HSK Words: 废寝忘食 (fèi qǐn wàng shí) VS 呕心沥血 (ǒu xīn lì xuè)

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

In this exploration, we shift our focus to two HSK words that embody profound dedication and sacrifice: 废寝忘食 (fèi qǐn wàng shí) and 呕心沥血 (ǒu xīn lì xuè). Though these expressions may seem similar, they encapsulate distinct qualities that contribute to a deeper understanding of commitment and hard work in the Chinese language.

废寝忘食(fèi qǐn wàng shí) , translated as "lose sleep and forget to eat from anxiety," epitomizes a level of dedication that goes beyond the basic necessities of life. This expression signifies a commitment so profound that one is willing to sacrifice personal comforts, putting work or a cause above even the most fundamental human needs.


  1. During the crucial project phase, he worked tirelessly, neglecting sleep and forgetting about food.
    Zài guān jiàn de xiàng mù jiē duàn, tā fèi qǐn wàng shí de gōng zuò.
  2. The artist's devotion to his craft is such that he often experiences sleepless nights and skips meals.
    Yì shù jiā duì zìjǐ de gōng yì rú cǐ zhí zhuó, yǐ zhì yú tā jīng cháng fèi qǐn wàng shí.
  3. In the pursuit of academic excellence, students may find themselves neglecting sleep and forgetting about meals.
    Zài zhuī qiú xué yè zhuó yuè de guò chéng zhōng, xué shēng men kě néng huì fèi qǐn wàng shí.

呕心沥血(ǒu xīn lì xuè), translated as "work one’s heart out"  or "make painstaking efforts" conveys a sense of pouring one's utmost effort and dedication into a task. This expression goes beyond mere hard work, indicating a willingness to give everything—emotionally and physically—for the accomplishment of a goal.


  1. The scientist poured his heart and bled his blood in the pursuit of groundbreaking research.
    Zhè wèi kē xué jiā zài kāi chuàng xìng yán jiū de zhuī qiú zhōng ǒu xīn lì xuè.
  2. The athlete vomits his heart and bleeds his blood in every training session, aiming for excellence.
    Yùn dòng yuán zài měi yī cì xùn liàn zhōng dū ǒu xīn lì xuè, lì qiú zhuó yuè.
  3. To master a musical instrument, one must practice with such dedication, pouring heart and bleeding blood to achieve virtuosity.
    Yào zhǎng wò yī zhǒng yuè qì, bì xū ǒu xīn lì xuè de liàn xí cái néng dá dào jīng zhàn de jì yì.

Quiz: Please consider whether to use 废寝忘食 (fèi qǐn wàng shí) or 呕心沥血 (ǒu xīn lì xuè) in following sentences.

  1. 科技人员___地钻研学问。
    kē jì rén yuán ___ dì zuān yán xué wèn 。
  2. 为了完成这部著作,他___,常常工作到深夜。
    wèi le wán chéng zhè bù zhù zuò , tā ___ , cháng cháng gōng zuò dào shēn yè 。
  3. 为了实现自己的梦想,他___地努力工作。
    wèi le shí xiàn zì jǐ de mèng xiǎng , tā___de nǔ lì gōng zuò 。


  1. 废寝忘食 (fèi qǐn wàng shí
  2. 呕心沥血 (ǒu xīn lì xuè
  3. 废寝忘食 (fèi qǐn wàng shí

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