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Expressing "let alone" with "bie shuo"

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别说 (bié shuō) means something like "leaving aside" or "don't think about," and is used in the following way:

Structure

别说 + A , 连 / 就是+ B + 也 / 都 + Verb

This is similar to English where we might say: "don't think about preparing a banquet, you can't even make instant noodles." Note that this sentence structure is the reverse to the 更不用说 pattern.

Examples

  • 别说 一百, 就是 一 块 钱 我 不 给 你 。Don't think about one hundred, I won't even give you one kuai.
  • 别说 白酒, 啤酒 的 味道 我 受 不了。Don't even mention baijiu, I can't even stand the taste of beer.
  • 这么 难 的 问题,别说 你,就是 老师 不 知道 答案。Don't even mention you, the teacher can't even know the answer to such a difficult question.
  • 别说 做 菜 了,他 怎么 煮 方便面 不 知道。Don't even think about cooking. He doesn't even know how to boil instant noodles.

且不说 is more formal than 别说, but is used in the same way.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books