In my Chinese textbook, 谦虚好学 is used, and 虚心求教 is used as well. They both mean modest, so when should I use each one?


謙虛好學 means "modest and eager to learn", usually used by teachers to praise the students. When you use it on yourself, praising yourself as "好學", you are not "謙虛" anymore.

虛心求教 means "seeking help/solution/knowledge in a modest manner/attitude"; in addition, "虛心" also implies that you are ready to un-learn some of your prior knowledge. You can use it on yourself but you must be very careful.


虚心 and 谦虚, in fact they are almost the same. you should always find that, in Chinese, there are always many words saying even exactly the same meaning, which makes Chinese very flexible for using.


Basically, 谦虚好学 is used to praise others, don't use it on yourself. 虚心求教 just the opposite.

  • seems iciba agrees (in a way): 1 open-minded; modest; with an open mind accept ... with an open mind 虚心接受 learn modestly 虚心学习 study with a receptive mind 虚心研究 listen to people's criticisms with an open mind 虚心听取别人的意见 – user6065 Nov 15 '15 at 14:59
  • @user6065 show your support with an up-vote – user3306356 Nov 15 '15 at 15:44
  • Some users never vote, (voting entails corresponding loss of reputation), these users themselves also never get any up-votes, because they never write answers, restricting themselves to comments. 有的用户永不投什么票(投票就意味着对应的名声损耗)。因为永不回答问题,而仅仅提出某些评论,这种用户自己已经很久没得到什么新的选票。后一方法的优点在于尽管有别的用户评论说:"your answer does not even come close to answering the question"可是其分数不能减少, – user6065 Nov 15 '15 at 19:26
  • Some users couldn't care less about the likeonomy, and are only in it for the subject at hand. – user4452 Nov 15 '15 at 20:19

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