essential-chengyu-spilled-coffee

Essential Chengyu: If you’ve ever spilled coffee before – 粗心大意

Do you know anyone who’s really careless?

Perhaps they’re always spilling something, forgetting dates, or bumping into things?

Perhaps that person is you (I know it’s me)?

Here’s a chengyu to describe that person: 粗心大意(cū xīn dà yì).

粗心大意(cū xīn dà yì) simply means negligent or careless. Some might say it’s little stronger in tone than 马虎  (mǎhu), which also means careless. It has a negative connotation.

Here’s a breakdown of the characters in 粗心大意 (cū xīn dà yì):

粗(cū): means negligent, but can also mean rough (eg. 粗糙 – cū cāo – often used to describe rough surfaces)

心(xīn): means heart, but here it is short for 细心 (xì xīn – careful, attentive)

大 (dà): generally means “big,” but here it means general / rough / approximate as in 大概 (dà gài)

意 (yì):  generally 意 means “meaning,” but here it means attention or focus as in 注意力 (zhù yì lì)

Observing 粗心大意 in the wild reveals that it’s used mainly as an adjective and a verb.

Usage 1) 粗心大意 + 的 + Noun

Example 1 A)

…经常犯一些粗心大意的错误

“…jīngcháng fàn yìxiē cūxīndàyì de cuòwù”

“…to often make some careless mistakes”

Example 1 B)

有些粗心大意的消费者在网络购票中落入陷阱

“yǒuxiē cūxīndàyì de xiāofèizhě zài wǎngluò gòu piào zhōng luòrù xiànjǐng”

“Some careless consumers fall into traps while buying tickets online”

Example 1 D)

骗子就是利用广撒网的方式,等待那种粗心大意的人上当

“piànzi jiùshì lìyòng guǎng sǎwǎng de fāngshì, děngdài nà zhǒng cūxīndàyì de rén shàngdàng”

“Swindlers use the method of casting a wide net and waiting for that sort of careless person to get tricked”

Usage 2) As a Verb

Example 2 A)

太阳能灯一盏就一万多,千万不可粗心大意

“tàiyángnéng dēng yī zhǎn jiù yī wàn duō, qiānwàn bùkě cūxīndàyì

“One solar lamp costs over 10,000 – you can’t be careless

Example 2 B)

该女子急忙解释,说是工作人员粗心大意…”

“gāi nǚzǐ jímáng jiěshì,shuō shì gōngzuò rényuán cūxīndàyì…”

“The girl hurriedly explained, it was the workers who were careless…’

Example 2 C)

对于药物治疗时,千万不要粗心大意

“duìyú yàowù zhìliáo shí, qiānwàn búyào cūxīndàyì

“When undergoing medical treatment, don’t be careless

Example 2 D)

粗心大意是许多年轻人共有的毛病

cūxīndàyì shì xǔduō niánqīngrén gòngyǒu de máobìng”

Being careless is a common problem shared by many young people”

Any thoughts, comments, questions? Other chengyou you would like to learn with us? Let us know!

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