What Does Bu Mean In Chinese

One of the initially phrases you could want to pick up in Mandarin Chinese is: I don’t understand. Learning to say “I don’t understand” is actually fairly easy, but because of the means this phrase deserve to be offered in various conmessages, finding out its straight translation is not enough. We additionally have to learn the various means this expression have the right to be offered.

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So in this write-up, we’ll look at the different methods to say “I don’t understand” in Chinese and also just how these expressions are offered in practice. Then, we’ ll look at just how to say “I understand” and “I get it now”. We’ll additionally study the pattern behind these expressions from the perspective of grammar.

Buckle up! You’ll learn the ropes pretty fast!

The Most Common Way to Say “I Don’t Understand in Chinese”

The initially phrase that’s most likely to pop right into your head would be “ting bu dong”, I bet. It constitutes a large component of the soundtrack that beginner learners hear as soon as getting about in China. Just about everywhere you go, you are bound to hear human being about you going “ting bu dong, ting bu dong”, sometimes it’s because you mess up your Mandarin pronunciation or tones, sometimes it shows up that they are simply staying clear of call through you…or, turning the tables, if a native speaker starts talking to you and you have actually no idea what she’s saying, the expression you utter is, you guessed it, “ting bu dong.”

What Does It Mean?

But what does “ting bu dong” really expect in Chinese? To understand it, we need to look at it from the perspective of grammar.

The expression “听不懂 (tīng bù dǒng)” conforms to a framework called Resultative Verb Compounds by grammarians. Well, we don’t want to acquire also technological on you, yet it’s an extremely typical construction in Chinese. To put it ssuggest, this kind of building is made up of 2 parts:

an actiona result or possibility (which is produced by the action)

The expression “听不懂 (tīng bù dǒng)” is just comprised of these 2 parts, via “听 (tīng) – listen” being the action, and also “不懂 (bù dǒng) – not understand” being the outcome or possibility it produced.

So, you have the right to guess, 听不懂 (tīng bù dǒng) suggests “I don’t understand also what I heard” (action-outcome) or “I won’t have the ability to understand when listening to it” (action-possibility) in different contexts. Essentially, this is to say that the speaker dose not have the capacity to comprehfinish what’s coming to her ears, regardmuch less if she has actually heard it currently or not.

Let’s look at some examples of 听不懂 (tīng bù dǒng) provided in sentences.

听不懂中文。Wǒ tīng bù dǒng zhōngwén.I don’t understand Chinese.Literally, I, (when) listening to Chinese, don’t understand.听不懂你的英文。Wǒ tīng bù dǒng nǐ de yīngwén.I don’t understand your English.I, heard your English, don’t understand also. 听不懂这个笑话。Wǒ tīng bù dǒng zhège xiàohuà.I don’t understand also this joke.I, heard this joke, don’t understand also. 听不懂他们的方言。Wǒ tīng bù dǒng tāmen de fāngyán.I don’t understand also their dialect.I, (when) listening to their language, don’t understand.听不懂你在说什么。Wǒ tīng bù dǒng nǐ zài shuō shénme.I don’t understand what you are saying.I, heard what you are saying, don’t understand also.

听不懂 (tīng bù dǒng) is typically offered in a conversation, as it specifically tells others that you do not understand also what you are hearing. If you carry out not understand also somepoint that you check out or check out, then you should adjust the activity component of the phrase accordingly, that is, the verb.


(certain) verb + 不懂 (bù dǒng)

Let’s check out some examples.

看不懂汉字。Wǒ kàn bù dǒng hànzì.I don’t understand also personalities.I, (when) seeing characters, don’t understand also. 看不懂这本书。Wǒ kàn bù dǒng zhè běn shū.I don’t understand this book.I, check out the book, don’t understand.我看不懂中文电影。Wǒ kàn bù dǒng zhōngwén diànyǐng.I don’t understand Chinese movies.I, (when) watching Chinese movies, don’t understand also.看不懂那封通知。Wǒ kàn bù dǒng nà fēng tōngzhī.I don’t understand that notification.I experienced the alert, don’t understand.看不懂他们在做什么。Wǒ kàn bù dǒng tāmen zài zuò shénme.I don’t understand what they are doing.I, witnessed what they are doing, don’t understand also (their behavior).读不懂这个句子。Wǒ dú bù dǒng zhège jùzi.I don’t understand this sentence.I, read this sentence, don’t understand. 读不懂这篇文章。Wǒ dú bù dǒng zhè piān wénzhāng.I don’t understand this essay.I, review this essay, don’t understand.

