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Adjectives with "name" and "zheme"

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In English, the words "that" and "so" are often used to increase the extent of an adjective (ex. "he is so tall" or "this food is so good"). In Chinese, 那么 (nàme) and 这么 (zhème) serve the same function.

Structure

All you have to do to use this grammar structure is put the 那么 or 这么 in front of the adjective.

Subj. + 那么 / 这么 + Adj.

Examples

  • 他 说得 这么 快 ,你们 听 得 懂 吗 ?Tā shuōde zhème kuài, nǐmen tīng de dǒng ma?He speaks so fast. Can you understand?
  • 我 没 想到 这个 考试 这么 难 。Wǒ méi xiǎng dào zhège kǎoshì zhème nán.I didn't expect this exam would be so difficult.
  • 这么 大,明天 再 去 吧 。zhème dà, míngtiān zài qù ba.It's raining so heavily. How about we go tomorrow?
  • 那么 聪明 ,一定 能 猜到 。nàme cōngming, yīdìng néng cāi dào.You're so smart. You can guess this.
  • 老板 那么 忙 ,肯定 没 时间 。Lǎobǎn nàme máng, kěndìng méi shíjiān.The boss is so busy. He definitely won't have time for this.
  • 今天 怎么 这么 冷 ?Jīntiān zěnme zhème lěng?Why is it so cold today?
  • 你 怎么 这么 没 礼貌 ?Nǐ zěnme zhème méi lǐmào?Why are you so impolite?
  • 这个 老外 怎么 会 了解 那么 多 中国 历史 ?Zhège lǎowài zěnme huì liǎojiě nàme duō Zhōngguó lìshǐ?How come this foreigner knows so much about Chinese history?
  • 中国 人口 这么 多 ,当然 会 有 很 多 社会 问题 。Zhōngguó rénkǒu zhème duō, dāngrán huì yǒu hěn duō shèhuì wèntí.China has such a big population. Of course there will be many social problems.
  • 科技 那么 发达 ,什么 都 是 有 可能 的 。Kējì nàme fādá, shénme dōu shì yǒu kěnéng de.Science and technology is so developed. Nothing is impossible.

When to use which one

You might be thinking 那 and 这 have different meanings. How can they be used the same way? Well, there are some differences. 这么 is used when the thing you are talking about is close by, when you would say "this" or 这个. On the other hand, if the object is far away, you would use 那么. Furthermore, this distance doesn't have to be physical; it can also refer to time, so you would use 那么 with things like "yesterday" or "tomorrow."

See also

Sources and further reading

Books