]
A flea on top of a bald head.
Weaving a net is better than praying for fish at the edge of the water.
You won't help shoots grow by pulling them up higher.
No matter how tall the mountain, it cannot block out the sun.
Despise learning and make everyone pay for your ignorance.
The emperor is rich, but he cannot buy one extra year.
When we have nothing to worry about we are not doing much, and not doing much may supply us with plenty of future worries. [Worry]
It is better to be entirely without a book than to believe it entirely.
A man should choose a friend who is better than himself. There are plenty of acquaintances in the world; but very few real friends. [Friends and Friendship]
Going beyond is as bad as falling short.
Sour, sweet, bitter, pungent, all must be tasted.
It is not economical to go to bed early to save the candles if the result is twins.
A bird can roost but on one branch, a mouse can drink not more than its fill from a river.
The superior doctor prevents sickness; The mediocre doctor attends to impending sickness; The inferior doctor treats actual sickness; [Doctors]
Once bitten by a snake, he is scared all his life at the mere sight of a rope.
The diamond cannot be polished without friction, nor the man perfected without trials.

Short Chinese Proverbs

Below are some of the short Chinese proverbs for you

  • Seeking fish? Don't dive in the pond; go home and get a net.
  • The pine stays green in winter, wisdom in hardship.
  • Of a dead leopard we keep the skin, of man his reputation.
  • Make sure you leave some fat for the other side.
  • Some prefer carrots while others like cabbage.
  • When your horse in on the brink of a precipice, it is too late to pull the reins.
  • A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials. [Adversity]
  • There are two perfectly good men, one dead, and the other unborn. [Goodness]
  • Scholars talk books, butchers talk pigs.
  • Govern yourself and you can govern the world.
  • Do not talk Arabic in the house of a Moor.
  • Respect for ones parents is the highest duty of civil life. [Respectability]
  • The error of one moment becomes the sorrow of a whole life.
  • Let him who does not know what war is go to war.
  • Nature, time and patience are the three great physicians.
  • There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is always the same.
  • Learning is treasure no thief can touch.
  • The greatest conqueror is he who overcomes the enemy without a blow. [Victory]
  • Love is blind, and greed insatiable.
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