Is the structure of "五虎上将" the same as that of "三好学生"?
The answer is no.
Though character-wise, the two four-letter idioms seem to correspond to each other.
五虎上将 is an idiom created by later generations of novelists for the convenience of readers' memory, referring to the five famous generals of Shu:
将 means general.
上 in ancient Chinese means
high; High status, rank, seniority.
Note that the word
上将 here is slightly different from the word
上将 in a modern position.
五 is five, a quantifier that modifies
将, indicates the number of generals.
虎 is tiger, a metaphor for bravery and power, and it's a noun used as an adjective to modify
三好学生 is an honorary title given by schools to outstanding students.
三好 has become the goal and honor pursued by students, and has also become a synonym for "good children and good students".
学生 means student.
三 is the quantifier used as a noun, means three aspects, referring to
recreation and sports(文娱体育 referred to as 文体).
好 means excellent, an adjective that modifies
三, which means excellent performance in all three aspects just mentioned.
五虎上将 has a much older history, while
三好学生 is an idiom created in modern times.
Other idioms with a similar structure to