essential-chengyu-fish-water

Essential Chengyu: Like a fish in water – 如鱼得水

Do you ever have those moments when you know your Chinese is on?

When you almost feel like you were born to speak Chinese?

When you feel like a fish in water?

If so, or if you’re aspiring to reach that point, you’ve got to learn this chengyu: 如鱼得水(rú yú dé shuǐ).

如鱼得水 (rú yú dé shuǐ) literally means “like a fish in water,” and it means the same thing as it does in English. It’s generally used to describe someone who performs well in a certain situation, making it seem like they were meant to be in that environment. It’s a positive chengyu.

A breakdown of the characters in 如鱼得水 (rú yú dé shuǐ):

如(rú): like or as if 像(xiàng).

鱼(yú): fish

得(dé): to get or acquire (eg. 得到 – dé dào)

水(shuǐ): water

Observing 如鱼得水 (rú yú dé shuǐ) in the wild reveals several usages.

Usage 1) As a Verb

Example 1 A)

奥尼尔退役依然如鱼得水,声称还要当NBA球队老板 “

“àoníěr tuìyì yīrán rúyúdéshuǐ, shēngchēng háiyào dānɡ NBA qiúduì lǎobǎn “

“After retirement, O’Neal is still like a fish in water, and asserts that he wants to be the owner of an NBA team”

Example 1 B)

马修能让默多克家族在伦敦社交圈内如鱼得水 “

“mǎxiū néng ràng mòduōkè jiāzú zài lúndūn shèjiāoquān nèi rúyúdéshuǐ 

“Marshall is able to make the Murdoch family like a fish in in water in London’s social circles”

Example 1 C)

一款优质鼠标,让你在各种游戏里如鱼得水 “

“yī kuǎn yōuzhì shǔ biāo, ràng nǐ zài gèzhǒng yóuxì lǐ rúyúdéshuǐ 

“A high quality mouse can make you like a fish in water for many kinds of games”

Usage 2) 如鱼得水 + 的 + Noun

Example 2 A)

享受如鱼得水的喜悦

“xiǎngshòu rúyúdéshuǐ de xǐyuè “

“enjoy the joy of feeling like a fish in water

Example 2 B)

在水中漂游时,真的会让你有如鱼得水之感 “

“zài shuǐ zhōng piāoyóu shí, zhēn de huì ràng nǐ yǒu rúyúdéshuǐ zhī gǎn “

“When you are drifting in the water, you will really have the feeling of being like a fish in water

Usage 3) As an adverb (eg. 活得 / 过得 / 混得 + 如鱼得水)

Example 3 A)

虽然NBA停摆,但是帕克在法国过得如鱼得水 “

“suīrán NBA tíngbǎi, dànshì pàkè zài fǎguó ɡuò de rúyúdéshuǐ 

“The NBA lockout is underway, but Parker is in France living like a fish in water

Example 3 B)

三年过去,丹丹姐在微博界混得如鱼得水 “

“sān nián guòqù, dāndān jiě zài wēibó jiè hún de rúyúdéshuǐ “

“After 3 years, Sister Dan Dan is getting by like a fish in water in the Weibo world”

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

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