Three Chinese Verbs with the Meaning of to Dislike Posted by Ayana on Oct 25, 2021 in Vocabulary
喜欢 (xǐ huan) is a verb, meaning to like, to 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:
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.
Shì qíng fā shēng zhī hòu, rén jiā dōu bù xǐ huān tā le.
After what happened, people didn’t like him anymore.
Yǒu rén xǐ huān chī dòu fu, yǒu rén bù xǐ huān chī.
Some people like to eat tofu, and some don’t.
Zì jǐ bù xǐ huān de shì qíng, bù yào qiáng jiā yú rén.
Don’t impose on others what you don’t like.
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:
Dà jiā dōu tǎo yàn jiāo jīn de rén.
Everyone hates haughty people.
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.
Rén lèi tǎo yàn bù què dìng xìng.
Mankind doesn’t like uncertainty.
Wǒ tǎo yàn xiāng qīn, tài gān gà le.
I don’t like blind dates, it’s so embarrassing.
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 嫌 (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:
Tā xián zhè er chǎo, jiù xíng zǒu le.
He didn’t like the noise here, and walked away.
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.
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.
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