Chinese Sayings about Time and Space


As most of you know by living in Taiwan, the concepts of space and time are pretty different than what you grew up with. Would any of you fluent Chinse speakers out there please tell me Chinese Idioms that are related to Time and Space.

Thanks a lot

What I mean is that English has expressions like,

“time is running out” referring to a fixed point in time,

“to be in somebody’s face”, “too close for comfort.” referring to space

I would suspect Chinese sayings or idioms would be opposite

Any help here or should this be in the Chinese language section?

You might get more hits there. :rainbow:

Give it a go.


Thanks JD. Seems that it has been moved.

So again. Any Chinese expressions, sayings, idioms relating to space

or time.

Thanks in advance.

[quote=“flyingfish”] I would suspect Chinese sayings or idioms would be opposite


Opposite to what?

時間過得真快 they seem to like a lot: they always say it at the ends of semesters and similar occasions. 好久不見? 來得及/來不及? There are lots of expressions related to time and space, and you use them when you want to talk about… time or space.

I think you’re going to have to explain a bit better what you mean.

“Sheng ge li bai” he “xia ge libai” might be a couple of obvious examples. Time runs downhill in Chinese so last week is SHANG (up) ge libai (week) and next week is Xia (down) ge libai.

I wonder what happens when time hits the bottom.

This might be related to space. Confucius says “Man who stand on toilet, high on pot.”

So when time hits bottom it makes a splash? Is that all? Somehow I thought it would be more cataclysmic.

Thought of an opposite. The inside lane is wai xian, outside lane nei xian.

Slightly off topic, but this depends where you come from - British and American English disagree about this:

[quote]Wikipedia: In the UK, the term outside lane refers to the higher-speed passing lane closest to the centre of the road, while inside lane refers to the lane closer to the edge of the road; these terms have the opposite meanings in American English, with the outside lane being the one near the edge and the inside lane being the one closer to the median

光陰似箭 (guang1 yin1 si4 jian4)

Time (literally “light and darkness”, referring to the cycle of day and night) is like an arrow.

= Time flies.

So which lane is “nei xian” in Chinese? The passing lane, or the one to the right nearest the side of the road? It’s not clear from the OP if there are two possible interpretations of the English.