Doing something less with "shao"
Often heard when scolding or giving advice (like when parents talk to children) is 少 (shǎo), which can mean "to do less of something."
Just as you can use 多 to talk about doing something more, you can use 少 to talk about doing something less.
少 + Verb
Note that in English we don't use the word "less" so much. For example, rather than saying "drink less water," we might say "don't drink so much water." In Chinese, though, using 少 is quite natural and common. Avoiding the negative command (telling someone not to do something) is also a subtle way of sounding less bossy and annoying.
- 请 少 放 点 盐 。Less salt, please.
- 少 吃 垃圾 食品 。Eat junk food less.
- 少 买 点 ，吃不完 会 坏 的 。Don't buy too much. It will go bad if we can't finish eating all.
- 你 能不能 少 抽 点 烟 ？Can you smoke less?
- 快 期中 考试 了 ，少 玩 点 游戏 吧 。You're going to take the mid-term exam. Stop playing so much video games.
- 少 喝 点 ，明天 还要 上班 呢 。Don't drink so much. You need go to work tomorrow.
- 少 看 点 电视 ，多 看书 。Watch TV less. Read more.
- 少 吃 点 肉 ，多 吃 点 蔬菜 。Eat less meat and more vegetables.
- 少 来 。Don't give me that. (Stop it!)
- 少 说 废话 。Cut the crap.
- 少 管 闲事 。Stay out of other people's business.