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Confucius: 50 Best Quotes for Wisdom and Inspiration

Have you ever felt lost in a sea of uncertainty, searching for guidance amidst life’s complexities? Imagine having a wise mentor like Confucius to light your path and offer practical advice. In this article, we’ll delve into the timeless wisdom of Confucius, exploring 50 of his best quotes.

From moral dilemmas to personal growth, Confucius’ teachings provide valuable insights for navigating life’s challenges. Join us as we embark on a journey of self-discovery and enlightenment guided by the profound wisdom of Confucius. If you want to know more about information and quotes of ancient celebrities, it is recommended to follow WuKong Education.

Confucius (Kongzi, or “Master Kong,” ca. 551–479 BCE)


Confucius, also known as “孔丘“(kǒng qiū) or “孔夫子“(kǒng fūzǐ), was a wise philosopher and teacher who lived in ancient China over 2,500 years ago. He was born in the state of Lu, which is in present-day Shandong province. Confucius came from a humble background but dedicated his life to seeking wisdom and understanding the world’s ways.

Top 50 Profound Quotes of Confucius

1. “君子言而有信,行而有果。”

“The superior man is modest in his speech but exceeds in his actions.”

2. “见贤思齐焉,见不贤而内自省也。”

“When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.”

3. “人多思则善,世良则美。”

“The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.”

4. “学而不思则罔,思而不学则殆。”

“He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.”

5. “受人之托,还人之恩。”

“To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.”

6. “过而不改,是谓过矣。”

“Not to mend the fault one has made is to err indeed.”

7. “无敬畏之心,人与禽兽无异。”

“Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?”


“They who know the truth are not equal to those who love it, and they who love it are not equal to those who delight in it.”

9. “三人行,必有我师焉。择其善者而从之,其不善者而改之。”

“If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.”

10. “智者不疑,仁者不忧,勇者不惧。”

“The man of wisdom is never of two minds; the man of benevolence never worries; the man of courage is never afraid.”

 Confucius Quotes

11. “君子自修,小人自视。”

“What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.”

12. “道不远人,人之所以迷也,稍而不行,远而不返,是以不远人。”

“The way is not far from man. When men try to pursue a course, which is far from the common indications of consciousness, this course cannot be considered The Way.”

13. “己所不欲,勿施于人。”

 “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.”

14. “三思而后行。”

“When anger rises, think of the consequences.”

15. “明知正道而不行,缺乏勇气。”

“To see what is right and not do it is cowardice.”

16. “见小利则大事不成。”

“If you only see small gains, you will not accomplish great tasks.”

17. “德不孤,必有邻。”

“Respect yourself and others will respect you.”

18. “温故而知新,可以为师矣。”

“If a man keeps cherishing his old knowledge, so as continually to be acquiring new, he may be a teacher of others.”

19. “当仁,不让于师。”

“In teaching there should be no distinction of classes.”

20. “学而时习之,不亦说乎?”

Is it not pleasant to learn with a constant perseverance and application?

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21. “有朋自远方来,不亦乐乎?”

“Is it not delightful to have friends coming from distant quarters?”

22. “人不知而不愠,不亦君子乎?”

“Is he not a man of complete virtue, who feels no discomposure though men may take no note of him?”

23. “敏而好学,不耻下问。”

“He was of an active nature and yet fond of learning, and he was not ashamed to ask and learn of his inferiors.”

24. “默而识之,学而不厌,诲人不倦,何有于我哉。”

“The silent treasuring up of knowledge; learning without satiety; and instructing others without being wearied — which one of these things belongs to me?”

25. “我非生而知之者,好古,敏以求之者也。”

“I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there.”

26. “学如不及,犹恐失之。”

“Learn as if you could not reach your object, and were always fearing also lest you should lose it.”

27. “性相近也,习相远也。”

“By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart.”

28. “言必信,行必果。”

“Keep what you say and carry out what you do.”

