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Expressing "had better" with "zuihao"

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Sure, 最好 (zuìhǎo) means "best." But it can also be used to mean "it would be best to" or "had better." It is often used when giving advice to someone or even politely making demands.

Positive Form

Structure

Subj. + 最好 + Predicate

The predicate part of the pattern can be a verb or an adjective.

Examples

  • 最好 先 休息 一下 。zuìhǎo xiān xiūxi yīxià.You'd better get some rest first.
  • 你们 最好 给 他 打 个 电话 问 一下 。Nǐmen zuìhǎo gěi tā dǎ gè diànhuà wèn yīxià.It would be best for you to give him a call and ask.
  • 那个 地方 不 好 找 ,我们 最好 查 一下 百度 地图 。Nàge dìfang bù hǎo zhǎo, wǒmen zuìhǎo chá yīxià Bǎidù dìtú.It's not easy to find that place. We'd better search for it on Baidu Maps.
  • 外面 挺 冷 的,最好 多 穿 点 。Wàimiàn tǐng lěng de, zuìhǎo duō chuān diǎn.It's pretty cold outside. Best to wear some more layers.
  • 这个 活动 很 重要,我们 最好 穿 得 正式 一点 。Zhège huódòng hěn zhòngyào, wǒmen zuìhǎo chuān de zhèngshì yīdiǎn.This is an important event. We'd better wear something more formal.

Negative Form

Structure

Subj. + 最好 + 别 / 不要 + Predicate

Examples

  • 最好 别 去 。Zuìhǎo bié qù.You'd better not go.
  • 最好 不要 这样 说 。Zuìhǎo bùyào zhèyàng shuō.It's best not to say something like this.
  • 晚饭 最好 不要 吃 那么 多 。Wǎnfàn zuìhǎo bùyào chī nàme duō.It's best not to eat so much for dinner.
  • 雨 这么 大 ,最好 别 出门 。Yǔ zhème dà, zuìhǎo bié chūmén.It's raining so heavily. It's best not to leave the house.
  • 这个 问题 是 隐私 的,最好 不要 问 。Zhège wèntí shì yǐnsī de, zuìhǎo bùyào wèn.This question is private. You'd better not ask.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books