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Story Telling and Chinese Idioms

During childhood, when we read a story (in English) then most of time it starts with "Once upon a time" or "Long ago". I want to know how to write and say it in Chinese. Please write it for me along with pinyin. Also share your favourite Chinese idiom with pinyin and why you like that idiom!




I've read Chinese stories that begin with 有一天 you3 yi1 tian1, but I don't know if they all begin this way. 

we usually use "从前 cong qian" as the start of a story.




I've heard that the expression is: cong2 qian2.

It is really nice to know this. Thank you all. But none of you shared Chinese idiom. Do not like to say idioms?




As for idioms, there are millions. Hard to tell!


Our famous idioms are usually composed of 4 characters. But there are still many many non-four-character idioms.


most of the time when we read the story for kids, we use "很久很久以前(Hen3 Jiu3 Hen3 Jiu3 Yi3 Qian2)。 here, you gotta pay attentioni to the pronunciation of the 3rd tone. Hen Jiu is a word and when two syllables both with 3rd tone are put together, the tone for the first syllable has to be changed into the 2nd tone. for example, 很久很久以前,the tone we mark are Hen3 Jiu3 Hen3 Jiu3 Yi3 Qian2, however, when we say, the tone should be Hen2 Jiu3 Hen2 Jiu3 Yi3 Qian2。


or we will say "有一天(You3 Yi4 Tian1)“ as the ordinary benning of a story.


When we read story, normally we dont' use four-word-idiom. coz my kid can't understand.

@yyfroy: thank you.

@alienz: thank you very much. Really story telling is very interesting and I'm learning it to write and tell in Chinese. Thanks fr tones, very special thanks.


 I like 闷闷不乐 idiom very much. 闷闷 is so soft to say. :)

Sometimes,we also say"古时候"(gu3 shi2 hou4)at the beginning of a story.

As to the idiom i like,such as "飞檐走壁"(fei1 yan2 zou3 bi4),when i was a kid,i like swordsman very much.

I would use such idiom to start my story:



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