Adding emphasis with "fei....buke"

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Most advanced Chinese learners know how to express "wanting to do something" with 要, but sometimes you need to turn it up a degree and express "absolutely insist on doing something." In that case, you can use 一定要 or 非要. Most time 非要 appears with a self-willed emotional color while一定要 is just a expression of "absolutely wanting " or "absolutely insist" without any emotional color.

Expressing Determination


When used before a verb, 非⋯⋯ 不可 expresses that the speaker has strong desire and determination to do that thing.

Subj. + 非(要) + [Verb Phrase] + 不可


  • 气 死 我 了 ,我 非要 打 死 你 不可 .
  • 我们 问 清楚 不可 .
  • 抓到 他 不可 .

不可 is often omitted when the speaker dislike the action or disagree on the action.

  • 今天 那么 冷,可是 我 女儿 非要 穿 裙子 。It's so cold today, but my daughter is determined to wear skirt.
  • 我 不 让 他 喝 那么 多 ,可是非要 喝 。I don't want him to drink so much, but he had to.
  • 我 不 想 去 ,可是非要 让 我 去 。I didn't want to go, but she made me go.
  • 情人节 那天 ,我 女朋友 非要 让 我 送 她 玫瑰花 。My girlfriend made me give her roses on Valentine's Day.

Used as "Must"

It can be also used to emphasize something must be done or must be someone. Actually it has the similar meaning with 必须 in this case.


非 + Subj. + [Verb Phrase] + 不可

Note that 要 is not necessary in this pattern.


  • 这 个 项目 来 做 不可 .
  • 这 个 文件 大老板 签字 不可 .
  • 这 张 电影 票 明天 就 到期 了 , 今天 去 看 不可 .

Predicating Future Events


In that case, you can use 一定会 instead.

非(要) + Subj. + [Verb Phrase] + 不可

Note 不可 can't be omitted in this sentence pattern.


  • 要是 被 老板 发现 了 , 炒 你 鱿鱼 不可 .
  • 你 再 说 下去 ,他 生气 不可 .
  • 我们 再 不 出发 , 迟到 不可 .
  • 天气 这么 冷 ,你 穿 这么 少 , 感冒 不可 .

See also

Sources and further reading