essential-chengyu-warren-buffetts-favorite

Essential Chengyu: Warren Buffett’s favorite

If you’ve noticed, our blog never promises results in 5 minutes a day. 

And we never will, because we still believe that old school values like hard work are the key to success in Chinese (as in other areas in life).

If you’re also old school, you may like this chengyu: 脚踏实地 (jiǎo tà shí dì).

脚踏实地 (jiǎo tà shí dì) literally means “to step on solid ground.”  Basically it means to apply yourself conscientiously to your work, to focus on the fundamentals, and to proceed in a steady and stable fashion. Think Warren Buffett and the blue collar sensibilities of the Midwestern United States. It’s a very positive chengyu.



A breakdown of the characters in 脚踏实地 (jiǎo tà shí dì):

脚 (jiǎo): foot or feet (eg. 脚印 – jiǎo yìn – footprint)

踏 (tà): to step on

实 (shí): solid or firm (eg. 坚实的基础 – jiān shí de jī chǔ – a solid foundation).

地 (dì):  ground or land (eg. 土地 – tǔ dì)

Observing 脚踏实地 (jiǎo tà shí dì) in the wild reveals several main usages. 

Usage 1) As a Verb

Example 1 A)

现在我们要继续脚踏实地 “

“xiànzài wǒmen yào jìxù jiǎotàshídì “

“Right now we need to continue staying grounded and pushing ahead

Example 1 B)

我们还是应该脚踏实地,一步一步稳健地走 “

“wǒmen háishì yīnggāi jiǎotàshídì, yíbù yíbù wěnjiàn de zǒu “

“We should still stay grounded, and go forth one firm step at a time”

Usage 2) 脚踏实地 + (地) + Verb

Example 2 A)

公司的目标就是脚踏实地地销售正品…”

“gōngsī de mùbiāo jiùshì jiǎotàshídì de xiāoshòu zhèngpǐn…”

“The company’s goal is to stay grounded and keep working at selling quality products”

Example 2 B)

既然是组织上的安排,我就要脚踏实地地干下去 “

“jìrán shì zǔzhīshàng de ānpái, wǒ jiùyào jiǎotàshídì de ɡàn xiàqù “

“Since it is an organizational arrangement, I need to just stay grounded and keep marching on”

Example 2 C)

…只要脚踏实地地干实事,胜过一切争议 “

“…zhǐyào jiǎotàshídì de ɡàn shíshì, shèngguò yíqiè zhēngyì “

“…if you just stay grounded and keep doing real work, you will win over any controversy”

Example 2 D)

脚踏实地做公益的企业…”

“…jiǎotàshídì zuò gōngyì de qǐyè…”

“…companies that stay grounded and keep working at in their public welfare activities…”

Usage 3) 脚踏实地 + 的 + Noun

Example 3 A)

每一个人都可以通过脚踏实地的努力获得属于自己的幸福 “

“měiyígè rén dōu kěyǐ tōngguò jiǎotàshídì de nǔlì huòdé shǔyú zìjǐ de xìngfú “

“Everyone can gain their own happiness through effort that’s grounded and conscientious

Example 3 B)

“…脚踏实地的工作作风 “

“…jiǎotàshídì de gōngzuò zuòfēng “

“…a way of working that’s grounded and focused on fundamentals”

Example 3 C)

创业者不但要具有持久的激情,坚韧不拔的毅力和脚踏实地的态度... “

“chuàngyèzhě búdàn yào jùyǒu chíjiǔ de jīqíng, jiānrènbùbá de yìlì hé jiǎotàshídì de tàidù…”

“An entrepreneur must not only have lasting passion, indomitable persistence, and a grounded attitude…”

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


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4 Responses to Essential Chengyu: Warren Buffett’s favorite

  1. Alan January 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    Thanks Tamar! That’s also a good one.

  2. Tamar January 8, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

    Nice. Here are a couple other Chinese idioms about persistence.
    磨杵成针 — Mó Chǔ Chéng Zhēn
    精卫填海 — Jīng Wèi Tián Hǎi

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Hao Hao Report - November 16, 2011

    Someone thinks this story is fantastic…

    This story was submitted to Hao Hao Report – a collection of China’s best stories and blog posts. If you like this story, be sure to go vote for it….

  2. A Chinese Idiom for Warren Buffet | Mandarin Click by Click - November 20, 2011

    […] Alan at ww.fuentflix.com/blog posted an idiom on http://www.socialmandarin.com.  They say it is for intermediate students, but the idea is basic to succeeding in life, especially Warren Buffet (jiǎo tà shí dì)..  Click to find out what it is, its background, characters and usage. […]

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