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!

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Click here to check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

FluentU Ad

Sign up for free and start learning Chinese with videos now!

Enter your e-mail address to get your free PDF!

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe

Close