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Three Chinese Verbs with the Meaning of to Dislike Posted by on Oct 25, 2021 in Vocabulary

Photo by mohamed_hassan from Pixabay, CCO

喜欢 (xǐ huan) is a verb, meaning to liketo be fond of. It’s a very common verb, and can be attributed to people, food, objects, hobbies, etc. To change its meaning to the antonym verb of to dislike, just add the negative prefix 不 (bù) before it. 不 plus 喜欢 forms the verb 不喜欢, which is very common and useful, as well. For example:

  • 我不喜欢下棋,空闲时间我打麻将。

Wǒ bù xǐ huān xià qí, kòng xián shí jiān wǒ dǎ má jiàng.

I don’t like playing chess. I play mahjong in my free time.

  • 事情发生之后,人家都不喜欢他了。

Shì qíng fā shēng zhī hòu, rén jiā dōu bù xǐ huān tā le.

After what happened, people didn’t like him anymore.

  • 有人喜欢吃豆腐,有人不喜欢吃。

Yǒu rén xǐ huān chī dòu fu, yǒu rén bù xǐ huān chī.

Some people like to eat tofu, and some don’t.

  • 自己不喜欢的事情,不要强加于人。

Zì jǐ bù xǐ huān de shì qíng, bù yào qiáng jiā yú rén.

Don’t impose on others what you don’t like.

  • 我不喜欢看喜剧电影,她不喜欢看剧情片,一起去电影院的时候我们看动作片。

Wǒ bù xǐ huān kàn xǐ jù diàn yǐng, tā bù xǐ huān kàn jù qíng piān, yī qǐ qù diàn yǐng yuàn de shí hòu wǒ men kàn dòng zuò piàn.

I don’t like to watch comedy movies, she doesn’t like to watch drama movies. When we go to the cinema together, we watch action movies.

 

讨厌 (tǎo yàn) has several uses. As an adjective it describes something nasty or disgusting. As a verb, Chinese dictionaries define it as: 厌恶; 不喜欢 (yàn wù; bù xǐ huān). Which means to loathe, to dislike. Although 讨厌 has been defined by the verb 不喜欢, the two are not exactly identical in meaning. 讨厌 bears stronger objection than 不喜欢. It describes things the speaker finds difficult to do or to handle. It refers to people, actions, situations, etc, as you can see in the following examples:

  • 大家都讨厌骄矜的人。

Dà jiā dōu tǎo yàn jiāo jīn de rén.

Everyone hates haughty people.

  • 同学们都不想和他玩,都很讨厌他。

Tóng xué men dōu bù xiǎng hé tā wán, dōu hěn tǎo yàn tā.

The pupils don’t want to play with him, they all hate him.

  • 人类讨厌不确定性。

Rén lèi tǎo yàn bù què dìng xìng.

Mankind doesn’t like uncertainty.

  • 我讨厌相亲,太尴尬了。

Wǒ tǎo yàn xiāng qīn, tài gān gà le.

I don’t like blind dates, it’s so embarrassing.

  • 我特别讨厌背地里议论别人。

Wǒ tè bié tǎo yàn bèi dì lǐ yì lùn bié rén.

I really hate talking about others behind their back.

 

Another verb that is not always translated as to dislike, but is very useful when talking about what one doesn’t like is the verb (xián). The Chinese dictionaries define 嫌 as: 厌恶,不满意,怨 (yàn wù, bù mǎn yì, yuàn). Which means: to loathe, to be dissatisfied, to blame. The usage of the verb is a bit different from the former two verbs in the post. 嫌 is a more specific one to use when disliking something and elaborating why. While 不喜欢 and 讨厌 are followed by only the object, the target of these feelings; the verb 嫌 is followed by the object plus the reason. Someone + 嫌 + someone/something + specific explanation. The object of 嫌 becomes the subject of the following clause. For example:

  • 他嫌这儿吵,就行走了。

Tā xián zhè er chǎo, jiù xíng zǒu le.

He didn’t like the noise here, and walked away.

  • 她嫌这个孩子的脾气不好,不想一起玩儿了。

Tā xián zhè ge hái zi de pí qì bù hǎo, bù xiǎng yī qǐ wán er le.

She didn’t like the bad temper of the child, and didn’t want to play with him.

  • 孩子一口也不吃, 他嫌这菜不好吃。

Hái zi yī kǒu yě bù chī, tā xián zhè cài bù hào chī.

The child didn’t eat a bite, he finds the dish not delicious.

  • 我真的想跟你讲话,但是我怕你嫌我说得胡说八道。

Wǒ zhēn de xiǎng gēn nǐ jiǎng huà, dàn shì wǒ pà nǐ xián wǒ shuō dé hú shuō bā dào.

I really want to talk to you, but I’m afraid you might think I’m talking nonsense.

 

好好学习,天天向上!



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