Beginner Lesson 12.1 – Useful Daily Expressions

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Useful Expressions In Chinese And Complement 不起

Learn useful expressions in Chinese such as thank you, you're welcome, sorry and it's okay. And get to know the Complement 不起.

  • Useful expressions Chinese: sorry, it's okay, thank you...
  • Complement 不起




Grammar 1: bǔyǔ 补语 Complement 不起 · HSK 1

buqǐ 不起 a complement suggesting "not up to standard"

A bǔyǔ 补语 Complement in Chinese can be a word or a group of words. It usually goes after the verb, sometimes after an adjective as well. Usually a complement is there to help suggest the result, direction, possibility or state of an action. In this lesson we'll learn one common Complement 不起. It is used after a verb to suggest "not up to standard". For example in the phrase 对不起, one of the most useful expressions in Chinese, which means sorry, 不起 functions as the 补语 Complement of the verb 对. Here are more examples of how to use the Complement 不起 in phrases.

1 duì

to treat
not up to standard
sorry (I am not treating you like how I am supposed to)
2 kàn

to look at
not up to standard
to look down upon someone (to look at someone not like how they are supposed to be looked at)
3 mǎi

to buy
not up to standard
to not be able to afford something
Collapse Comments
Giuseppe LamaPremium Student May 24, 2020 at 5:36 pm

Lili can you give some examples in English or Italian of your Complement sentence/words for me to get an ideas what you are referring to.

Complements are hardly used in languages other than Chinese. In this lesson it is not explained in details because it’s not for this level. It is only identified here as a pre-notice.

It will be explained in details in multiple lessons in the upper levels.

Keshav AggarwalPremium Student March 23, 2020 at 12:46 am

I have a doubt, méi and bú, both mean NO, so can we write ‘ Its Okay ‘ in pinyin as ” bú guān xi ” ?

No. It is a set phrases. For set phrases, we cannot on our own replace a character in them.

Tjulka10Premium Student February 26, 2019 at 12:44 pm

Dear Lili , good useful expressions but I was also wondering are there also some swear words in chinese language. Do chinese people swear are they too polite to do that?

Donald MosarbasPremium Student February 13, 2019 at 8:28 am

Hello teacher lili, I already work in taiwan for three years and I really confused with the pronounciation. Can you discussed why taiwanese prounce pu ke qi instead of bu ke qi. They always prounce pu instead of bu

AusieJamsterPremium Student November 21, 2017 at 7:47 pm

Hey, I’m not going to lie I struggled with this one a little bit. Up until this point I was unable to under by finding the meaning of the characters and putting them into a structured sentence. I think I’m sorta understanding the ‘Grammatical Structure – Complement’ but the 关系 really wasn’t explained as much as I had hoped for. Its not really listed anywhere what the individual characters mean, if they are another ‘Grammatical Structure’ themselves or why they mean ‘impact or relationship’ when put together.

关系 guānxì is not a grammatical structure, it is a noun, meaning “impact or relationship”. 没关系 means “no relationship” or “no impact”, so basically 没关系 is saying “it doesn’t matter”. 不起 is a structure but 关系 is not. 关系 is a noun. 没关系 is a set phrase and idiomatic expression.
As single characters, 关 means “to close” or “to be related”, 系 means “to tie” that is why 关系 means “relationship or impact”. In this lesson the only Grammatical Structure Complement is 不起.

AusieJamsterPremium Student November 21, 2017 at 8:09 pm

Oh awesome, thanks for replying so quickly ! That clears everything up. 谢谢!

ashrfulalam30001Guest September 5, 2017 at 1:26 am

Really awesome lecture..!!!

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