Today we cover a chengyu that is a great word for conveying tenacity and effort: 千方百计 (qiānfāngbǎijì).
The next time you want to tell your Chinese client / professor / S.O. the great lengths you went for the project / homework / anniversary, you can use 千方百计. 千方百计 basically means “to think of or employ all means imaginable” to a goal, and literally means “1000 methods and 100 plans.”
A breakdown of the characters in 千方百计：
千 (qiān): thousand (eg. 千里: one-thousand li, a literary way to say “a long distance”)
方 (fāng): method (eg. 方法: the regular way to say “method” or “way”)
百 (bǎi): one hundred (eg. 百万: 1 million)
计 (jì): plan (eg. 计划: the regular way to say “plan” or “to plan”)
Observing 千方百计 in the wild shows that it generally appears in “～ + 地+ verb” form. In other words, you don’t just 千方百计，you usually do something in a 千方百计 manner.
Example A) “。。。法国兴业银行正～地安慰投资者。。。”
“…fàguó xīngyè yínháng zhèng ～de ānwèi tóuzīzhě…”
“…the French bank Société Générale is currently using all means possible to comfort investors…”
Example B) “为弥补用电的缺口，我们会～地购电。”
“wèi míbǔ yòngdiàn de quēkǒu ，wǒmen huì ～ de gòu diàn 。
“To make up for this electricity shortage, we will pull out all the stops to purchase electricity.”
Example C) This example also shows that the 地 is actually optional with little impact on the meaning.
“～wéihù xiānggǎng jīngjì shèhuì wěndìng”
“To use all means possible to maintain economic and societal stability”
If you want additional lessons, hop on over to FluentU!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Chinese with real-world videos.