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Chinlingo Chinese words: 红花 and 绿叶

Summer has arrived, painting a vivid green picture. Among the clusters of leaves, have your eyes been caught by the blooming flowers? With the dazzling colors and the overwhelming fragrance, the flowers stand out against the background of green leaves. If we imagine a vigorous plant as a stage, then the flowers act as the leading role while the green leaves act as  the supporting roles. Only when the leading role and the supporting roles set off against each other, can you get a feast of eyes?


In Chinese, "叶儿" (yèr, leaf) and "花儿" (huār, flower) are collocated together rhetorically to show their linguistic charm. There is an old saying in Chinese, "红花还须绿叶扶" (hónɡ huā hái xū lǜ yè fú), which means that a red flower will fail to stand out without the contrasting background of green leaves. "红花" (hónɡ huā) and "绿叶" (lǜ yè) are words of the same structure. Both "花" and "叶" are nouns of things and can be modified by words of different colors. However, "红" and "绿" are believed by Chinese people to be remarkably contrasting colors. When put in the same sentence, "红花" and "绿叶" set each other off for a stronger rhetorical effect.

在汉语里,叶儿(yèr)和花儿(huār)的搭配是通过修辞的手法来展现其语言的魅力的。汉语里有句俗话:"红花还须绿叶扶(hónɡ huā hái xū lǜ yè fú+翻译)"。意思是说"没有绿叶的衬托,红花也难以展现它的美丽"。句子中的红花(hónɡ huā)、绿叶(lǜ yè)的词语结构相同。"花"、"叶"都是事物的名称,前面可使用各种色彩进行修饰。但是,"红"和"绿"被中国人认为是强烈的对比色,因此,将"红花"和"绿叶"放在同一个句子里互相映衬,增强修辞的效果。

If you study the word-building principles when learning Chinese words, you will memorize them quickly and know more words. In addition, it is a good way to memorize words by putting them in specific sentences. A sentence just serves as a simplified context, which helps you to learn about the correct usage, attributes and meanings of words.


Although the sentence "红花还须绿叶扶" is rather difficult to a Chinese beginner grammatically, it helps you to memorize the words "红花" and "绿叶". The English translation offers a rough understanding of its meaning, while Chinlingo's explanation of "红花" and "绿叶" wording principle has presented opportunities for you make up your own sentences which you are welcome to share with us. 

尽管"红花还须绿叶扶"这个句子,对于汉语初学者来说是难度很高的语法。但是,这个句子仅是帮助你记忆 "红花"和"绿叶"这两个词的。至于整句,你能通过英语翻译了解其句意即可。不必深究居中其它汉字或者语法现象。在第二段中,Chinlingo也把"红花"和"绿叶"的造词原理解释清楚了,拓展词汇的任务就留给你来完成吧!组出了新词记得分享给我们哦。

The article is translated and editted by Chinlingo. Please indicate the source for any use, reproduction or transfer. 



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