You might also just usage 不懂 (bù dǒng), which is the general word for “not understand” if you don’t desire to be specific.

Compare these.

听不懂中文。Wǒ tīng bù dǒng zhōngwén.I don’t understand Chinese when I listen to it. (perhaps you can read)I, (when) listening to Chinese, don’t understand also.

看不懂中文。Wǒ kàn bù dǒng zhōngwén.I don’t understand Chinese once I view it. (possibly you have the right to speak)I, (when) seeing Chinese, don’t understand also.

不懂中文。Wǒ bù dǒng zhōngwén.I don’t understand also Chinese. (implying that you have the right to neither stop nor read)

Another Word for 不懂 (bù dǒng): 不明白 (míngbai)

You might also have actually heard of the expression: 我不明白 (wǒ bú míngbai), which is an additional frequently provided interpretation for “I don’t understand” in Chinese.

The word 明白 (míngbai) is pretty a lot the same as 懂 (dǒng), it simply sounds slightly more formal (the definition of 明白 míngbai is “ be able to truly understand also or grasp something through your mind/thinking”).

See more: What Does The Name Letty Mean, Name Letty Meaning, Origin Etc

You have the right to swap out the 不懂 (bù dǒng) in any type of of the examples we’ve given with 不明白 (bú míngbai).

For example,

我听不明白你的英文。Wǒ tīng bù míngbai nǐ de yīngwén.I don’t understand also your English.我看不明白那封通知。Wǒ kàn bù míngbai fēng tōngzhī.I don’t understand that alert.我读不明白这个句子。Wǒ dú bù míngbai zhège jùzi.I don’t understand this sentence.

When Not to Use 听不懂 (tīng bù dǒng)

Unfortunately, 听不懂 (tīng bù dǒng) is not the cure-all solution in all cases. Basically, you have to just use it as soon as you are anxious to escape a confusing case or end a conversation before it also begins.

Why? You need to ask.

Well, 听不懂 (tīng bù dǒng) can sound rude periodically. It has actually a strong implication that you don’t understand also a thing the speakers are saying, and also for that, hope them to spare you from the conversation.

For instance, you attempt to strike a conversation via aboriginal speakers to practice your Chinese, and also tright here comes some component of the communication that you don’t fully understand also, and also you desire them to say it aobtain or describe it differently, in this situation, refrain from saying “我听不懂 (wǒ tīng bù dǒng)”, or the entirety conversation would shut dvery own pretty quick, as they would think that you have totally no concept of what they are talking about and have actually therefore shed interest in pursuing the dialogue.

When you collection out to practice and use Chinese to communicate through regional people in China, you are certain to get lots of “听不懂 (tīng bù dǒng)”. Don’t be dismayed!It’s not constantly about your Chinese skills. It could occur to anyone! Many Chinese civilization aren’t accustomed to speaking with foreigners (or the truth that foreigners deserve to stop Chinese), and are frequently too shy to speak via them. Saying 听不懂 (tīng bù dǒng) is the quickest means to gain themselves out of the awkward situation (it’s just another method of saying “I favor not to talk to you bereason it’s too weird for me”). If that’s the situation, simply move on to the following perkid who is bold sufficient to connect with you.

Better Ways to Say I dont understand in Chinese

Naturally, most of the moment you want your conversation in Chinese to last much longer. So, rather of throwing in the conversation killer “听不懂 (tīng bù dǒng)”, what need to you say to store the conversation moving forward?

Here’s some easy fixes for you.

我听不太懂。Wǒ tīng bú tài dǒng.I don’t really understand also.

You can conveniently sfrequently your tone by including a 太 (tài) before the verb 懂 (dǒng). It immediately ideas the speaker into the fact that you might, in fact, have actually made an initiative to catch a couple of bits and pieces from the conversation and is willing to provide it an additional swarm if the speaker deserve to repeat or explain.

我听不太明白。Wǒ tīng bú tài míngbai.I don’t really understand also.

It works the very same as 我听不太懂 (wǒ tīng bú tài dǒng).

我没(有)听懂。Wǒ méi (yǒu) tīng dǒng.I didn’t (quite) understand also.

Don’t be fooled, this is not the same as 我听不懂 (wǒ tīng bù dǒng). This is to say “I didn’t fairly obtain that, can you reexpression it?” rather than “speak talking, I am not acquiring any type of of this”. On hearing “我没听懂 (wǒ méi tīng dǒng) ”, speakers will certainly happily pausage, go ago and define what they’ve been saying via less complicated Chinese to aid you understand.

