Chengyu of the Week - 乱七八糟

Howdy folks! Today’s 成语 is one near and dear to my heart. In fact, I probably overuse this 成语 (when I first learned this one, some of my friends started referring to this as my 口头禅 [kǒutóuchán] or ‘pet phrase; phrase one constantly uses or overuses’). The 成语 I’m referring to is 乱七八糟 [luànqībāzāo]. (note on the tones: this phrase is one of my personal favorites not just because of its meaning and flexible usage, but look at those tones, fourth, first, first, first. This might seem a little bizarre, but just try saying it with real conviction and disgust; it’s absolutely delightful!!)

乱七八糟 is defined as “to be in complete disorder” or “to be incredibly messy”. It functions as an adjective, and can serve to describe the literal (as in a messy room, desk, traffic, etc.) or abstract (situation, management, relationship, etc.). Like I said earlier, quite a flexible 成语.

Let’s do a couple of examples:


Zhè jiā gōngsī de guǎnlǐ luànqībāzāo.

This company’s administration is a complete mess.[in other words: This company is managed in a disorganized way]

Another example:


Nǐde shūzhuō kànshangqu luànqībāzāo.

Your desk looks extremely messy.

So there you have it, one of the easier 成语 to understand and use, so put it to use and tell us what’s messy in your life!

(note: 乱 [luàn] on its own is an adjective often used to mean ‘messy and/or disorganized’, but differs mainly in degree.)

#chengyu #leanrchinese #manhattanmandarin #mandarin