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What Do You Think? Giving Advice & Sharing Opinions in Chinese

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Don’t have time to study now? Don’t worry! You can download Giving Advice & Sharing Opinions in Chinese PDF and read it later.

We have discussed expressing knowledge and ability in previous articles. Before moving on to giving advice and opinions, you might want to read or review our posts on 认识 and 知道 and The Three Cans: 会, 可以 and 能.

Sharing your own opinions in Chinese is the next step to being able to communicate with friends about topics that are important to you. Saying ‘我知道’ (I know) or ‘我明白’ (I understand) has it’s limitations and learning some words and sentences that will help you express your feelings and improve your understanding of Chinese culture and language.

Chinese Words and Phrases for Giving Advice and Sharing Opinions

 (xiǎng) – to think

The  (xiǎng) character has multiple meanings such as ‘to think’, ‘to miss’ or ‘believe something’.  (xiǎng) is composed of 3 parts;  (xīn) meaning ‘heart’,  (mù) which is ‘tree’ and an ‘eye’  (mù).Together, they create phonetics and meaning.  (mù) and  (mù) also create the character  (xiàng) meaning ‘appearance’. The origin of 相 (xiàng)suggests that a person would need to stand behind a ‘tree’ and peer out from behind it, suggesting the need to look and check for danger.  (xiàng) together with  (xīn) producing 想 (xiǎng) could refer to the idea of ‘examining’ the ‘heart or mind’.

You can read more about characters containing the ‘heart radical’ in our article 心字底: The Heart Radical

你心里在想什么? (nǐ xīn li zài xiǎng shén me) What are you thinking?

我想我们最好还是坐飞机。(wǒ xiǎng wǒ men zuì hǎo hái shì zuò fēi jī) I think flying is best.

If you want to negate ‘think’ to say ‘I don’t think…’ then we can use the phrase 我想。。。不。(wǒ xiǎng…bù).

Although it is tempting to use it, 我不想。。。(wǒ bù xiǎng…)  is not correct and is used to express the phrase ‘I do not want..’

我想他不帅。(wǒ xiǎng tā bù shuài) I don’t think he is handsome.

 (kàn) – to look, consider, think

If you can imagine someone covering their eyes  (mù)  from the sun with their hand 手 (shǒu) and tada, you have the 看 (kàn) character.

Although this character is mostly used to describe the verb ‘to look’, it is also used to mean ‘consider’.

你看这件事应该怎么办?(nǐ kàn zhè jiàn shì yīng gāi zěn me bàn) How do you think we should deal with this situation?

觉得 (jué de) – to feel, consider

To understand the  character a little more, we can take a look at the traditional character, . If you look at the bottom radical, it contains a traditional version of the character  (jiàn) meaning ‘to see’. It makes more sense when you see that originally, 见 (jiàn) was an ‘eye’ 目 (mù) on top of a ‘person’ 人 (rén).

我觉得这没问题。(wǒ jué de zhè méi wèn tí) I think it is alright.

 (shuō) ‘say’

Although normally,  (shuō) means ‘to say’, when combined with  (nǐ), in the bigram 你说 (nǐ shuō) it translates to ‘in your opinion..’

你说我应该选哪门课?(nǐ shuō wǒ yīng gāi xuǎn nǎ mén kè) In your opinion, which course should I choose?

以为 (yǐ wéi) and 认为 (rèn wéi) can often be used in the same context and have a very similar meaning.

认为 (rèn wéi) – to believe, to suppose, to consider

我认为他是对的。(wǒ rèn wéi tā shì duì de) I think he is right.

认为 (rèn wéi) can also be used to talk about something you thought was true, but were mistaken about.

以为 (yǐ wéi) – to believe, suppose, to be under the impression

我以为你今天不会来了。(wǒ yǐ wéi nǐ jīn tiān bù huì lái le.) I was under the impression you weren’t coming today.

相信 (xiāng xìn) – to be convinced

我相信我们可以成功的。(wǒ xiāng xìn wǒ men kě yǐ chéng gōng de) I am convinced we can succeed.

妈妈特别相信草药。(mā ma tè bié xiāng xìn cǎo yào) Mother was a great believer in herbal medicines.

认定 (rèn dìng) – to maintain that something is true

我仍然认定联队会夺冠。(wǒ réng rán rèn dìng lián duì huì duó guàn) I still say United are a dead cert to win.

信仰 (xìn yǎng) – to believe in (religion), conviction

我信仰自由。(wǒ xìn yǎng zì yóu) I believe in freedom.

Giving and Asking for Advice

If you want to ask someone’s advice one something, you can use the bigram 请教 (qǐng jiào). You’ve probably seen both characters separately, as ‘please’ 请 (qǐng)and ‘teach’ 教 (jiào) .

我有一件事想要请教你,可以吗?(wǒ yǒu yī jiàn shì xiǎng yào qǐng jiào nǐ, kě yǐ

ma?)  Can you please advise me on this situation?

You can also use the phrase 请指教 (qǐng zhǐ jiào), meaning ‘please provide instructions on’.

This is the kind of phrase people might use when they have only just met.

请多多指教。(qǐng duō duō zhǐ jiào) Please provide me with instructions.

建议 (jiàn yì)  to advise or urge

他一建议我要早点睡觉。(tā yī zài jiàn yì wǒ yào zǎo diǎn shuì jiào) He advised me many times to go to sleep earlier.

Refusing to give an Opinion

If you don’t have any particularly strong feelings about something, or would rather not say, you can use the following phrase.

我没意见。(wǒ méi yì jiàn) I don’t have an opinion

没办法 (méi bàn fǎ) – nothing can be done

这是没办法的事,纯属巧合。(zhè shì méi bàn fǎ de shì, chún shǔ qiǎo hé.) Nothing can be done about this matter, it’s purely coincidence.

随便 (suí biàn) – do as you please

If you’re interested in learning Chinese, you can check out our Written Chinese Dictionary! You can also click on the links below to download it for your iOS and Android devices!

                      

Facebook Comments

  • Hollie Sowden

    ANSWERS TO EXERCISES from ‘下雨了! Learn How to Complain About the Weather in Chinese’
    https://www.writtenchinese.com/learn-how-to-complain-about-the-weather-in-chinese/

    Today the weather in Shenzhen is generally cloud, with some showers.
    The maximum temperatures during the day will be 28℃, while the temperature will drop to temperatures of 22℃ in the evening.
    The air quality will be fine.

    今天深圳阴天多云,部分地区会有阵雨。
    白天最高温度28摄氏度,夜间最低温度22摄氏度。
    空气质量一般。

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  • Totoro Peters

    Thanks a lot, this is very helpful

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  • Nora Joy Wilson

    Wow, all this time I didn’t know that I couldn’t say 我不想。。。
    Good to know!!