Sentences with Chinese Characteristics – Part IV


28. 话不是这么说。huà bú shì zhè me shuō.

Literally: “It’s not said like this.”

Function: Used to gently disagree with someone.

Near-equivalent in English: “I don’t really think that’s the case.”


29. 可不是吗? kě bú shì ma?

Literally: “How can it not be?”

Function: Used to exprss your strong agreement about something.

Near-equivalent in English: “Definitely!” or “Absolutely!”


30. 哪儿跟哪儿? nǎr gēn nǎr?

Literally: “Where’s compared to where?”

Function: Used to express doubt about the relationship of two things which you think are not related.

Near-equivalent in English: “I don’t see the connection” or “What’s that got to do with it?”


31. 真有你的。 zhēn yǒu nǐ de.

Literally: 真(really)+ 有(has)+ 你的 (yours[skill; talent])

Function: Used to express your admiration of someone’s skill or talent.

Near-equivalent in English: “You’re really awesome.” or “You’re really somthing else.”


32. 看情况。 kàn qínɡ kuànɡ.

Literally: “Look at the situaion.”

Function: Used to express uncertainty about a certain situation.

Near-equivalent phrase in English: “play it by ear” or “It depends” depending on situation.


33. 谁跟谁啊? shéi gēn shéi a?

Literally: “Look at the situation.”

Function: Used to remind the other person that you are good friends with them, to tet them to stop being so polite or to get them to reveal to you something you want to know.

Near-equivalent phrase in English: “Come on, we’re friends, aren’t we?”


34. [某事]包在我身上。[Something] bāo zài wǒ shēn shang.

Literally: “Something’s package is on my person.”

Function: Used to let someone know that you’ll take absolute responsibility for a certain ask.

Near-equivalent phrase in English: “Leave it all to me and I’ll make it happen.”


35. [某人]不是东西。[Somebody] bú shì dōng xi.

Literally: “Somebody is not a thing.”

Function: Used to insult someone.

Near-equivalent phrase in English: “Somebody is good-for-nothing.”


36. 就那么回事。 jiù nà me huí shì.

Literally: “That’s how it was.”

Function: To state that something is mediocre or average.

Near-equivalent phrases in English: “Not that great.” or “Average.”



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