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14 Ways to Avoid A Question in Chinese | No Comment in Chinese

HOW TO AVOID A QUESTION IN CHINESE – SAY NO COMMENT IN CHINESE

Sometimes you might get asked a question that you just don’t really want to answer. How to avoid a question in Chinese without being too rude? Do you want to say I can’t tell you in Chinese? Or just say no comment in Chinese? What are the better expressions to turn down a question in Chinese? Watch this 1-minute Chinese video lesson and be a know-how!

How to Say No Comment in Chinese

1. 无可奉告

wú kě fèng gàoliteral. nothing to tell liberal. no comment
无可奉告 is the standard way to say no comment in Chinese, but people rarely say it in daily Chinese. It is more for official usage, almost sound idiomatic and of course it could sound impolite and indifferent too.

2. 没什么可说的

méi shén me kě shuō deliteral. nothing to tell liberal. there’s nothing to say about it
没什么可说的 is a more casual and acceptable way to say no comment in Chinese.

 

How to Say I Can’t Tell You In Chinese

3. 我不能说

wǒ bù néng shuōliteral. I cannot say liberal. I cannot say; I can’t tell (anyone)
This term is very direct and sometimes might not be the best choice if you want to be polite.

4. 我不能告诉你

wǒ bù néng gào sù nǐliteral. I can’t tell you liberal. I can’t tell you
我不能告诉你 is similar as 我不能说. Both imply that you are not allowed to say something or make comment on something.

5. 哎呀这个,不方便说啊

ai ya zhè ge, bù fāng biàn shuō ‘aliteral. ah this, is not easy to say liberal. I don’t feel comfortable talking about it
Is there a more roundabout way to say I can’t tell you in Chinese? 不方便说 is a perfect choice, especially when the question is about someone else, especially about their privacy and you don’t feel that it’s appropriate to talk about it.

 

How to Not Answer A Question in Chinese by Asking A Question

6. 你猜 / 你猜猜

nǐ cāi / nǐ cāi cailiteral. you guess / you guess guess liberal. have a guess; what do you think
What’s the best way to not answer a question in Chinese? Consider asking a question back! 你猜 or 你猜猜 is a nice and friendly way to throw the question back to the person who asked it, inviting them to have a guess by themselves.

7. 你觉得呢

nǐ jué de neliteral. you think what liberal. what do you think
Same with 你猜, 你觉得呢 is a very tactful to avoid a question in Chinese. Sometimes it can also be used to answer a question whose answer is pretty obvious. You can say 你觉得呢 to imply that “what you’re thinking is what I’m thinking” or “what you’re thinking is probably what’s going on“.

 

How to Avoid A Question in Chinese by Saying “I’ll Tell You Next Time”

8. 我下次告诉你

wǒ xià cì gào sù nǐliteral. I next time tell you liberal. I’ll tell you next time
One of the best way to not answer a question in Chinese might be just to put it off. You can say 我下次告诉你 and pretend that you’re in a hurry and need to be excused from the conversation. Also, the time word 下次 can be replaced by any other time, such as 明天 míng tiān tomorrow or 晚点 wǎn diǎn later.

9. 下次跟你说吧

xià cì gēn nǐ shuō ba literal. next time to you say liberal. I’ll tell you next time
下次跟你说吧 means the same as 我下次告诉你, just different word choices and word order.

10. 我想想再告诉你

wǒ xiǎng xiǎng zài gào sù nǐ literal. I have a think and then tell you liberal. let me think about it before I tell you
我先想想再告诉你 is a good choice if you can make it look like that you really can not answer the question right now and need more time to think about it.

 

How to Turn Down A Question by Saying “Long Story”

11. 说来话长

shuō lái huà cháng literal. to speak words long liberal. it’s a long story
说来话长 is an interesting expression, it has become idiomatic to describe that there is a long background story to the question.

12. 一时半会儿说不清楚

yì shí bàn huǐr shuō bù qīng chǔ literal. you guess / you guess guess liberal. I can’t explain in such a short time
Similar as 说来话长, but because 一时半会儿说不清楚 is longer expression, it makes it sound like a more polite way to avoid a question in Chinese.

 

How to Say Stop Asking Questions in Chinese

13. 别问啦

bié wèn la literal. don’t ask liberal. stop asking (questions)
If you’re familiar with the person who asks the question, which means it’s less likely to offend them. You can just say 别问啦.

14. 你问这个干嘛

nǐ wèn zhè ge gàn má literal. you ask this to do what liberal. why are you asking this
Surely stop asking questions sounds rude, so in Chinese you can say 你问这个干嘛 to tone it down a little bit. Again this one is safer to use with someone you know very well unless you put a real nice smile on your face while asking it.


2 Comments

  • Bharat Joshi
    Bharat Joshi Posted August 5, 2016 8:27 pm

    very important expressions, how to save it for later?

    • Lili Hao
      Lili Hao Posted January 11, 2017 9:43 pm

      Thanks for your interest Bharat, you can print this page and read it later!

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