In the following sentence:

俗话说的好,要不不留学要留学就要留出个性。。。。。。这是我编的。。 我们来看看我们社会主义坚实伙伴的古巴。古巴是西班牙语国家,抽雪茄,晒太阳都是家常便饭。

What does it mean? 俗话 means "proverb" and 俗话说 means "as the saying goes", but I don't understand the 的好 part.

I feel I understand the meaning, which actually doesn't change the meaning of the 俗话说 that much I think, but I would like to grasp it more grammatically. So how does the 的好 work grammatically in this sentence?

  • see online dictionaries: 俗话说的好 the proverb says it well (correctly) ichacha: 说的好 You can say that again, grammar: 俗话说的 what the proverb says, 好 is good (valid, correct)
    – user6065
    Commented Dec 9, 2017 at 16:13
  • @user6065 I don't understand why it can take 好 after 的. If it is 得 it can, since it is considered a degree complement, but in this case it is 的. So how does 的 take 好 grammer-wise?
    – Blaszard
    Commented Dec 9, 2017 at 16:21
  • as preceding comment says 俗话说的 means "what is said by the proverb", see previous discussions of 的, might be thought of as some suitable noun (情况,事情) having been omitted, see dictionaries for all the meanings and uses of 的, cf. 可吃的, 说得好 is another possibility (differing grammatically, but not much in meaning)
    – user6065
    Commented Dec 9, 2017 at 16:36
  • dictionaries are hardly ever wrong, esp. if several agree,iciba ,说的好 is in bkrs, iciba and ichacha (you can say that again,see comment #1, confirmed by iciba),说得好 can also be found in the same dictionaries (with different translation) (iciba:Good point,ichacha:说得好做得好 say well and do well, bkrs:1) be well said 2) speak well (of language/etc.)), due to the many meanings of 的, 的 where 得 might be expected is rarely wrong, conversely replacing 的 by 得 is much more risky
    – user6065
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 23:24
  • 俗话说, 常言道 means as the saying goes, but 俗话说的好... should means the folksay said well that....
    – xenophōn
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 8:17

3 Answers 3


俗话说的好 vs 俗话说

俗话说: As the proverb express.

俗话说的好 means what the proverb says is exactly right or exactly fitting the circumstance/setting in the following statement.

From grammar point of view, the form should be 俗话说得好. The structure is verb + 得 + extent/result complement.

Some pedants would argue 俗话说 好 is a wrong expression. It looks that it's a common mistake by misplace 得 with 的. Personally, I wouldn't care about it since it's been widely used after all.

  • That makes sense and is exactly the kind of answers I was looking for. Jukuu has many more examples on 俗话说得好 than 俗话说的好.
    – Blaszard
    Commented Dec 10, 2017 at 11:55
  • Is there any more of such a "XX的话" example?
    – Blaszard
    Commented Dec 10, 2017 at 11:57
  • @Blaszard, are you asking "XX的话" or "XX的好“?
    – dan
    Commented Dec 10, 2017 at 12:30
  • "XX的好", it is a typo...
    – Blaszard
    Commented Dec 10, 2017 at 12:30
  • @Blaszard, xx的好 or xx得好 is common. There are lots of them. 打得好, 做得好, 玩得好。。。
    – dan
    Commented Dec 10, 2017 at 12:35

俗 means "common", as in "common folks"-- as opposed to "cultured" (or "learned"). 俗话 may take the form of a proverb, as one of the responses has indicated, but it need not. It may just be a widely accepted (but perhaps unproven) truism. And it may also be a convenient way of saying "everyone knows (this)"


Didn't you ask about this sentence just a couple of days ago? Have you already forgotten?

As the proverb expresses well (好 = well)
There is a proverb, (Actually, it was not a proverb, the guy just made it up!)

You should not try to express every Chinese word in an interpretation. That will make your life difficult, if not impossible!

Edit: I can see the problem. Quite literally we have:

俗话 Proverb
说的 (what) it says
好, right, true, good

  • Yes but it is on the different part.
    – Blaszard
    Commented Dec 9, 2017 at 23:26

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