"That teacher is not fat."


January 3, 2018

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不可以用 “位”?


You can, but I think you won't care about using a honorific word while gossiping somebody's weight.


那位老师不胖 should be okay right ?


Can somebody explain why "那个老师不很胖" is wrong?


Sure 很 can be neutral for the most part, but not when being paired with a negative (不). In that case, it always has its meaning.


That would be "That teacher is not very fat". It implies that the teacher may be a bit fat, just not very fat.


But "hen" is often used as a neutral grammatical particle, even is this course, without meaning "very"... 他很好 doesn't have "very" here :-\


The following is a direct quote from the module Greeting 2:

"In English, we say I am good or She is happy, but in Chinese you don’t use words like am or is before adjectives. Instead, adjectives are usually preceded by 很 (hěn). Sometimes 很 means very, but it’s more often just a way to connect a noun and an adjective."

Applying this principle to the translation of the sentence, "That teacher is not fat", I put "那个老师不很胖" and was marked wrong.

Am I incorrect or did Duolingo goof? If the former, why?


As I understand, 很 is used as you've said in an affirmative sentence. Here 不 serves the purpose of connecting the subject and predicate; 那个老师不很胖 would imply 'that teacher is not very fat' (i.e. the teacher is a bit chunky.)

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