Do you know anyone who’s really careless?
Perhaps they’re always spilling something, forgetting dates, or bumping into things?
Perhaps that person is you (I know it’s me)?
Here’s a chengyu to describe that person: 粗心大意(cū xīn dà yì).
粗心大意(cū xīn dà yì) simply means negligent or careless. Some might say it’s little stronger in tone than 马虎 (mǎhu), which also means careless. It has a negative connotation.
Here’s a breakdown of the characters in 粗心大意 (cū xīn dà yì):
粗(cū): means negligent, but can also mean rough (eg. 粗糙 - cū cāo – often used to describe rough surfaces)
心(xīn): means heart, but here it is short for 细心 (xì xīn – careful, attentive)
大 (dà): generally means “big,” but here it means general / rough / approximate as in 大概 (dà gài)
意 (yì): generally 意 means “meaning,” but here it means attention or focus as in 注意力 (zhù yì lì)
Observing 粗心大意 in the wild reveals that it’s used mainly as an adjective and a verb.
Usage 1) 粗心大意 + 的 + Noun
Example 1 A)
“…jīngcháng fàn yìxiē cūxīndàyì de cuòwù″
“…to often make some careless mistakes”
Example 1 B)
“yǒuxiē cūxīndàyì de xiāofèizhě zài wǎngluò gòu piào zhōng luòrù xiànjǐng”
“Some careless consumers fall into traps while buying tickets online”
Example 1 D)
“piànzi jiùshì lìyòng guǎng sǎwǎng de fāngshì, děngdài nà zhǒng cūxīndàyì de rén shàngdàng”
“Swindlers use the method of casting a wide net and waiting for that sort of careless person to get tricked”
Usage 2) As a Verb
Example 2 A)
“tàiyángnéng dēng yī zhǎn jiù yī wàn duō, qiānwàn bùkě cūxīndàyì“
“One solar lamp costs over 10,000 – you can’t be careless“
Example 2 B)
“gāi nǚzǐ jímáng jiěshì,shuō shì gōngzuò rényuán cūxīndàyì…”
“The girl hurriedly explained, it was the workers who were careless…’
Example 2 C)
“duìyú yàowù zhìliáo shí, qiānwàn búyào cūxīndàyì“
“When undergoing medical treatment, don’t be careless“
Example 2 D)
“cūxīndàyì shì xǔduō niánqīngrén gòngyǒu de máobìng”
“Being careless is a common problem shared by many young people”
Any thoughts, comments, questions? Other chengyou you would like to learn with us? Let us know!