5 Indirect Negative Responses in Chinese

August 11, 2020

 

Sometimes your colleagues and friends express their thoughts or ask your opinions on their view, but you think it's absolutely not great, and want to tell your negative responses. In this case, how are you going to say something negative, while not making the opposite party feel upset or offended?

 

In this article, I'll introduce 5 phrases that allow you to give negative statements indirectly.

 

 

 

  1) 不好说 bù hǎo shuō 

It's hard to say

 

Scenerio:

A: 欸!这是我画的画,好看吗?èi! zhè shì wǒ huà de huà, hǎo kàn ma?

Hey, this is the picture I draw, does it look good?

 

B: 嗯,不好说... ēn, bù hǎo shuō

Um,  it's hard to say...

2)好像 hǎo xiàng

seems like, similar to 

 

- sounds uncertain, unsure

 

Example:

他好像有点喜欢我。tā hǎoxiàng yǒudiǎn xǐhuān wǒ

He seems to like me.

 

你的性格好像我的妈妈。nǐ de xìnggé hǎoxiàng wǒ de māma

Your personality is similar to my mum's.

 

Scenerio:

A: 欸!你看,这是我的新眼镜,好看吗?èi nǐ kàn zhè shì wǒ de xīn yǎnjìng hǎo kàn ma

Hey,  look,  this are the new glasses I bought, does it look good?  

 

B: 好像有点太老派... hǎoxiàng yǒudiǎn tài lǎopài...

Seems a bit old fashioned...

3)我觉得啦 wǒ jué de la

I think

 

- 啦: interjection with cute, relaxed tone, therefore would sound more innocent and less offensive

 

Scenerio:

A: 我的男朋友又高,又富,又帅,我真的是太幸福了!wǒ de nánpéngyǒu yòu gāo, yòu fù, yòu shuài, wǒ zhēn de shì tài xìngfú le

My boyfriend is tall, rich and handsome, I'm really so blessed and happy!

 

B: 我觉得啦,你们才一起两个星期,多了解了解比较好。wǒ juéde la, nǐmen cái yìqǐ liǎng ge xīngqī, duō liǎijiě liǎijiě bǐjiào hǎo

I think, you are only together for 2 weeks, better to know each other more (first).

4)可能 kě néng

Maybe, probably

 

Scenerio:

A: 我们明天先去爬山,然后游泳,再去打篮球,怎么样?Wǒmen míngtiān xiān qù páshān, ránhòu yóuyǒng, zài qù dǎ lánqiú, zěnme yàng?

Tomorrow we'll first climb the mountain, swim, and then play the basketball, how's it?

 

B: 最近天气有点热,可能不太好吧?Zuìjìn tiānqì yǒudiǎn rè, kěnéng bù tài hǎo ba?

It's bit hot recently, maybe it's not too good?

5)你不要介意 nǐ búyào jièyì

Please don't mind

 

please don't mind me saying, no offence

 

Scenerio:

A: (唱歌) (chàng gē) 

(singing)

 

B: 你不要介意哦,你唱歌确实不太好听。Nǐ búyào jièyì o, nǐ chànggē quèshí bútài hǎotīng.

Please don't mind me saying, you indeed don't sing too well.   


 

 

 

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