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)
“xiànzài wǒmen yào jìxù jiǎotàshídì “
“Right now we need to continue staying grounded and pushing ahead“
Example 1 B)
“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)
“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)
“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)
“…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)
“…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)
“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)
“…jiǎotàshídì de gōngzuò zuòfēng “
“…a way of working that’s grounded and focused on fundamentals”
Example 3 C)
“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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