29. “君子以文会友,以友辅仁。”

“The superior man on grounds of culture meets with his friends, and by their friendship helps his virtue.”

30. “三军可夺帅也,匹夫不可夺志也。”

“The commander of the forces of a large State may be carried off, but the will of even a common man cannot be taken from him.”

 Confucius Quotes

31. “后生可畏,焉知来者之不如今也?”

“A youth is to be regarded with respect. How do you know that his future will not be equal to our present?”

32. “十室之邑,必有忠信,如丘者焉,不如丘之好学也。”

“In a hamlet of ten families, there may be found one honourable and sincere as I am, but not so fond of learning.”

33. “有教无类。”

“In teaching there should be no distinction of classes.”

34. “不患人之不己知,患不知人也。”

“I will not be afflicted at men’s not knowing me; I will be afflicted that I do not know men.”

35. “诗三百,一言以蔽之,曰:思无邪。”

“In the Book of Poetry are three hundred pieces, but the design of them all may be embraced in one sentence– “Having no depraved thoughts.”

36. “父母在,不远游,游必有方。”

“While his parents are alive, the son may not go abroad to a distance. If he does go abroad, he must have a fixed place to which he goes.”

37. “吾十有五而志于学,三十而立,四十而不惑,五十而知天命,六十而耳顺,七十而从心所欲,不逾矩。”

At fifteen I set my heart upon learning. At thirty, I planted my feet firm upon the ground. At forty, I no longer suffered from perplexities. At fifty, I knew what were the biddings of Heaven. At sixty, I heard them with docile ear. At seventy, I could follow the dictates of my own heart; for what I desired no longer overstepped the boundaries of right.

38. “逝者如斯夫,不舍昼夜。”

“It passes on just like this, not ceasing day or night!”

39. “食不厌精,脍不厌细。”

“He did not dislike to have his rice finely cleaned, nor to have his minced meat cut quite small.”

40. “非礼勿视,非礼勿听,非礼勿言,非礼勿动。”

“Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety.”

 Confucius Quotes

41. “人无远虑,必有近忧。”

“If a man take no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand.”

42. “君子有三戒。少之时,血气未定,戒之在色。及其壮也,血气方刚,戒之在斗。及其老也,血气既衰,戒之在得。”

“There are three things which the superior man guards against. In youth, when the physical powers, are not yet settled, he guards against lust. When he is strong and the physical powers are full of vigor, he guards against quarrelsomeness. When he is old, and the animal powers are decayed, he guards against covetousness.”

43. “唯女子与小人,为难养也。近之则不孙,远之则怨。”

“Of all people, girls and servants are the most difficult to behave to. If you are familiar with them, they lose their humility. If you maintain a reserve towards them, they are discontented.”

44. “父在,观其志。父没,观其行。三年无改于父之道,可谓孝矣。”

“While a man’s father is alive, look at the bent of his will; when his father is dead, look at his conduct. If for three years he does not alter from the way of his father, he may be called filial.”

45. “君子周而不比,小人比而不周。”

“The gentlement enters into associations but not cliques; the small man enters into cliques but not associations.”

46. “巧言令色,鲜仁矣。”

47. “默而识之,学而不厌,诲人不倦,何有于我哉。”

“The silent treasuring up of knowledge; learning without satiety; and instructing others without being wearied which one of these things belongs to me?”

48. “君子不器。”

“The Superior Man is not a utensil. “

49. “攻其异端,斯害也己。”

“To throw oneself into strange teachings is quite dangerous.”

50. “先行其言, 而后从之。”

“First he practices what he preaches and then he follows it.”


In this article, we’ve uncovered the profound wisdom of Confucius through 50 of his most inspiring quotes. These timeless insights offer practical solutions to life’s challenges, guiding us towards personal growth and social harmony. But do you know what these Confucius quotes mean? Don’t worry, you can learn the quotes of ancient Chinese celebrities and other Chinese culture through the WuKong Chinese. We have professional teachers online to answer your questions and improve your Chinese learning level.

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