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Chinese is full of four character phrases, many of which derive from Classicial Chinese. There is some overlap with Sayings.

Note that in Pinyin they are written as one word, unless they split into two meaningful pairs of characters, in which case a hyphen is used in the middle.

爱屋及乌 àiwūjíwū
‘Love me, love my dog.’

半斤八两 bànjīn-bāliǎng
‘six of one and half a dozen of the other’

本末倒置 běnmò-dàozhì
‘put the cart before the horse’

捕风捉影 bǔfēng-zhuōyǐng
‘catch at shadows’

不遗余力 bùyí-yúlì
‘spare no effort; go all out; do one’s best’

大开眼界 dàkāi-yǎnjiè
‘broaden one’s horizon; be an eye-opener’

更新换代 gēngxīn-huàndài
‘updating and upgrading (of products)’

坚持到底 jiānchí dàodǐ
‘persevere to the end'

脚踏实地 jiǎotàshídì
‘be down-to-earth’

既往不咎 jìwǎng-bújiù
‘let bygones be bygones.’

君子一言 (快马一鞭) jūnzǐ-yìyán (kuàimǎ-yìbiān)
'A gentleman's word is as good as gold.'

礼尚往来 lǐshàngwǎnglái
‘Courtesy calls for reciprocity’

马到成功 mǎdào-chénggong
‘achieve immediate victory; win instant success’

磨杵成针 Móchǔ-chéngzhēn

弄巧成拙 nòngqiǎo-chéngzhuó
‘be too smart by half’

人无完人 rénwúwánrén
‘Man can’t be perfect.’

时不我待 shíbùwǒdài
‘Time and tide wait for no man’

实话实说 shíhuà-shíshuō
‘speak the plain truth; call a spade a spade; tell it as it is’

熟能生巧 Shúnéngshēngqiǎo

岁岁平安 suìsuì-pīngān
‘Peace all year round’

望子成龙 wàngzǐ-chénglóng
‘hold high hopes for one"s child’

物以类聚 (人以群分) wùyǐlèijù (rényǐqúnfēn)
‘Birds of a feather flock together.’

无中生有 wúzhōng-shēngyǒu
‘make/create something out of nothing’

先入为主 xiānrùwéizhǔ
‘First impressions are firmly entrenched.’

现身说法 xiànshēn-shuōfǎ
‘warn people by taking oneself as an example’

心想事成 xīnxiǎng-shìchéng
‘May all your wishes come true’

喜忧参半 xǐyōu-cānbàn ‘mingled hope and fear’

蓄势而发 xùshìérfā
‘accumulate strength for a take-off’

一路顺风 yílù-shùnfēng
‘Bon voyage'

以人为本 yǐrénwéiběn
‘people-oriented; people foremost’

优胜劣汰 yōusheng-liètài ‘survival of the fittest’

有识之士 yǒushízhīshì
‘people of vision’

有勇无谋 yǒuyǒng-wúmóu
‘use brawn rather than brain’

与时俱进 yǔshí-jùjìn
‘advance with the times’

因材施教 yīncái-shījiào
‘teach students according to their aptitude’

欲速不达 yùsù-bùdá ‘haste does not bring success’

纸上谈兵 zhǐshàng-tánbīn ‘be a back seat driver; be an armchair strategist’

自以为是 zìyǐwéishì
‘consider oneself always right’

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