1

I know "老牛追兔子--有劲使不上" is a 歇后语. But why does it mean "有劲使不上"? Could you make a sentence with it?

Thanks so much.

2

A bull has strength (有劲) but it is not agile enough to catch up with a hare. All the mighty strength it has is useless in this task of chasing a hare.

It is not the same as "殺雞用牛刀 — 大材小用" . A knife that can slaughter a cow can also kill a chicken, but a bull can only do jobs that strength is involved

This phrase can be used in any situation that you can apply 有劲使不上 (no use of one's strength)

Example:

要美军在阿富汗执行维持社会稳定的任务,就像要老牛追兔子一样(有劲使不上-->无能為力),他们的强大武力在处理民事工作上跟本毫无用处

Asking the U.S. military to perform the task of maintaining social stability in Afghanistan is like asking a bull to chase a rabbit (nowhere to apply its strength --> powerless). Their powerful force is useless in handling civil work.

一个经济学家经营小商店真是老牛追兔子,宏观理论对实际管理一间商店是毫无用处的

An economist who runs a small shop is really an old cow chasing a rabbit. His macro theory is useless for the actual management of a shop.

3
  • Could you make a sentence with it? Oct 10 '21 at 15:32
  • @Kevin White This phrase can be used in any situation that you can apply 有劲使不上 (no use of one's strength). See the examples added
    – Tang Ho
    Oct 10 '21 at 16:38
  • Thank you soooo much. It's crystal clear. Oct 11 '21 at 5:41

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