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很 & 太

2012-09-05 10:10 ChineseTime

Learn Chinese :很 & 太

The usage of hen and tai  很&太

很 [hěn]  adv.    very; quite; awfully

很 [hěn ] is very commonly used in daily conversation when you want to express your feeling that something is VERY good, beautiful, helpful....

太 [tài]   adv.    too;very;extremely; exceedingly

太 [tài ] pattern is used when you want to express that something is too/ better/ worse/ less/ more than you expected.
e.g.
zhè běn shū hěn hǎo
这    本    书   很    好
This book is very good. (which implies that this book might be very helpful....)

zhè běn shū tài hǎo le
这  本  书  太  好  了
This book is great. (which implies that this book is better than you expected )

so “ 很好 = 太好了 ”

太 [tài ] is also used to express your negative feelings that something is more than acceptable or possible:
e.g.
too bad 太坏了  -->              很坏 (√); 很坏了 (×)
too noise 太吵了  -->           很吵  (√); 很吵了  (×)
too much/many 太多了  --> 很多  (√) ;  很多了  (×)


jīn tiān bú tài rè 。 /  jīn tiān bú shì hěn rè 。
今  天   不 太  热 。  /   今   天    不  是   很  热。
It is not very hot today.

bú tài hǎo /  bú shì hěn hǎo
不 太  好    /   不   是  很    好
not very good; not good enough

So "不太 = 不是很"
__________________________________________________
太 [tài] adj.    1)  highest; greatest; remotest
e.g.
tài kōng
太    空   : outer space

                     2)  extreme; most
e.g.
tài gǔ
太  古 : remote antiquity

                    3) more or most senior; great-grand
e.g.
tài yé ye
太  爷 爷
great-granpappy

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