"I am not a student."


November 26, 2017

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wo is me in chinese


Or I - I not student, tried to push am in, and I was wrong - many languages do not use the verb to be as in English.


you actually could. Duolingo just didn't add that in. You could also say 我是个学生 (wo shi ge xue sheng) which means I am a student.


Why 我不是学生 here and not in 我不高兴?


It's a difference of nouns vs adjectives. I'll try to explain :-)

是 is used to say someone is a noun. (Examples: I am a student. You are a teacher. We are people.) When we make a negative, it becomes 不是. (Ex. I am not a student.)

  • 我是学生 = I am a student (noun)
  • 我不是学生 = I am not a student (noun)

In your other example, it is describing someone as an adjective. (Examples: I am happy. You are fast. We are nice.) In the positive, it would be 很 instead of 是. (我很高兴). Negative sentences however, do not use 不很, just 不.

  • 我很高兴 = I am happy (adjective)
  • 我不高兴 = I am not happy (adjective)


Thank you so much for the reply! That makes complete sense! Much appreciated!


Worth keeping in mind that according to a bunch of people, 很 really means "very" and is little used in the way we're being taught (where it only means "very" in a secondary way and is mostly used as a kind of "is" reserved for adjectives). But I think you can't say 我高兴, there must be something relevant between the two words. Chinese people apparently say "very" more easily than others.


Thanks man this was of great help.


Tbh, for this to be grammatically correct, it should be 我是个学生。 我不是学生 would translate to 'I'm not student'.


Can someone explain why the need of 是 and not hěn? It does not quite make sense to me. Thanks!


"I'm not very student" is essentially what you propose. 很 (hěn) means "very" and is one of the possible ways to connect 我 and 高兴, from what I gather. We're being taught that it really means "is" most of the time but a lot of people I've read (including natives) stress that it's just that Chinese people use "very" pretty lightly.

The verb "to be", at least to connect pronoun to noun (I don't want to get ahead of myself here), would be 是. Student (学生) is a noun so there's no question that 很 would be incorrect even without looking further into details.


It should be 我不是个学生.

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