6 Useful Chinese Expressions You Won’t Learn from Textbooks

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1. 加油!

(1) Go go go! Come on! Go for it!

At sporting competitions, people at the stadium will cheer for athletes or their teams: “加油!加油!”

(2) Come on (encouraging)

When encouraging people, we can also say “加油”.

 

(3) Good luck! 

When someone is going to take an exam, give a performance, or try something new, we can also say “加油”.

 

(4) Keep it up!

We can also say“加油” to support someone.

 

(5) Hang in there! Stay strong!

Lastly, while encouraging others to go through difficult times, we can also say “加油”. For example, because of the COVID-19, many people have difficulties in their life, we can say to them at this time:

 

加油,没事的!一切都会过去的。

Hang in there and everything will be OK.

2. 辛苦了!

(1) Great work! Good job! Well done! Keep it up!

To express encouragement and appreciation, a boss can say“辛苦了” to his or her employees who are working hard or working overtime. 

(2) Thanks a lot. 

When you thank someone for helping you with something, you can also say “辛苦了.”

 

(3) I really appreciate it.

You can also say “辛苦了” to someone (elders, parents, teachers) to express you are grateful for something they have done.

 

3. 厉害!

(1) Awesome! Excellent!

We can say “厉害” when we praise or admire someone for something.

(2) Someone who has a bad temper

We can also use “厉害” to describe someone who has a bad temper.

(3) very

“厉害” can also be used to describe a serious situation that makes somebody cannot stand.

 

4. 乖!

(1) To say a kid’s good behavior

“乖” can be used to say someone is very well behaved, especially for kids. And adults like to say “乖” when they comfort or praise kids.

(2) docile 

“乖” can be also used on an animal, especially a pet that’s quiet and easily controlled.

5. 随便。

(1) Up to you

When someone asks your opinion about something, you can use “随便” as a reply to say that you do not care, or the details of something do not matter.

(2) just

We can also use“随便” to say someone does something without a specific purpose. It is often used with a reduplicated verb. 

(3) casual; do as one pleases

“随便” can be used to say someone dresses casually or not accordingly, or someone’s behavior is not that good.

 

6. 靠谱!

(1) reliable

We can use“靠谱” to say someone can be trusted or depended on; otherwise, if someone is not reliable, we say she/he is“不靠谱”. For example:

 

A: 小明怎么还没来?他说他不会迟到的啊。

Why hasn’t Xiaoming come yet? He said he would not be late.

B: 他最不靠谱了!每次见面都是他迟到。

He is really not reliable! He is always late whenever we meet.

We can also use“靠谱” to say something is true or reliable. For example:

A: 昨天大卫跟我说买这个基金,一年可以赚十万呢!

Yesterday, David told me that this fund can make me earn ¥100,000 a year.

B: 什么基金啊?靠谱吗?

Which fund? Is it reliable?

A: 靠谱。

It’s reliable.

 

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