Posted by Grace Feng on October 29, 2012
However, the way it is used in Chinese is a bit tricky if you’re trying to duplicate the way “very” is used in English.
When I first started to learn English, I used to say “Very than you!” without feeling odd about the way I used “very”. My Chinese classmates inclined to make the same mistake as I did. Do you know why?
The reason behind this is due to the usage of “very” in Chinese is somewhat different:
You can use “非常” not only before adjectives, but also verbs!
Before we move on, let’s check out a few new words first. Please use the estroke tool below the table to practice your writing if you need:
|Simplified Chinese||Traditional Chinese||Mandarin Pinyin||English Definition|
|非常||非常||fei1 chang2||extreme; very;|
|感谢||感謝||gan3 xie4||(express) thanks; gratitude; thanks;|
|抱歉||抱歉||bao4 qian4||to be sorry; to feel apologetic; sorry!;|
|想念||想念||xiang3 nian4||to miss; to remember with longing;|
|讨厌||討厭||tao3 yan4||to dislike; to loathe;|
|特别||特別||te4 bie2||especially; particular;|
|相当||相當||xiang1 dang1||fairly; quite;|
When you’re done with new words, let’s move on …
To use 非常 fēicháng before adjectives is just the same as “very” being used in English:
非常 + adjective = very + adjective
To use it before verbs is the focus of today’s lesson.
We can say “Thank you very much!” in Chinese like this:
非常感谢! fēi cháng gǎn xiè!
“感谢 gǎn xiè” has the same meaning as “谢谢 xiè xie”, but sounds more formal. However, if you want to use “非常” to emphasize your gratitude, you have to use “感谢 gǎn xiè” together with “非常 fēi cháng”, instead of “谢谢 xiè xie”. Using “非常感谢 fēi cháng gǎn xiè” in both oral or written circumstances are both OK.
Similar usage of “非常 fēi cháng” can be applied to “I’m so sorry.”
Use “非常抱歉 fēicháng bàoqiàn” or “非常对不起 fēicháng duìbuqǐ” . “抱歉 bàoqiàn” and “对不起 duìbuqǐ” both mean “apologize for …”.
There are some other verbs that can be used after “非常 fēi cháng” as well, such as :
非常看不起 fēicháng kànbuqǐ -> rather look down upon (somebody / something)
非常想念 fēicháng xiǎngniàn -> miss (somebody / something) very much
非常喜欢 fēicháng xǐhuan -> like (somebody / something) very much
非常讨厌 fēicháng tǎoyàn -> dislike (somebody / something) very much
But still, there are a lot more verbs can not be used this way. The rule to know whether the verb can be used after “非常” actually is quite straightforward:
As long as the verb can be used this way in English:
“verb + very much”
or “verb + a lot”
Then, that verb can be used after “非常 fēi cháng” in Chinese.
He hates his job very much.
(tā fēicháng tǎoyàn zhè fèn gōngzuò.)
The alternatives of “非常” are:
很 hěn, 特别 tèbié, 相当 xiāngdāng
You can use the above “very” words to do some practice untill you can create your own sentences utilizing those words. The following is an example of ways to practice them. You’ll see four different ways of saying “Sister misses hometown very much.”
jiějie fēicháng xiǎngniàn jiāxiāng.
jiějie hěnxiǎng niàn jiāxiāng.
jiějie tèbié xiǎngniàn jiāxiāng.
jiějie xiāngdāng xiǎngniàn jiāxiāng.
Now it’s time for a break, see you next time, my dear friends!
Category: JLC Chinese grammar lessons
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