弱水三千,只取一瓢飲

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Chinese[edit]

 
only; merely; just; but; (a measure word, for birds and some animals, etc.); single
 
to take; to get; to choose; to fetch
 
one; 1; single; a; (before verbs) as soon as, once; (before a noun) entire (family, etc.)
dipper; ladle drink
trad. (弱水三千,只取一瓢飲) 弱水三千
simp. (弱水三千,只取一瓢饮) 弱水三千

Etymology[edit]

From: Chapter 91 of the Dream of the Red Chamber

  • Literally: (although) the Ruo River is three thousand li long, one only drinks one ladle worth of water from it.
    Later on, this phrase was used as a metaphor for choosing only one companion out of all potential mates.

Pronunciation[edit]

Idiom[edit]

弱水三千,只取一瓢飲

  1. there are so many potential lovers to choose from, but you only pick one from among those potential lovers