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Expressing "almost" using "chadian mei"

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Logically, 差点没 is not that different from 差点. In fact, you shouldn't think of it as a single word; think of the 没 as belonging to what follows 差点 and it makes more sense. Still, it can be a little confusing, and is worth a closer look.

Logical Structure

Subj. + 差点 + 没 Verb Phrase

Note that the "Verb Phrase" part is a desired result. So this structure is literally saying, "almost didn't [Verb Phrase]."

Also note that because you're using 没, you don't use 了 after the verb phrase.


  • 差点 没 赶 上 火车。 I almost missed it, but I didn't.I almost didn't make the train.
  • 今天 我 差点儿 没 赶 上 飞机。I almost missed it, but I didn't. I almost missed the plane.
  • 我儿子差点儿 没考上大学。 He just barely passed the exam.My son almost failed the college entrance examination.
  • 美国 队 很 有 实力,我们 差点 没 赢。 We almost didn't win, but we did win.The American team is very good, we almost didn't win.
  • 时间 太 紧,这个 项目 差点儿 没 做 完。 We almost didn't finish, but we did.Time was almost up, we almost didn't finish this project.
  • 这 次 对手 太 强 了,我们 队 差点儿 没 赢。But we won.This time, the opponent was so strong that our team almost didn't win.
  • 排队 的 人 太 多 了,差点儿 没 买到。But I did get it.The waiting line is too long. I almost didn't get it.
  • 路上 堵车,我 差点儿 没 按时 到。But I just barely made it on time.The traffic is bad; I was almost late.

See also

Sources and further reading