How are analogies made in Chinese? Maybe the best way to understand would be by the translation of some examples. So, how would these examples be translated?

  1. Strong like a bull
  2. Smart like a fox
  3. Dumb like a rock
  4. Funny like a clown
  5. Fat like a balloon
  6. Brave like a soldier
  7. Kind like a mother
  8. Calm like a monk
  9. Tall like a lamp post
  10. Small like an ant
  11. Ugly like a bat

Is it possible to use 像 in all of the examples? Is it possible to use 像 and 如 interchangeably?

  • see grammar on comparison,e.g. "外国人实用汉语语法":用"象"表示比较。用"象"表示比较的基本格式有两种: 1。 被比较的人或事物(主语)___ 动词"象"(谓语)___ 比较的人或事物(宾语),例如:他象他爸爸。他象一个军事专家。这种东西的形状象火箭。 2。被比较的人或事物(主语)___{动词"象"___ 比较的人或事物 ___ "这么"(或"那么")}(状语)___ 比较的方面、标准(谓语) 例如:他象他爸爸这么勇敢。小马象小高这么喜欢体育运动。这两天象冬天那么冷。。。 "象"和"跟。。。一样" "象。。。"也可以用在"一样"前边构成"象。。。一样",表示前后两个事物非常相象;而"跟。。。一样"表示前后两个事物一样,不只是相象。e.g. (besides given answers)2.象狐狸 这么(那么) 聪明。for sameness: 跟狐狸一样聪明(as smart as)
    – user6065
    Jan 2, 2018 at 7:02

2 Answers 2


You can translate them as:

  1. 力大如牛/像牛一样强壮
  2. 像狐狸一样聪明
  3. 像石头一样木讷
  4. 像小丑一样好玩
  5. 胖得像个气球
  6. 像军人一样勇敢
  7. 像母亲一样善良
  8. 像僧人一样冷静
  9. 像路灯一样高
  10. 像蚂蚁一样


In most cases, you can use "像". "如" is more literal and formal than "像". But be careful. Some of the analogies do not make sense in the Chinese cultural context. For example, "bat" is neutral in the Chinese cultural background and does not carry a cultural implication of ugliness so that it does not make sense to say something is ugly like a bat.


Both 像 and 如 can be used to make analogies to interpret those phrases you listed. However, the structures are different.

With 像, you should use 像...一样..., for example, 'smart like a fox' -- '像狐狸一样聪明'.

With 如, you can use ...如..., for example, 'smart like a fox' -- '聪明如狐狸'.

You can translate the rest phrases with the same pattern above.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.