IB Key Phrases – Social Relationships


It’s no exaggeration when people say the IB really loves idioms, and incorporating idioms into your writing pieces effectively and persuasively is a plane ticket to a high score. Of course, there are plenty of other factors which are conducive to a highly sophisticated writing piece, but being able to use a few key idioms are likely to enhance your score – if you use them correctly.


For the essay component of the IB Chinese writing exam, you’ll get a choice of five essay prompts, each one covering one of the core topics in the syllabus. It is, therefore, best for you to prepare some applicable idioms for each topic. Don’t worry if you find the prospect of collating idioms to learn daunting – in this blog, we’ll introduce you to 10 helpful idioms for the Social Relationships topic in the IB Chinese curriculum!


Idioms for Social Relationships (Family, Friends, Work)


1.互相体谅 (Hùxiāng tǐliàng)

This idiom means ‘to have a mutual understanding with each other.”

Example: 你们不应该吵架,反而要试试理解彼此的看法,互相体谅。


2.人山人海 (Rénshānrénhǎi)

Though this idiom literally translates to “people mountain people sea,” it’s actually employed to describe places that are very crowded.

Example: 维多利亚港是一个很著名的旅游胜地,我每次去的时候都是人山人海。


3.大开眼界 (Dà kāi Yǎnjiè )

This idiom is a common favourite among students and one that can be used across several IB topics as it means to “broaden horizons.”

Example: 跟朋友们一起庆祝春节让我更深刻地理解中国的文化,令我大开眼界。


4.和睦相处 (Hémù xiāngchǔ)

This idiom translates to “live and work together in peace and harmony.”

Example: 跟同事和睦相处会导致公司更快发展。


5.改过自新 (Gǎiguò zì xīn)

This idiom means “to repent and to reform: to stop making the same old mistakes and start a new life.”

Example: 跟同事和睦相处会导致公司更快发展。


6.爱不释手 (Àibùshìshǒu)

This word translates to “to like or love something so much, you don’t want to put it down or away.”

Example: 这个泰迪熊是我爸爸以前给我的生日礼物,我对它爱不释手!


7.互助互爱 (Hùzhù hù ài)

This idiom translates to “mutual love and support.”

Example: 我们要鼓励我们的孩子跟朋友们互助互爱,不要羡慕彼此,反而要支持对方。


8.有说有笑 (Yǒu shuō yǒu xiào)

This idiom translates to “being happy and amiable.”



9.人人分享 (Rén rén fēnxiǎng)

The translation of this idiom is “to share with one another.”

Example: 我们人人分享我们旅游地经验吧!


10.格格不入 (Gégébùrù)

The translation of this idiom is “to be different and not fit in.”

Example: 小明很喜欢做运动,但是我根本不是一个运动的人,跟小明格格不入。


While these ten idioms will prove to be very helpful in your writing exam, remember that the list is not exhaustive, and it’s always important to read and learn other idioms where you can! It’s also important to note that you should never saturate your piece with idioms – only use them where they’re appropriate and when the enhance the meaning of what you’re trying to convey. Lastly – but not at all the least important – it’s crucial that you practice so you learn how to incorporate the idioms as opposed to hoping they make sense when you use them for the first time in the exam!


Happy writing!



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