Expressing "hard to avoid" with "nanmian"

难免 (nánmiǎn) means "to be unavoidable" or "inevitable" and is most commonly placed before a verb, often an auxiliary verb such as 会 or 要. It can only be used to introduce an inevitable situation that is characterized by negative features. One cannot use 难免 to talk of a positive inevitability such as "you will inevitably have a good time."


(Subj.) + 难免 + Verb


  • 刚 开始 说 外语 时 难免 会 有 一些 误会。When you first start speaking a foreign language, there are inevitably going to be some misunderstandings.
  • 年轻 人 难免 会 遇到 挫折,关键 是 学习 怎么样 克服。Young people are always going to face problems, but the most important thing is to learn how to overcome them.
  • 第 一 次 坐 飞机 出国 难免 会 有点 兴奋 。There‘s no way not to feel excited about it the first time you go abroad by plane .
  • 现在 是 高峰期,地铁 难免 会 拥挤。It's rush hour right now. There's no way to avoid the congestion in the subway.
  • 这家 公司 的 实习生 难免 要 做 一些 打杂 的 事。There's no way for the interns at this firm to avoid doing odds and ends.

Using a negative in the phrase after 难免 does not change the meaning of the sentence. So, for example, 难免不拥挤 and 难免拥挤 mean the same thing.

See also

Sources and further reading