I am trying to translate this sentence 天不絕人. I tried translating the characters individually, and got:

  • 天: heaven or sky
  • 不: not
  • 絕: end or to break off; to cut off; to sever, to use up, to consume, peerless, matchless
  • 人: people


  • When I tried to translate it on Google translator, I got "sky is endless". There was no "people" in the translation, so I assume that it was not right.
  • I tried translating on Bing, and I got "It's a world of people" (a totally different meaning).
  • I tried translating it on Yandex, and I got "There's no end to it" (also a different meaning).
  • I tried to translate it on Systran, and I got "heaven never seals off all exits" (again a totally new different meaning).
  • Put another way -- "Heaven would never let you down"; or as British soccer fans would sing, "You'll never walk alone" Sep 26, 2020 at 8:20

3 Answers 3


絕 here means 隔絕 (cut off) or 拒絕 (reject)

It is obviously a variant of a common expression 天無絕人之路 - "heaven doesn't have a road that would cut off (reject) people. --> There's always salvation: (preservation from destruction or failure ; deliverance from danger or difficulty)

天 = Heaven

不 = doesn't

絕 = cut off; reject

人 = people

天不絕人 = "Heaven doesn't cut off/ reject people".

This expression is saying: " there's always a way" (so don't despair)


The literal translation would be "heaven does not cut off people". In translated literature I've read situations where the protagonist finds themselves in a life threatening situation with no foreseeable means of escape, or perhaps when the protagonist must undertake a task that is seemingly impossible, it is usually then said (paraphrasing) "heaven always leaves a way". I think what you're trying to translate may be this exact phrase.

Baidu defines it as "heaven would not fail a man"


絕 originates from the idea that the strings are cut off by a knife. The left part of the characters represents strings, silk, and similar things and the right indicates a knife. Therefore, you will know this word can be used metaphorically to everything that ends, that runs out, or that has to be terminated.

In this idiom, it simply means heaven will not end your road. You still got a way to go. And, of course, way can be literally roads on the ground or your path of life. So, it is more often used when someone is in some life crisis. If some

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