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not; no
get; obtain; gain; proper; suitable; proud; contented; allow; permit; ready; finished; a sentence particle used after a verb to show effect; degree or possibility; to have to; must; ought to; to need to
his; her; its; theirs; that; such; it (refers to sth preceding it)
opening; door; gate; doorway; gateway; valve; switch; way to do something; knack; family; house; (religious) sect; school (of thought); class; category; phylum or division (taxonomy)
and; as well as; but (not); yet (not); (shows causal relation); (shows change of state); (shows contrast)
to enter
trad. (不得其門而入)
simp. (不得其门而入)


The Analects:

叔孫武叔大夫:「子貢仲尼。」子服子貢子貢:「窺見室家夫子不得其門而入宗廟夫子!」 [Classical Chinese, trad.][▼ expand/hide]
叔孙武叔大夫:“子贡仲尼。”子服子贡子贡:“窥见室家夫子不得其门而入宗庙夫子!” [Classical Chinese, simp.]
From: The Analects of Confucius, circa 475 – 221 BCE, Wiktionary translation
Shūsūnwǔshū yù dàfū yú cháo, yuē: “Zǐgòng xián yú Zhòngní.” Zǐfú Jǐngbó yǐ gào Zǐgòng. Zǐgòng yuē: “Pì zhī gōng qiáng, cì zhī qiáng yě jí jiān, kuījiàn shìjiā zhī hǎo. Fūzǐ zhī qiáng shù rèn, bù dé qí mén ér rù, bù jiàn zōngmiào zhī měi, bǎi guān zhī fù. Dé qí mén zhě huò guǎ yǐ. Fūzǐ zhī yún, bù yì yí hū!” [Pinyin]
(The high official) Shusun Wushu remarked to the other officials at court, "Zigong surpasses his master (Confucius) in ability." Zifu Jingbo reported this to Zigong. Zigong said, "I will use the analogy of a wall; the wall that I have built comes up to my shoulders. One can get a glimpse of the beauty inside my house. My master's wall is very high; if you are unable to enter through the gate, you will not behold the beauty of the ancestral temple or the splendor of all the officers inside. I suspect that few people are able to enter through the gate. Are not then Shusun Wushu's words reasonable?




  1. to not have an "in"; unable to crack into (a market); to try to find an in without any success; to be unable to gain entrance