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Essential Chengyu: Learning Chinese is a marathon not a sprint – don’t 急于求成

 Learning Chinese is a lot like starting a business or a blog. You have to take ups and downs in stride and be prepared for the long haul. You can’t 急于求成 (jíyúqiúchéng).

急于求成 (jíyúqiúchéng) means that you are anxious for success, overly so and to your own detriment. It implies a rushed pursuit of short term results that is not effective from a long term perspective.

A breakdown of the characters in 急于求成 (jíyúqiúchéng):

急 (jí): to hurry or be anxious (eg. 着急 – zháojí – to be anxious)

于 (yú): with regard to or concerning (eg. 忙于工作 – mángyú gōngzuò – to be busy with work)

求 (qiú) : to strive for or pursue (eg. 追求 – zhuīqiú – to seek or pursue)

成 (chéng): success (eg. 成功 – chénggōng – success)

Observing 急于求成 (jíyúqiúchéng) in the wild reveals 3 main usages. 

Usage 1) 急于求成 + 的 + Noun

Example 1A)

急于求成的结果只会导致最终的失败…”

“jíyúqiúchéng de jiéguǒ zhī huì dǎozhì zuìzhōng de shībài…”

Being overanxious for success will only ultimately lead to (results that cause) failure”

Example 1B)

这些都是企业急于求成的战略造成的

“zhèxiē dōushì qǐyè jíyúqiúchéng de zhànlüè zàochéng de”

“This is all caused by the companies’ overambitious strategies”

Usage 2) Noun + (不) + 急于求成

Example 2A)

我们并不急于求成,我们可以保持耐心

“wǒmen bìngbù jíyúqiúchéng, wǒmen kěyǐ bǎochí nàixīn”

“We’re not overly anxious for success – we can maintain our patience”

Example 2B)

品牌培育不能急于求成

“pǐnpái péiyù bùnéng jíyúqiúchéng ”

“When you’re cultivating a brand, you can’t be overly anxious for success

Example 2C)

现在中国有很多企业都急于求成,所以造成投资者的不信任

“xiànzài zhōngguó yǒu hěnduō qǐyè dōu jíyúqiúchéng, suǒyǐ zàochéng tóuzīzhě de búxìnrèn”

“Currently, China has many companies that are overly anxious for success, causing investors to mistrust them”

Usage 3) 急于求成 + 地 + Verb

Example 3A)

“…急于求成地想要在数量上有很大的一个突破

“…jíyúqiúchéng de xiǎng yào zài shùliàng shàng yǒu hěndà de yígè tūpò”

“…overly anxious to have a big breakthrough on the numbers”

Example 3B)

急于求成地跳过了不少环节,无意中让客户对酒品产生了许多疑问

jíyúqiúchéng de tiàoɡuò le bùshǎo huánjié, wúyì zhōng ràng kèhù duì jiǔpǐn chǎnshēng le xǔduō yíwèn”

overly anxiously skipped through many steps, and unintentionally caused many customers to have many doubts about alcoholic products”

Questions? Comments? Other words you’d like us to cover? Let us know!

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