"You are happy. I am also happy."


November 20, 2017

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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.


Thankyou so much. I am really battling with this.


wait, the tones changes if the symbols are in words? Where can I read about it? I didnt see it in Duolingo


Certain tones can change based on surrounding tones.

For example, with two or more third tones in a row, all but the last change to second tone, though this is sometimes overridden or negated by tone neutralization, pauses in speech, etc.

These sorts of tone changes aren't always represented in pinyin, but sometimes they are.


Don't you need to add 如果 in the beginning to make an 'if'?


You don't need to, but you can. The "if" is assumed when you don't.


Why is the word 很 included when it's not in the prompt?


It's very common to insert 很 to make a sentence sound better (less abrupt, perhaps), and it doesn't necessarily add any real emphasis, so to give it its literal translation of "very" can be somewhat misleading.

It's not strictly necessary to put it in, I would say, but for Duolingo, and perhaps in general, you should probably treat it as necessary, at least until you develop a better sense of the language and when you can (or perhaps even should) leave it out.

Indeed, where a subject is followed by an adjective (which is sometimes called a "stative verb" in this role), 很 is so often inserted between them for the purposes of euphony and a sense of "completeness" that many basic grammar explanations do call it necessary. Accordingly, it's described as a "linking adverb" or "copular 很", and as such, it's sort of a filler rather than an intensifier. However, other adverbs, such as 非常, can take its place to provide actual emphasis.

That said, both "happy" and "very happy" can be considered legitimate English translations. Orally you can give 很 some intensifying power back by drawing it out for emphasis when you say it.


That bothers me too.


I know it's so annoying


Im loving learning chinese!


Honestly, as someone who grew up speaking mandarin, the 很 also tripped me up. ¯_(ツ)_/¯


Why is the word 很 included when it's not in the prompt?


isn't this you are very happy, I am also very happy?


See my explanation above, which I've fleshed out a little since first posting it:


很 means very and it's not needed here to translate the sentence. I'm a native Chinese speaker.


谢谢 You should report any such errors & for the sake of this course, maybe offer your services to the Duolingo Mandarin team :D


The prompt does not mention that 'also' comes before the 'adjective connecting particle', hence this 1st time I got it wrong because of having no explanation, but now I will remember! : ) = Gao xing.


很 should mean happy


Sorry if my English is not good, I'm 14 years old and Spanish, I've been studying Chinese for 3 years now and my teacher says that there are grades like 好 is the lowest one, then 很 is very and 真(zhēn) is the highest like really something


I could be wrong, but I would say "好" is usually stronger than "很", and "很" is more likely not to add any emphasis at all. (However, it may depend on the context. As with "很", there are also times when "好" is used just because it makes the sentence flow better.)


I suppose that if you write hengaoxing, it means happy, and if you write gaoxing it means pleased.


Not sure about that. It might just be a matter of euphony versus abruptness. But I defer to native Chinese speakers.


Would it be wrong to switch "也/Ye" and "很/Hen"? I'm guessing "很" always has to be next to the adjective.


"很" can be thought of as an adverb, if that helps, and yes, it does have to be next to adjective (or verb) it modifies.


Hello, i say the good answer and Duolingo dont valid my answer. What can i do please?


Press the lower mark on the side below the number of comments and then my answer should be correct.


Another app teach me 快樂 (Kuaile) = happy. Where does that fit in? Also, why does Google use a different charterer for "xing" in Gaoxing (高興)?


You're using traditional characters, as used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, etc., and in a lot of overseas Chinese communities, whereas Duolingo uses simplified characters, as used in China and Singapore. Both character sets are legitimate but currently Duo only accepts the simplified.

Here's some discussion of 快乐 (快樂) versus 高兴 (高興).


Can I put 也 before 我 ?


why can't I use 开心? I'm a native Chinese speaker btw


❤❤❤ why don't i understanf anything here.. in forum


Is it the Chinese characters that you are having trouble with? Several people recommended that we learn some of those first before attempting duolingo, as this course is really not a beginning course. If its the English you are having trouble with, have you read the whole discussion? That is the only way I manage to get an idea of what is being talked about. Good luck.


Almost got it first try




How can I learn the symbols.


try google mandarin and pin yin


try google mandarin and pin yin



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