Level 1 Lesson 2.1 – My Room Is Very Small

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To Describe Something In Chinese Using Adverb 很 + Adjective

In this video lesson we'll learn how to describe something in Chinese by using the structure of Adverb 很 + Adjective. And we'll also learn a very important sentence structure: Adjective as predicate in Chinese.

  • To describe something in Chinese
  • Adjective as predicate in Chinese
  • Adverb 很 + Adjective in Chinese
  • Adverb 很 + Verb in Chinese


1 房间 fángjiān n. room
1 hěn adv. very; quite; pretty
1 xiǎo adj. small; little
2 好吃 hǎochī adj. tasty (for food)
1 好喝 hǎohē adj. tasty (for drinks)
1 高兴 gāoxìng adj. happy


Grammar 1: Adverb 很 + Adjective in Chinese · HSK 1

hěn  very; a lot; quite; pretty

很 is an Adverb, it suggests that the "degree" or "extent" is "very" or "a lot". It can be used to modify an Adjective.

Adverb 很 + Adjective

  • hěnhǎo 很好 very good
  • hěnzǎo 很早 very early


Grammar 2: To Describe Something in Chinese · HSK 1

If we want to describe something in Chinese and say "something is very...", we do not say "something 是很...", we say:

Subject + Adverb 很 + Adjective

  • zhè suǒ xuéxiào hěn hǎo 这所学校很好。 This school (is) very good.
  • tā de fángjiān hěn xiǎo 他的房间很小。 His room (is) very small.


Grammar 3: Adjective As Predicate in Chinese · HSK 1

We learned about Verb (Phrases) and Nouns being the Predicate in Chinese Sentence, in Chinese, an Adjective (Phrase) can also function as the Predicate of the sentence.

the topic explain/discuss/describe... the topic
wǒde fángjiān
my room
hěn xiǎo
very small
hěn hǎochī
tasty (for food)

hěn hǎohē
tasty (for drinks)


Grammar 4: Adverb 很 + (some) Verb in Chinese · HSK 1

The Adverb 很 can modify some(not all) verbs in Chinese as well:

  • hěn xǐhuan 很喜欢 quite like
Lesson Content
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IOANNIS SOLDATOSPremium Student June 4, 2022 at 1:15 pm

In Greek we can also put the adjective in the beginning of a sentence, to stress/emphasize the features of the subject. For example “πολύ μικρό το δωμάτιό σου!” which means “very small your room”. Is there any structure like this in Chinese if you want to emphasize?

Paul ComilangPremium Student June 3, 2021 at 1:02 am

So, you can you can use in general, 很不 in front of a verb phrase but not an adjective?


1. Usage about 很 hěn
2. Usage of Measure Word 个 and/or a specific Measure Word
3. Resources to review usage of Measure Words in Chinese

*Whenever we see questions that are commonly shared by many Chinese learners, we will try our best to answer them, or even turn them into full video lessons later. However, unfortunately we might not be able to answer every question, which falls into the category of private 1-on-1 teaching.

TaylorPremium Student January 8, 2020 at 12:07 am

Hi, I was wondering when to use measure words in Chinese. I know that they are necessary when expressing the number of things, but in cases like 那所学校不好,why would 所 be necessary in this case? There is no numerical presence within this sentence.

Jeff JohnsonPremium Student January 3, 2020 at 9:04 pm

I noticed that the MW for 学校 is missing when using the possessive particle 的, as in 我的学校很好. Earlier in the lesson the phrase 这所学校很大 uses the MW for 学校. Did I forget a rule here about the use of measure words? thank you for your patience with me

Measure words in Chinese are often related to numbers. for example: I ate 3 apples (我吃了三“个”苹果)I have 3 dogs in my house (我家里有三“条”狗)In English you can say I want three “bottles” of beer (我要三“瓶”啤酒)I want two “cans” of soda (我要两“听”可乐)
In the phrase “my school is very good” 我的学校很好。You would not say “我的一所学校很好” just like you would not say “my one school is very good.” Think of it like this: My soda is very tasty. 我的可乐很好喝。 You would not say “My “can” of soda is very tasty. 我的一听可乐很好喝。

mindv0rtexPremium Student August 29, 2018 at 7:01 am

In the previous lesson we learned that 间 is a m/w for rooms, but I see in the comments that you say 这个房间。So, presumably, saying 这间房间 is incorrect, right?

Both are okay. 个 is more casual than 间.

For usage of Measure Words, there are usually 3 situations:

1. The general Measure Word 个 is used and no specific Measure Word is needed. For example, 一个苹果

2. A special Measure Word is used and 个 cannot be used.. For example, 一只猫 is correct, 一个猫 is not acceptable.

3. Both 个 and the special Measure Word are okay to be used, but using 个 sounds more casual. For example, 一个学校,一所学校.

MichaelPremium Student August 8, 2018 at 1:46 am

早上好, 丽丽。我有一个问题:怎么说 “This room is small.” (I mean when you don’t want to say it is very small, just small.)
e.g. 这个房间小。可以吗?
You can’t say: 我好。我舒服。without 很, can you?

I like your course design, particularly the presentation and step by step approach. The communicative part where students have to form questions and answers (whole sentences) is most useful as it allows me to practice the content.

Thanks for giving us a positive feedback of our Chinese courses. We’re very happy that the design works for you!

About the question. 很 is less strong as the English “very”, even though it is translated that way, 很 is more like the English “pretty (as in pretty much)”. Or we can say that 很 is more like a “link word” that link the Subject and the Adjective together.

If a Chinese native speaker would express “This room is small. ” they would most likely say “这个房间很小。” If they want to say “This room is very small.” they would say “这个房间很小”, but “很” would have a stressed tone, or they would say “这个房间非常小。”

非常(fēicháng) and 很 and their English equivalents “very; unusually” are compared in Lesson 23

AlexSerafiniStudent December 30, 2017 at 1:41 pm


不客气!我很高兴你喜欢!I’m very glad that you like our Chinese HSK 1 Course!

Sonette T.Premium Student December 28, 2017 at 6:14 pm

谢谢你Lili。This lesson is very helpful.

Thanks! I’m glad you find our HSK 1 lessons helpful!

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