50 Amazing Quotes by Confucius

50 Amazing Quotes by Confucius
"Confucius" by Rob Web is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Confucius, original name Kongqui, also known as K’ung Fu-tzu was an influential Chinese philosopher, teacher, and politician of the Spring and Autumn period. His teachings that are preserved in Analects are focused about tradition and beliefs together with an ethical model of family and setting educational standards. His philosophy known as Confucianism became the way of life of every Chinese. 

Confucius died leaving a legacy of his teachings. He became the official imperial philosophy of China that influenced the Han, Tang, and Song Dynasties.

Quotes by Confucius

“To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short.”

Quotes by CONFUCIUS, Analects, 11:15, iii

“To rank the effort above the prize may be called love.”

CONFUCIUS, Confucius, Analects, § 6.20. – Chapter VI

“No state can exist without the confidence of the people.”

CONFUCIUS, Analects ch. 12, v. 7

“Only the most intelligent and the most stupid do not change.”

CONFUCIUS, Analects ch. 17, v. 3
Confucius quotes

“The parents age must be remembered, both for joy and anxiety.”

Quotes by CONFUCIUS, Lun Yü: (ed. 1965)

“He who works for his own interests will arouse much animosity”

CONFUCIUS, The Analects of Confucius (ed. 1968)

“You do not understand even life. How can you understand death?”

CONFUCIUS, Confucius: The Analects (ed. 1992)

“Between friends, frequent reproofs make the friendship distant.”

CONFUCIUS, Delphi Collected Works of Confucius – Four Books and Five Classics of Confucianism (Illustrated): (ed. Delphi Classics, 2016) – ISBN: 9781786560520
Confucius quotes

“I transmit but do not create. I believe in and love the ancients.”

Quotes by CONFUCIUS, Analects ch. 7, v. 1

“Men of practical knowledge find their gratification among rivers.”

CONFUCIUS, In: Lionel Giles (ed.), The Analects of Confucius

“Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know men.”

CONFUCIUS, Analects, 20:3, iii

“The gentleman desires to be halting in speech but quick in action.”

CONFUCIUS, Lunyu: (ed. 1979)
Confucius quotes

“Boldness, without the rules of propriety, becomes insubordination.”

Quotes by CONFUCIUS, Analects

“They must often change who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.”


“A workman who wants to do his work well must first prepare his tools.”

CONFUCIUS, The Analects of Confucius (ed. 1910)

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

CONFUCIUS, Analects, 14:29
Quotes by Confucius

“By nature men are alike. Through practice they have become far apart.”

CONFUCIUS, Analects ch. 17, v. 2

“Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness.”

CONFUCIUS, Analects, 14:36, iii

“Therefore the superior man is watchful over himself, when he is alone.”

CONFUCIUS, The Chinese Classics (ed. 1861)

“Grieve not that men do not know you;

grieve that you do not know men.”

CONFUCIUS, Lun Yü: (ed. 1965)
Quotes by Confucius

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

Quote by CONFUCIUS, Analects, 17:2

“If an urn lacks the characteristics of an urn, how can we call it an urn?”

CONFUCIUS, The Best of Confucius (ed. 1950)

“If a man is under the influence of anger his conduct will not be correct.”

CONFUCIUS, The Sacred Books of China: The Lī Kī, XI-XLVI (ed. 1968)

“Everyone calls his son his son, whether he has talents or has not talents.”

CONFUCIUS, The Ethics of Confucius (ed. 1915)
Quotes by Confucius

“Go before the people with your example, and be laborious in their affairs.”

Quotes by CONFUCIUS, The Chinese Classics (ed. 1861)

“To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage, or of principle.”

CONFUCIUS, The Chinese Classics (ed. 1861)

“Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practices it will have neighbors.”

CONFUCIUS, Analects, 4:25

“Is virtue a thing remote? I wish to be virtuous, and lo! virtue is at hand.”

CONFUCIUS, Analects, 7:29
Quotes by Confucius

“Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished.”

Quotes by CONFUCIUS, The Chinese Classics (ed. 1861)

“The really faithful lover of learning holds fast to the Good Way till death.”

CONFUCIUS, Confucian analects (ed. 1895)

“If I am virtuous and worthy, for whom should I not maintain a proper concern?”

CONFUCIUS, Lun Yü: (ed. 1965)

“Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.”

CONFUCIUS, Book II, Chapter XV.
Quotes by Confucius

“Ceremonies are the first thing to be attended to in the practice of government.”

CONFUCIUS, Li chi: book of rites (ed. 1967)

“A youth, when at home, should be filial, and, abroad, respectful to his elders.”

CONFUCIUS, Analects, 1:6

“It is man that can make the Way great, and not the Way that can make man great.”

CONFUCIUS, Analects ch. 15, v. 28

“Only by perfect virtue can the perfect path, in all its courses, be made a fact.”

CONFUCIUS, The four books (ed. 1930)
Quotes by Confucius

“The superior man understands righteousness; the inferior man understands profit.”

CONFUCIUS, Analects ch. 4, v. 16

“The scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.”

CONFUCIUS, Analects, 14:3

“Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue.”

CONFUCIUS, The Confucian Analects bk. 1:3

“If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things.”

CONFUCIUS, Paraphrased as a chinese proverb stating “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.” The Analects – Chapter III
Quotes by Confucius

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