In bibliographies, the Biya belongs to the category of books of "lesser learning" (Xiaoxue 小學), often translated as "lexicography". The structure of the Biya imitates that of the Classic glossary Erya 爾雅 (the title can therefore also be translated as "The Erya of parallel sentences"), with 19 chapters, but the arrangement in the published book was created by a later editor. Hong Liangji had only compiled a draft.
The title of the book is derived from Hong's attempt to collect explanations of words that consist of a pair of parallel sentences, like guangguang, wu ye; kuikui, nu ye 洸洸武也，潰潰怒也 (from Mao's commentary 毛傳 on the Shijing 詩經) or you shui yue ze, wu shui yue shu 有水曰澤，無水曰薮 (from Gao You's 高誘 commentary to the Lüshi chunqiu 呂氏春秋).
This kind of work had some paradigms in the Tang-period 唐 (618-907) encyclopaedia Chuxueji 初學記 and the book Zuanyao 纂要 by the Liu-Song period 劉宋 (420-479) scholar He Chengtian 何承天 (370-447) that is only preserved in fragments in Ren Dachun's 任大椿 (1738-1789) Xiaoxue gouchen 小學鉤沈.
|逍遥相羊，皆遊也(王逸《楚辭章句》)。逍遥，遊戲也(同)。逍遙而遊，容與而戲(同)。尚羊[相羊]，遊戲也(同)。||"Wandering unmindfully to and fro" (Wang Yi's paragraph-and-sentence commentary on the Chuci). "Wandering unmindfully" means "walk and enjoy" (ibid.). "Wandering unmindfully" [is like] "enjoying leisurely" (ibid.). "Walk to and fro" means "to wander around" (ibid.).|
|「崴嵬崔巍」，高猊也(同)。「魁堆」，高貌也(同)。「峨峨」，高貌也。||"Towering and lofty" (weiwei cuiwei) means "high" (ibid.). "Troll's lair" (kuidui) means "high" (ibid.). "Looming" (e'e) means "high" (ibid.).|
|闉扼鷙曼,距扼頓遲也(崔譔《莊子音義》)。||"Swerve the yoke and romp around" (yin'e zhiman) is an expression for "resist the yoke and linger about" (ju'e dunchi) (Cui Zhuan's phonetic commentary on Zhuangzi).|
|「萑蔰炫煌」，釆色貌也(高誘《淮南注》)。||"Profusion of dyes and glittering brilliance" (huanhu xuanhuang) is an expression for "chosen colours" (Gao You's commentary on Huainanzi).|
|「遼巢彭濞」，蘊積貌也(同上)。||"[From] distance [back to the] nests like ripples on the water" (liaochao pengbi) is an expression for "collect and gather, hold in store" (ibid.)|