Expressing "let alone" with "bie shuo"

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别说 (bié shuō) means something like "leaving aside" or "don't think about," and is used in the following way:

Structure

别说 + A , 连 / 就是+ B + 也 / 都 + Verb

This is similar to English where we might say: "don't think about preparing a banquet, you can't even make instant noodles." Note that this sentence structure is the reverse to the 更不用说 pattern.

Examples

  • 别说 一百, 就是 一 块 钱 我 不 给 你 。Bié shuō yībǎi, jiùshì yīkuài qián wǒ bù gěi nǐ.Don't think about one hundred, I won't even give you one kuai.
  • 别说 爱 我, 你 要是 爱 我, 不 会 离开 我 了。
  • 别说 白酒, 啤酒 的 味道 我 受 不了。Bié shuō báijiǔ, lián píjiǔ de wèidào wǒ dōu shòu bùliǎo.Don't even mention baijiu, I can't even stand the taste of beer.
  • 别说 英语, 你 说 中文 我 不 知道 怎么 回答。
  • 这么 难 的 问题,别说 你,就是 老师 不 知道 答案。Zhème nán de wèntí, bié shuō nǐ, jiùshì lǎoshī bù zhīdào dá'àn.Don't even mention you, the teacher can't even know the answer to such a difficult question.
  • 别说 做 菜 了,他 怎么 煮 方便面 不 知道。Bié shuō zuò cài le, tā lián zěnme zhǔ fāngbiànmiàn dōu bù zhīdào.Don't even think about cooking. He doesn't even know how to boil instant noodles.
  • 别说 旅游 了,他 出门 不 想 出。
  • 别说 是 我, 你妈妈 不 会 原谅 你。
  • 这么 贵 的房子,别说 你,就是 会 想 要 的。
  • 这件事情,别说 你,任何人 看到 会 帮忙的。

且不说 is more formal than 别说, but is used in the same way.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books

HSK5