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I recently same across this stumbling block in conversation; in one case I wanted to say "doesn't lift a finger" and in another "without lifting a finger". These phrases mean that someone is extremely lazy or selfish and refuses to help with a task or to do something.

In English these have a certain emphasis and connotation and I want to find something similar in Chinese so I don't want to use "他什么都不做" or "你什么都不用做". I am guessing there would be an idiom that I could use here?

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2 Answers 2

EDIT

OK,you mean somebody is lazy,there are many idioms to describe such people,such as

游手好闲:指人游荡懒散,不愿参加劳动。

好逸恶劳:逸:安逸;恶:讨厌、憎恨。贪图安逸,厌恶劳动。

坐享其成:享:享受;成:成果。自己不出力而享受别人取得的成果。

坐吃山空:只坐着吃,山也要空。指光是消费而不从事生产,即使有堆积如山的财富,也要耗尽。

不劳而获:获:获取,得到。自己不劳动却占有别人的劳动成果。

饱食终日:终日:整天。整天吃饱饭,不动脑筋,不干什么正经事。

In fact,it's too gentle to use these idioms to describe the lazy ones,using Xiehouyu(歇后语) is a good idea.for example:

懒驴子驾辕 - 不打不走

懒大嫂赶场 - 中间不急两头忙

懒婆娘坐轿 - 愿上不愿下

懒婆娘的针线筐 - 乱七八糟

懒鸡婆抱窝 - 守着摊几过

懒木匠的锯子 - 不错(链)

懒人的铺盖 - 不理

懒驴上磨 - 屎尿多(比喻懒惰的人一到干正事,便寻找借口逃避)

懒婆娘的裹脚 - 又长又臭(比喻文章篇幅长,内容空洞)

懒厨子做席 - 不想给你吵(炒)

倒了油瓶都不扶 - 懒到家了

吃死老公睡崩床 - 懒婆娘

鹰饱不抓兔,兔饱不出窝 - 懒对懒

As for me and my friends,we often use 倒了油瓶都不扶,in the past time,the oil is very precious for every Chinese family to use when they are cooking ,so how lazy someone is if he can allow the oil drain away.

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Nope, xiaohouzi79 explained the two phrases in the question. –  coolcfan Feb 2 '12 at 9:00
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"doesn't lift a finger" --> "他什么都不做" --> See user911865's response.

"without lifting a finger" --> "你什么都不用做":

  • 不费吹灰之力
  • 轻而易举
  • 举手之劳
  • 易如反掌
  • 信手拈来
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Who downvoted this? For what reason? –  Jfly Mar 16 '12 at 5:48
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