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一帆风顺 -> http://www.baidu.com/baidu?ie=gb2312&ct=1048576&cl=3&word=%D2%BB%B7%AB%B7%E7%CB%B3

to proceed smoothly without a hitch; to sail before the wind

平步青云 -> http://www.baidu.com/s?ie=gb2312&bs=%D2%BB%B7%AB%B7%E7%CB%B3&sr=&z=&cl=3&f=8&wd=%C6%BD%B2%BD%C7%E0%D4%C6&ct=1048576

rapidly go up in the world; to have a meteoric rise
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It would be easier to explain if specific background or context were given. Generall speaking, 一帆风顺 and 平步青云 means that everything(of this person) goes very well without even encountering the least trouble in the course, as the previous post explains"proceed smoothly and rise up rapidly". Both of them are often used to describe a person's career or life events and experiences. Precisely, 一帆风顺 conveys the speaker's blessings and good wills, while 平步青云 in many cases carries negative and disapproving connotations.

The sample sentence "对他们来说似乎都总是一帆风顺,平步青云?" could be rendered as following: To them, everything (in life/ of career/ of family/etc.) seems to go very well and they rise rapidly smoothly.

Hope it can help.:wink:

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Thanks Skylee for the links, that dictionary looks way better than the one I've been using.

Thanks Heartless for explanations, 'tis all crystal clear.

And thanks forum for my constant peppering of questions, I'm in the USA doing self-study so much of the non-structured material that has idiomatic meaning puzzles me. I can take a guess but don't want to miss nuances.


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