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"I am happy."


November 17, 2017



Tips and notes

When we want to describe something we don’t use the verb “to be”, we have to put something else before an adjective. The most common word used to do this is 很 hěn, which literally means very. It goes between the subject (who or what we are describing) and the adjective (what we are describing it as). Since 很 is used so often like this, it oftentimes doesn’t mean “very”, just a link between a noun and an adjective.

*Pinyin in brackets is the actual pronunciation as a result of the change of tone.

Chinese ----- Pinyin ----- English

我很好。----- Wǒ hěn[hén]* hǎo. ----- I'm good.

你很高兴。----- Nǐ[ní] hěn gāoxìng. ----- You are happy.

The word for “also” or “too” is much less flexible in Chinese than in English. It must always come after the subject and before the verb.

Chinese ----- Pinyin ----- English

我也认识你。----- Wǒ[wó] yě rènshi nǐ. ----- I also know you. / I know you, too.

我也很高兴。----- Wǒ yě[yé] hěn gāoxìng. ----- I am happy, also. / I am also happy.

也 can also be used in the phrase "If X is... then Y is (also) ..." Here we don't need to use 很.

Chinese ----- Pinyin ----- English

你高兴,我也高兴. ----- nǐ gāoxìng, wǒ[wó] yě gāoxìng. ----- If you are happy then I am happy.

你很高兴,我也很高兴。----- nǐ[ní] hěn gāoxìng, wǒ yě[yé] hěn gāo xìng. ----- You are happy, I am also happy.

我高兴,他也高兴。----- wǒ gāo xìng, tā yě gāoxìng ----- If I am happy then he is happy.


Wait... so when should we use 很 and when is it okay to not use it? I mean, if 我高兴 and 我很高兴 are both correct, why do we bother using 很 in the first place? Also... does 我好 mean something else in Chinese, like 你好? Can I say 我好 (without the 很) to mean 'I am good'?

soooo many questions, sorry, I'm a noob....


Technically you could say 我高兴, and people will know what you are saying, but it sounds weird. (Imagine if somebody came up to you and said "I happy".)


the character for hen translated means "very." The difference between me happy versus I am very happy.


This suggests that by leaving out hěn you get an "if/then" statement. Is this always the way to say if/then or are there words for if and then?


To clarify, is it correct that you still need the 很 in 我也很高兴 unless it's part of an "if X is... then Y is also..." statement?


Wait.. so when should we use 很 and when is it okay to not use it? I mean, if both 我高兴 and 我很高兴 are both correct, why do we bother using 很 in the first place? Also... does 我好 make any sense in Chinese, like 你好?

soooo many questions, sorry, I'm a noob..


我很高兴 - I am happy , 很 is to make the sentence smooth to express your emotion ,if saying 我高兴 ,is kinda weird ,

I am hungry - 我很饿 I am thirsty - 我很渴

我非常高兴 - I am very happy


I've also heard that you can't use 很 (as in, it's wrong to use it) in a 比 comparison: "I am happier than you": 我比你高兴 (with no 很).


what is difference between 姓 and 兴 ?


They are essentially pronounced the same (xing4), but have different meanings. 姓 = surname, and of course, 高兴 means "happy".


The audio doesn't sound like a fourth tone here, though. It sounds like a first tone...


Sometimes in madarin (particularly on the mainland) the tone of the second charactor in a phrase is dropped. For example, 姐姐 will follow this rule. You will get familiar with which tones you can drop and which ones you need to keep.

Either that or the audio is wrong lol.


"姓" and "兴" have the same tone as "xing" (The tone 4) There are some/most of the "pin yin" has the same tone, likewise for this example : "xing" (Tone 4) 幸 - xing (tone 4) too

The only difference is the meaning of the words 姓名 - Name

高兴 - Happy 兴趣 - Interest (Hobby)

Hope it helps ;)


I also learned kuai4le4 for happy when I took a Mandarin course many years ago. Any fluent speakers have comment on the nuance between the two?


高兴is used more to say that you are feeling happy, e.g. 我很高兴 (I'm very happy) whereas 快乐 is more for describing a person, e.g. 快乐的孩子 (A happy child). Both do translate to "happy" but are used differently. You'll get used to it eventually.


Doesnt hen mean very?


In a lot of cases, yes, hěn means very. However, in Mandarin, there isn't exactly a need for the word "is" in a Noun + Adjective unlike in English, which makes sentences like "Nǐ máng ma?" ("Are you busy?") acceptable. Instead, the structure in mandarin in sentences describing something falls under a Noun + the degree of the adjective + Adjective, such as "Tā bù gāo" ("He is not tall"). Now this is where it gets a little confusing, when you don't want to put a degree on the adjective, hěn is used as a link between noun and adjective, because the word "shì" is only used when linking a noun with a noun. It takes a little getting used to, but I hope I helped a bit.


shi is used only for nouns? so for adjectives we use hen?


Why are there so many repeats of comments?


would wo hen hao also work ?


我很好 means "I am well/good". I don't believe it can mean "I am happy."(我很高兴。)

For example, One may be doing well or feeling well but may not be happy at the same time. I suppose context would determine the meaning of one's vocabulary despite whether or not those terms are used accurately.

It is like "ignorant" and "rude" 90% of North America(in my experience) misuse the word "ignorant" in place of "rude". Ironically, making them ignorant of the vocabulary they are using.


No, that means you are well


That's I'm OK, I'm fine, but not happy.


That will change the meaning to "I am good", which is the answer for question "ni hao ma?"


I don't have Chinese keyboard


When to use hen (i cant make the special e) and when to say shi?


For noun = noun use 是(shi4). Eg 我是加拿大人。For noun is some adjective use 很(hen3). Eg 我很高。


The correct simplified Mandarin for this is, according to Google, 我很开心 or Wǒ hěn kāixīn.

我很高兴 or Wǒ hěn gāoxìng. is actually "I am VERY happy". I think Duo Lingo have casued a great deal of confusion with this. They seem to get it a bit about face themselves, going between "pleased" and "nice" as the mood takes them.


Hi in every exercise you use "hen gaoxing" to say "happy" but gaoxing is supposed to be happy, "hen" means "very" so "hen gaoxing" would be "very happy". I just thought that maybe you should change this, unless I am wrong

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