#7: “死”的用法

死的写法

在中文里面,“死”除了表示死亡、去世的意思之外,还有一个重要的用法。这种用法在口语中使用,能很夸张地描述一件事情或者表达人的心情。

这种用法很简单,就是“动词/形容词+死了”。如果天气很热,人们抱怨“热死了”。公共汽车上人太多,人们抱怨“挤死了”。遇到不高兴的事情,人们就抱怨“气死了”。突然被惊吓,人们就抱怨“吓死了”。工作太多,工人抱怨“累死了”。没有事情做,人们抱怨“无聊死了”。如果肚子很饿,可以说“饿死了”;但是别吃太多,否则就要“撑死了”。另外,还有“担心死了”,“着急死了”等等。如果你的中文很好,你甚至可以说慢速中文“慢死了”。

更有意思的是,“死”也可以用来表达好心情。收到礼物,寿星觉得“开心死了”。考试取得好成绩,学生觉得“高兴死了”。见到明星,歌迷们觉得“激动死了”。另外,还有“兴奋死了”,“幸福死了”等等。记住,在这种好的情况下,一般不用这种用法来描述一件事情。

Slow Chinese # 7
“As all hell!”: The use of “死”
The Chinese character “si”, apart from meaning to die or pass away, has another important usage. This usage is applied in everyday speech, and can exaggeratedly describe an event or express a feeling.

Usage is very simple; just add “si le” to either a verb or adjective. For example, if the weather is too warm, people will complain, “It’s hot as hell.”* If a public bus is crowded, people will complain, “It’s packed as hell.” If something untoward happens, people will complain, “I’m angry as hell.” If suddenly frightened, people will complain, “I’m scared as hell.” When there’s too much work, workers will complain, “I’m tired as hell.” When there’s nothing to do, people will complain, “I’m bored as hell.” If you’re hungry, you can say, “I’m hungry as hell.” But don’t overeat, otherwise you will be “Full as hell.” Meanwhile, there is also “worried as hell’, “concerned as hell,” etc. If your Chinese is very good, you can even say Slow Chinese is “slow as hell.”

More fun is using “si” to express a good feeling. When receiving a birthday present, you can say you feel “happy as hell.” When they get good exam grades, students feel “glad as hell.” When meeting their idol, fans will feel “stoked as hell.” Additionally, there is “excited as hell” and “lucky as hell,” etc. Bear in mind that this usage of “si” is not normally employed to describe positive events.

*Here I have used the catch all English phrase, “…as hell” when “…to death” would be more literal, though it wouldn’t work in all examples.

Neil Armstrong (nbarmstrong123@gmail.com)

5 Comments

  • Simone

    Hi,
    I'd like you to comment on why Chibese girls want to look white and not tanned. I find this strange as in the west we all go to the tanning booth or to the beach to get a glowing golden brown tan.
    Thanks for any enlightenment on this topic.

    • Hi Simone, there is an interesting conversation in the comments of #124 中国的红与白:https://www.slow-chinese.com/podcast/124-zhong-guo-ren-de-hong-yu-bai/
      You may find the answer there.

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  • Found you a few hours ago, very useful to me, thankyou.