How to use the word “非常“ in Chinese

In this Learn Chinese lesson, we’ll focus on the sentence pattern that is using word “非常 fēicháng ”. Simply put, “非常 fēicháng ” = “very”.

However, the way it is used in Chinese is a bit tricky if you’re trying to duplicate the way “very” is used in English.

When I first started to learn English, I used to say “Very than you!” without feeling odd about the way I used “very”. My Chinese classmates inclined to make the same mistake as I did. Do you know why?

The reason behind this is due to the usage of “very” in Chinese is somewhat different:

You can use “非常” not only before adjectives, but also verbs!

Before we move on, let’s check out a few new words first:

Simplified Chinese Traditional Chinese Mandarin Pinyin English Definition
非常 非常 fei1 chang2 extreme; very;
感谢 感謝 gan3 xie4 (express) thanks; gratitude; thanks;
抱歉 抱歉 bao4 qian4 to be sorry; to feel apologetic; sorry!;
想念 想念 xiang3 nian4 to miss; to remember with longing;
讨厌 討厭 tao3 yan4 to dislike; to loathe;
特别 特別 te4 bie2 especially; particular;
相当 相當 xiang1 dang1 fairly; quite;
家乡 家鄉 jia1 xiang1 hometown

 

 

When you’re done with new words, let’s move on …

To use 非常 fēicháng before adjectives is just the same as “very” being used in English:

非常 + adjective = very + adjective

To use it before verbs is the focus of today’s lesson.

We can say “Thank you very much!” in Chinese like this:

非常感谢!   fēi cháng gǎn xiè!

感谢 gǎn xiè” has the same meaning as “谢谢 xiè xie”, but sounds more formal. However, if you want to use “非常” to emphasize your gratitude, you have to use “感谢 gǎn xiè” together with “非常  fēi cháng”, instead of “谢谢  xiè xie”. Using “非常感谢  fēi cháng gǎn xiè” in both oral or written circumstances are both OK.

Similar usage of “非常  fēi cháng” can be applied to “I’m so sorry.”

Use “非常抱歉 fēicháng bàoqiàn” or “非常对不起 fēicháng duìbuqǐ” . “抱歉 bàoqiàn” and “对不起 duìbuqǐ” both mean “apologize for …”.

There are some other verbs that can be used after “非常  fēi cháng” as well, such as :

非常看不起 fēicháng kànbuqǐ -> rather look down upon (somebody / something)
非常想念 fēicháng xiǎngniàn -> miss (somebody / something) very much
非常喜欢 fēicháng xǐhuan -> like (somebody / something) very much
非常讨厌 fēicháng tǎoyàn -> dislike (somebody / something) very much
etc.

But still, there are a lot more verbs can not be used this way. The rule to know whether the verb can be used after “非常” actually is quite straightforward:

As long as the verb can be used this way in English:

“verb + very much”
or “verb + a lot”

Then, that verb can be used after “非常  fēi cháng” in Chinese.

For example,

He hates his job very much.

他非常讨厌这份工作.

(tā fēicháng tǎoyàn zhè fèn gōngzuò.)

The alternatives of “非常” are:

 hěn, 特别 tèbié, 相当 xiāngdāng

 

You can use the above “very” words to do some practice until you can create your own sentences utilizing those words. The following is an example of ways to practice them. You’ll see four different ways of saying “Sister misses hometown very much.”

jiějie fēicháng xiǎngniàn jiāxiāng.

姐姐非常想念家乡.

 

jiějie hěnxiǎng niàn jiāxiāng.

姐姐很想念家乡.

 

jiějie tèbié xiǎngniàn jiāxiāng.

姐姐特别想念家乡.

 

jiějie xiāngdāng xiǎngniàn jiāxiāng.

姐姐相当想念家乡.

 

Is it clear to you now? Welcome to have my face to face lesson on http://www.verbling.com/teachers/dawei  !  🙂

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