Sentences with Chinese Characteristics – Part II

  • We will continue with list of “special” Chinese sentences/expressions.
  • If you have forgotten about the previous sentences, here is the Part I.


9. 别送了。 bié sòng le.

Literally: “Don’t see me out.”

Function: Very polite. The guest says this to the host when the guest feels it’s not necessary for the host to see them out.

Near-equivalent phrase in English: “You don’t need to see me out.” or “No need to walk me out.”


10. 我敬你一杯。wǒ jìng nǐ yì bēi.

Literally: This phrase is difficult to translate literally. 敬 jìnɡ here symbolises respect given to the second party.

Function: Said when you wish to raise your drink to someone, to drink with them or propose a toast.

Near-equivalent phrase in English: “I drink to you” or “Cheers”.


11. 我会考虑一下的。wǒ huì kǎo lǜ yí xià de.

Literally: “I will consider [it]”.

Function:  Used to let someone know that you’ll

Near-equivalent phrase in English: “I’ll think about it”.


12.你去忙你的吧。 Nǐ qù máng nǐ  de ba.

Literally: “You go do what you’re busy with”.

Function: Used to let someone know that they can continue doing what they are doing, while you go and do something else.

Near-equivalent phrase in English: “Please carry on with what you’re doing.”


13. 我不是说你。 wǒ bú shì shuō nǐ.

Literally: “I’m not criticising you.”

Function: Use to preface something critical you’re about to say and urge the other person not to be offende by it.

Near-equivalent phrase in English: “I’m not criticising you.” or “I’m not having a go at you.”(Aussie English) or “No offense.”


14. 至于吗? Zhìyú ma?

Literally: Difficult to translate literally; 至于 zhìyú is a verb used to indicate that something has reached a certain level, while 吗 ma creates a quesion structure.

Function: Used to express doubt what someone says. You may reply as 至于 zhìyú or 不至于 bù zhìyú.

Near-equivalent phrase in English: “Is that really the case?” or “Has it come to that?” (Depending on situation)


15. 你吓死我了。 nǐ xià sǐ wǒ le.

Literally: “You scared me to death.”

Function: Used to express one’s fear or concern about someone.

Near-equivalent phrase in English: “You scared the crap outta me” or “You freaked me out” or “You made me concerned” depending on situation.


16. 随你了。suí nǐ le.

Literally: “I’ll follow you.”

Function: Used to express that, when it comes to making a particular decision, you don’t really mind either way.

Near-equivalent phrase in English: “Up to you” or “I’m easy.” “What ever/ I don’t care” depending on the situation.


17. 来来来… 坐坐坐… 吃吃吃…. lái lái lái… zuò zuò zuò… chī chī chī…

Literally: “Come come come… Sit sit sit… eat eat eat…”

Function: These three different phrases are used in different situations, though they may be said after one another. They are normally used when greeting a guest and you wish to show them your hospitality — to come in and / or take a seat and / or eat.

Near-equivalent phrase in English: “Make yourself at home… Please, take a seat… Tuck in.”


18. [某人]不在状态。[Somebody] bú zài zhuàng tài.

Literally: “Somebody is not in [a normal] state.”

Function: Used to explain that someone — perhaps a friend or a family member — is not feeling very well.

Near-equivalent phrase in English: “Somebody is not him/himself.”



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