Expressing "not at all" with "yidianr ye bu"
Sometimes we may want to say something is "not even the least bit [adjective]." For example, we might say in English: "I am not at all hungry." In Chinese, we can use 一点(儿)也不 (yīdiǎnr yě bù) or 一点(儿)都不 (yīdiǎnr dōu bù) to express "not at all [adjective]."
Used with Adjectives
The phrases 一点(儿)也不 and 一点(儿)都不 can both be used to express "not at all."
Subj. + 一点(儿) + 也 / 都 + 不 + Adj.
- 那个 问题 一点儿 也 不 难 。That question isn't difficult at all.
- 这个 菜 一点 都 不 好吃 。This dish isn't tasty at all.
- 我 同事 一点 都 不 幽默 。My colleague is not humorous at all.
- 这个 笑话 一点 也 不 好笑 。This joke isn't funny at all.
Used with Verbs
This describes the subject as being "not at all adjective" or "not even slightly adjective." Psychological verbs can also appear in place of the adjective in this structure.
Subj. + 一点 + 也 / 都 + 不 + [Verb Phrase]
If the verb has an object, it sometimes gets moved to the front of the sentence.
- 我 一点 也 不 喜欢 奶酪 。I don't like cheese at all.
- 你 一点 也 不 会 说 吗 ？You can't speak at all?
- 她 一点 都 不 知道 这 件 事 。She doesn't know about this at all.
- 我 儿子 一点 都 不 爱 玩 游戏 。My son doesn't like to play games at all.
The phrases "一点也没 " and "一点都没 " can also be used to express "not at all ." This is used when the statement uses or implies the verb negative form of 有 in the past.
- 我 一点 也 没 生气 。I wasn't angry at all.
- 她 一点 都 没 准备 。She didn't prepare at all.
- 作业 他 一点 都 没 做 ？The object 作业 got moved to the frontHe didn't do his homework at all?
- 这个 菜 你们 怎么 一点 也 没 吃 ？The object 这个菜 got moved to the frontWhy didn't you eat this dish at all?
Sources and further reading
- Basic Patterns of Chinese Grammar (pp. 36-7) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 2 (pp. 37- 9) →buy