"It tastes bad."
Is まずい always about something tasting bad? Or can it mean when someone is bad or something doesn't work and is considered bad?
まずい can mean poor or bad in other ways like you mentioned. It can also be used colloquially to mean something like "oh no" or "this is bad" as an interjection.
まずい is "bad" more in the vein of "unpleasant", "unfavorable", or "unappealing", whereas 悪い is "bad" in the sense of "evil", "inferior", or "wrong".
I answered 「これはまずい」and it was counted wrong. I assume it just won't accept it unless you include the copula, despite being able to drop it in colloquial speech.
まずい mainly means you don't like the taste of something, きらい means to hate. You wouldn't say to someone, "I don't like the way the movie tatses."
I keep wanting to translate this as "yabai" but as I recall that can mean something is really good as well as it meaning that something is really bad.
I dont want to be rude so i would be wary about using this phrase. How paranoid am I?
Sorry for that question but, why the hell "tastes" got an "s"?? English is not my first language but I am still good at it. I just don't get this one. Sorry I know it's about Japanese but this one bugs me out.
Subject-verb agreement. When the subject is third person singular (as "it" is in this sentence), the verb typically ends in "s."
Completely serious question: do Duo's English courses not teach subject-verb agreement? I ask because I've explained this three separate times in the English for Japanese speakers section because others also didn't understand why the verb sometimes ends in "s." This is something pretty important in English so it needs to be taught clearly!
I don't know the technical terms like KagayakuSeiza does, but here are some similar examples where the S gets added:
It runs well.
That looks good.
And a slightly more complicated example: He lets the animal go.
Third one is slightly more complicated because there's the word "let(s)" as in that sentence, but also "let's" as in "let us". You'd never say "He let's the animal go" since that wouldn't make grammatical sense.
But yeah, basically I think it comes down to what KagayakuSeiza said? I think if you can say something does something, then you generally add an S to the verb instead of adding "does" to the sentence. So, "It tastes good" is the same as "It does taste good". The main difference is that "does" is usually for the sake of emphasis in such sentences (e.g. "Whoa, this does taste good!").
Is it ever not rude to say this? Not sure i want to commit this to memory yet since im still in the basic phase of things in case i offend someone ^^;
Yes, there are plently of situations; the phrase in and of itself isn't considered rude (after all, it uses です which is the polite copula).
Largely, think of the same situations where you could say "It tastes bad" without offending someone, e.g. commenting to a colleague about the free lunch provided by your company or giving a review of a drink you made from every available option at a self-serve drinks bar (don't judge me; we've all done it).
Alternatively, as suggested by @KagayakuSeiza in the top comment thread, this phrase can also be used like an interjection à la "Oh-uh, this is bad", and so the considerations for its rudeness are exactly the same that interjection as in English.