Sentences with Chinese Characteristics – Part III


19. 我失陪了。 wǒ shī péi le.

Literally: “I lose [your] company.”

Function: Used to politely let someone know that you are leaving.

Near-equivalent phrase in English: “I”m sorry but I must take my leave” (very formal) or “Sorry but I have to run” (informal).


20. 请教一下。 qǐng jiào yí xià.

Literally: “Please instruct (me).”

Function: Used to let someone know that you welcome comments and criticism, particularly about a project you have been working on, your performance, etc.

Near-equivalent phrase in English: “I’d love to hear some feedback from you.”, “I look forward to hearing your advice.”,'”Feel free to leave some comments.” etc.


21. 你辛苦了。 nǐ xīn kǔ le.

Literally: “You’ve tasted bitterness/ hardship”.

Function: Used to express gratitude for the help someone has given you.

Near-equivalent phrase in English: “You’ve worked so hard.” is acceptable, but probably sounds a little strange. In this situation an English speaker would probably just say, “Thank you so much, I really appreciate it.”


22. [某人]吃了很多苦。 [Somebody] chī le hěn duō kǔ.

Literally: “Somebody has eaten a lot of bitterness (hardship).”

Function: Used to state that someone has gone through many hardships.

Near-equivalent phrase in English: “Somebody’s been through a lot.” or “Somebody has gone through a rough time.”


23. 我听你的。 wǒ tīng nǐ de.

Literally: “I’ll listen to you.”

Function: Used to express that you’ll listen and follow what someone does, usually for our own good.

Near-equivalent phrase in English: “You’re the boss.”


24. [学到的东西]都还给老师了。 [Something] dōu huán gěi lǎo shī le.

Literally: “Something has all been given back to the teacher.”

Function: Used to indicate that everything that you’ve learnt has been forgotten.

Near-equivalent phrase in English: As far as I know, no real equivalent. “I’ve forgotten it all” would suffer as a reference translation. A native English speaker may say something like, “My French / mathematics / etc is a bit rusty” though this is not as strong as the original Chinese sentence.


25. A生了B的气。 A shēng le B de qì.

Literally: “A generated anger because of B.”

Function: Used to express that you have made somebody angry. Notable because this structure in Mandarin is unusual and a little confusing for Chinese learners.

Near-equivalent phrase in English: “A is angry at B.” or “A is pissed off with B.” or “B made A angry.”


26. [某事]不关[某人]的事。[Something] bù guān [somebody] de shì.

Literally: “Something does not relate to the affairs of somebody.”

Function: Used to (quite rudely) point out that something is not the business of someone else.

Near-equivalent phrase in English: “Something is not someone’s business.” When used as an interjection the phrases “None of your business!” or “What’s it to you?” come to mind — that’s 关你屁事!guān nǐ pì shì ! in Mandarin.


27. [某人]真够朋友。 [Somebody] zhēn gòu péng you.

Literally: “Somebody is really an adequate friend.”

Function: Used to let someone know that you really value their friendship.

Near-equivalent phrase in English: “Somebody is a true friend” or “Somebody is a real mate” in English.



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