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Conceding with "ba"

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The particle 吧 (ba) can also be used to concede a point. That is, 吧 (ba) can be used to accept or agree with something that you're not particularly happy about, the way we might use "all right" or "fine then" in English.

Structure

Similar to other uses of 吧 (ba), this usage is also simply placed on the end of a sentence or statement.

Statement + 吧

Examples

To understand what someone is conceding to, it's best to present this usage as a number of super short dialogs which provide a little context.

In this first one, B has to accept that his luxury goods shopping dreams have been shattered.

  • A:太 贵 了!Tài guì le! That's too expensive!
  • B:,我们 可以 看看 别的。 Hǎo ba, wǒmen kěyǐ kànkan biéde.All right, we can take a look at something else.

Now B must accept inconvenient schedule changes.

  • A:下午 我 不 在 家,你 可以 晚上 来 吗?Xiàwǔ wǒ bù zài jiā, nǐ kěyǐ wǎnshang lái ma? This afternoon I won't be home. Can you come by this evening?
  • B:Xíng ba.All right.

B is now conceding that going out in this crazy rain doesn't make sense.

  • A:雨 太 大 了,明天 再 去 买 吧。 Yǔ tài dà le, míngtiān zài qù mǎi ba.It's raining heavily. Let's go buy it tomorrow.
  • B:,但是 明天 一定 要 买到 。Hǎo ba, dànshì míngtiān yídìng yào mǎidào.Fine, but tomorrow we definitely have to buy it.

Now B is agreeing to let more guys into his secret club.

  • A:可以 带 朋友 吗? Kěyǐ dài péngyou ma ? Can I bring friends?
  • B:, 但是 不 能 带 女孩。 Xíng ba, dànshì bù néng dài nǚhái.All right, but you can't bring girls.

Now B is having a friend cancel plans on him. Not a good day for B!

  • A:我 今天 不 太 舒服,你 可以 自己 去 吗? Wǒ jīntiān bù tài shūfu, nǐ kěyǐ zìjǐ qù ma?I'm not feeling well today. Can you go by yourself?
  • B:, 那 你 好好 休息。 Hǎo ba, nà nǐ hǎohǎo xiūxi.All right, rest well then.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books