Doing something less with "shao"
少 (shǎo), means "to do less of something" and is often heard when scolding or giving advice (like when parents talk to children).
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" very 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 less junk food.
- 少 买 点 ，吃不完 会 坏 的 。Don't buy too much. It will go bad if we can't finish eating it 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 eat more vegetables.
- 少 来 。Stop it!
- 少 说 废话 。Cut the crap.
- 少 管 闲事 。Stay out of other people's business.