Du Yi Wu Er 独一无二

独一无二 (Dú Yī Wú Èr) can be literally translated into ‘only one, without second’ in English. It is used to describe something which is unique or one of a kind. The meaning of this 成语 (Chéng Yǔ) is quite clear from the words that make it up. There isn’t a story associated with the Chinese idiom 独一无二 but it was first used in scriptures in the Song dynasty.

Idiom breakdown

独 means sole or only
一 means one
无 means no, none, nothing or without
二 means two or second

Example sentences

  1. 雪花是独一无二的吗?
    Xuěhuā shì dúyīwú’èr de ma?
    Are snowflakes unique?
  2. 你是独一无二的,这世上没有人能取代。
    Nǐ shì dúyīwú’èr de, zhè shìshàng méiyǒu rén néng qǔdài.
    You are one of a kind, nobody in this world can replace you.

Bonus

If you’re into Mandopop, a Mandarin song by Sammi Cheng goes by the same name.

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