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Expressing "no wonder"

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怪不得 (guàibude) can be used to express that the speaker finds something unsurprising. It can be used alone or in a variety of different structures, as shown below. 难怪 (nánguài) is another way to express exactly the same thing.

Emphasis on 怪不得

Structure

怪不得 is used to convey the speaker's lack of amazement at a situation, having recently acquired some new information that in his opinion explains it. It can be replaced with 难怪 in the structure without altering its meaning.

Reason ,怪不得 / 难怪 + [Observation]

Examples

  • 小张 请假 了,怪不得 今天 没有 看到 他 。Xiǎo Zhāng qǐngjià le, guàibude jīntiān méiyǒu kàndào tā.Little Zhang asked for some vacation time, no wonder I haven't seen him today.
  • 天天 迟到 ,怪不得 他 被 炒鱿鱼 。Tiāntiān chídào, guàibude tā bèi chǎoyóuyú.He's late for work everyday. No wonder he got fired.
  • 她 是 你 妹妹 ?难怪 你们 长 得 这么 像 。Tā shì nǐ mèimei? Nánguài nǐmen cháng de zhème xiàng.She's your younger sister. No wonder you two look so much alike.
  • 你 手机 没电 了 ?怪不得 我 打 不 通 。Nǐ shǒujī méi diàn le? Guàibude wǒ dǎ bu tōng.Your cell phone is out of battery? No wonder I couldn't get through.
  • 你 放 了 醋 ?难怪 这么 难吃 !Nǐ fàng le cù? Nánguài zhème nánchī!You put vinegar. No wonder it taste so bad!

Emphasis on 原来

Structure

怪不得 / 难怪 + [Observation] ,原来 (+ 是) + Reason

Examples

  • 怪不得 她 拉肚子 ,原来 她 昨天 又 吃 火锅 了 。Guàibude tā lādùzi, yuánlái tā zuótiān yòu chī huǒguō le.No wonder she had a diarrhea. She went to eat hotpot again yesterday.
  • 难怪 学生 都 不 喜欢 这个 老师 ,原来 他 的 作业 太 多 了 。Nánguài xuéshēng dōu bù xǐhuan zhège lǎoshī, yuánlái tā de zuòyè tài duō le.No wonder the students don't like this teacher. The homework he gives is too much.
  • 怪不得 你们 这么 高兴 ,原来 是 要 结婚 了 。Guàibude nǐmen zhème gāoxìng, yuánlái shì yào jiéhūn le.No wonder you two look so happy. You are getting married.
  • 难怪 这里 人 这么 多 ,原来 在 打折 。Nánguài zhèlǐ rén zhème duō, yuánlái zài dǎzhé.No wonder there are so many people here. There's a sale going on.
  • 怪不得 他 没 告诉 我 ,原来 是 不 想 让 我 担心 。Guàibude tā méi gàosu wǒ, yuánlái shì bù xiǎng ràng wǒ dānxīn.No wonder he hasn't told me. He doesn't want me to worry about this.

the Other Meaning of 难怪

This usage is definitely less common, but sometimes 难怪 is a combination of the 难 + Verb pattern and the verb 怪, meaning "to blame." In this case, the meaning is totally different. Although it's not as common and you shouldn't need to worry about it too much, we include it here because if you ever run into and think that 难怪 can only ever have one meaning, it can totally throw you for a loop.

A few examples:

  • 这 也 难怪 他 ,他 这么 小 。 Zhè yě nánguài tā, tā zhème xiǎo.Don't blame him. He's so young.
  • 这 也 难怪 大家 ,是 我们 通知 晚 了 。Zhè yě nánguài dàjiā, shì wǒmen tōngzhī wǎn le.Don't blame everybody. It was a short notice.

When used in this way it expresses that the speaker assigns no blame in the situation he is describing. Sometimes the specific person undeserving of blame is mentioned directly after 难怪, as in the first two examples. Often however the context makes clear who this person is and this is not necessary, as in the third example.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books

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