我没(有)听明白。Wǒ méi ( yǒu ) tīng míngbai.I didn’t (quite) understand also.

It functions the exact same as 我没(有)听懂 wǒ méi (yǒu) tīng dǒng.

我没(有)听清楚。Wǒ méi (yǒu) tīng qīngchǔ.I didn’t hear you plainly.

It’s not constantly your fault that you fail to understand. Perhaps the perchild talking to you is as well old to enunciate the words, or mixing Mandarin with dialects, or simply mumbling… Claiming that you didn’t hear clearly (whether true or not) indicates that if you had heard clearly, you may have actually understood.

我不懂你的意思。Wǒ bù dǒng nǐ de yìsi.I don’t understand also what you mean.

This is a really excellent one to include to your arsenal. Literally “I don’t understand also your meaning”, this sentence is perfect for those cases when you construed eextremely word that’s said to you, yet the sentence doesn’t make feeling to you or you don’t know what the speaker is pointing at.

我不明白你的意思。Wǒ bù míngbai nǐ de yìsi.I don’t understand also what you suppose.

It functions the very same as 我不懂你的意思 (Wǒ bù dǒng nǐ de yìsi).

你能再说一遍吗?Nǐ néng zài shuō yí biàn ma?Can you say that again?

Sometimes you can just need the speaker to repeat what they shelp, then this expression will certainly come in handy. Anvarious other means of raising this repursuit would certainly be 你可以再说一遍吗?(Nǐ kěyǐ zài shuō yí biàn ma?)

请你再说一遍。Qǐng nǐ zài shuō yí biàn.Please say that again.

This polite imperative functions the same as 你能再说一遍吗?(Nǐ néng zài shuō yí biàn ma?). You deserve to readjust it to 麻烦你再说一遍 (Máfan nǐ zài shuō yí biàn) to sound even even more polite.

… 是什么意思?… shì shénme yìsi?What does … mean?

If your Chinese is great sufficient to go beyond 我听不太懂 (wǒ tīng bú tài dǒng) and also you just missed a few details bereason of a particular word of expression, you have the right to sindicate ask “…是什么意思? (… shì shénme yìsi?)”

How to Say “I understand” in Chinese?

Learning to say “I understand” in Chinese might need a little even more attention than finding out it in various other languperiods. This is bereason there are two contexts wbelow you deserve to usage this expression and also it’s sassist in a different way. Let’s look at them in turn.

When You Understand also at the First Relaying

我懂。Wǒ dǒng.I understand also.我明白。Wǒ míngbai.I understand also.

我懂 (wǒ dǒng) or 我明白 (wǒ míngbai) can expect that you understand the indevelopment at the initially relaying (or even before that) and tbelow is no need for repetition. It’s choose saying “I obtained it” in English.

When You Understand After Some Explaining

我懂了。Wǒ dǒng le.Now I understand also.我明白了。Wǒ míngbai le.Now I understand.

If you are lost at the beginning, yet involved expertise after your conversation partner repeats or describes what they shelp, you can sindicate usage a 了 (le) after 我懂 (wǒ dǒng) or 我明白 (wǒ míngbai) to express “I obtain it now”. 了 (le) is a useful pwrite-up in Chinese and have the right to be used at the finish of a sentence to suggest that the instance is currently different compared to before, that the state of somepoint has changed (in this instance, from previously didn’t understand to understand also now).


Wrap up: How to Say “I don’t understand” in Chinese 

Tbelow are many ways to say “I don’t understand” in Chinese. The many widespread one is 听不懂 (tīng bù dǒng), yet, it must just be offered when you are desperate to pull yourself out of an uncomfortable instance. To keep the conversation going forward, use various other expressions, such as 我听不太懂 (wǒ tīng bú tài dǒng) or 我没听懂 (wǒ méi tīng dǒng) to encourage speakers to rephrase and also explain through less complicated Chinese. You might also request the speaker to repeat themselves through 请你再说一遍 (qǐng nǐ zài shuō yí biàn) or sentences achoose.

On a different note, 听不懂 (tīng bù dǒng) is just supplied once you can’t understand something that you hear. If it’s something visual, use 看不懂 (kàn bù dǒng) or 读不懂 (dú bù dǒng) rather.

Remember, grammar is the glue that holds the pieces of language together, so don’t forgain to examine other grammar short articles on rcfereform.org’s Grammar Channel! 谢谢 (xièxie) for analysis this article!