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来龙去脉 láilóngqùmài sequence of the events


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Learning the sentences from Context: 听了我的解释,大叔 终于明白事情的来龙去脉。Listening to my explanation, At last uncle clearly understood the sequence of events.


终于 zhōngyú at last, finally; 终 zhōng end, finish; 于 [indicating time or place] in; on; at


明白 míngbai to understand, clear

事情 shì qing matter


来龙去脉 láilóngqùmài origin and development; the entire process; sequence of events;

脉 mài arteries and veins


any story on this Idiom; come, dragon, go, arteries and veins become sequence of events ?


could you please share your experiences? thanks.

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I had a feeling the 脉 refered to 山脉 (mountain ranges) rather than pulse. 


龙脉 = dragon's vein, terrain that looks like a dragon


I suppose this is one of those ABAB chengyu: 来龙去脉 = 来去龙脉 or something to that effect.


So literally I guess it means the twists and turns of (or ways to navigate around?) terrain, ie. the lay of the land.


When explaining an event and understanding the "layout" of it, you could translate 来龙去脉 as knowing the sequence of events, but I'm pretty sure most of the time it wouldn't be translated as that and would depend on context. 



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  • 2 weeks later...

The above user did a great job explaining, but in case you're looking for a bit more detail, I made an entry for you in my chengyu guide. The entry contents are below — let me know if something isn't clear, if you have any questions, or if you have any other chengyu that you'd like me to make entries for. Hope this helps!


来龙去脉 Meaning


龙脉: A term used by geomancers. It refers to the good fengshui of a mountain chain with peaks that rise and fall unevenly


Originally referring to how the rise and fall of mountain peaks looks like dragon veins, this chengyu now generally refers to:
a) Someone or something's background
b) Someone or something's entire process of development from start to finish

Usage Examples

小明正在给大家讲述事件的来龙去脉 | Xiǎomíng zhèngzài gěi dàjiā jiǎngshù shìjiàn de láilóngqùmài
Little Ming is currently explaining the whole situation to everyone

Python程序员需要花一点时间来熟悉生成器的来龙去脉 | Python chéngxùyuán xūyào huā yīdiǎn shíjiān lái shúxī shēngchéngqì de láilóngqùmài
It takes a little while for Python programmers to become familiar with the ins and outs of generators



The ins and outs



Entry Notes



《运甓记》(Yùn Bì Jì), a Míng Dynasty (明, 1368 - 1644) work by 吾邱瑞 (Wú Quī Ruì)


This chengyu comes from a line in the work listed in the "Origin" section above

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