Chengyu For Close Game or Race

The Knicks narrowly won their 5th straight game in a nail-biter under their new coach!

And Romney seems to slowly be pulling away with the Republican nomination for the US presidency, but things were up in the air for a while.

In these types of competitive situations, you can use the chengyu 不相上下 (bù xiāng shàng xià). 

不相上下 (bù xiāng shàng xià) is used to describe adversaries who seem to be equally matched. It literally means that you can’t tell who is higher or lower, or better or worse.

Here’s a breakdown of the characters in 不相上下(bù xiāng shàng xià):

不相(bù xiāng):不 means “no” and 相 means “mutually” (eg. 相互 – xiāng hù)

上下(shàng xià): 上 literally means “higher” and 下 xià literally means “lower,” and they refer to relative superiority or inferiority here.

And here are some examples of 不相上下(bù xiāng shàng xià) in the wild:
Usage 1) As a Verb.

Example 1 A)

现在,亚洲经济总量已超过北美,和欧洲不相上下 “

“xiàn zài, yà zhōu jīng jì zǒng liàng yǐ chāo guò běi měi, hé ōu zhōu bù xiāng shàng xià  “

“Right now, the total of the Asian economies is already greater than North America, and is on par with Europe”

Example 1 B)

我们的技术设备和国外比不相上下 “

“wǒ men de jì shù shè bèi hé guó wài bǐ bù xiāng shàng xià  “

“When compared to foreign countries, our technology and facilities is on the same level

Usage 2) 不相上下 + 的 + Noun.

Example 2 A)


“zài mù qián lǐng xiān de gòng hé dǎng hòu xuǎn rén yǔ ào bā mǎ de zhī chí lǜ bù xiāng shàng xià de qíng kuàng xià…”

“Under the present situation where the leading Republican candidate and Obama have about the same approval rating…”

Example 2 B)


“píng guǒ hé gǔ gē néng gòu chéng wéi bù xiāng shàng xià de yōu xiù duì shǒu…”

“Apple and Google can become excellent adversaries, neither of which is better than the other…”

Hope you like this chengyu!

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