Expressing "to make certain" with "qianwan"
千万 (qiānwàn) looks like a number ("thousand ten thousand"?) but it actually means "to make certain." It is more common in the negative form, but is also used in the positive. It really adds a kick to your sentence!
千万 usually starts the imperative sentence or phrase, and it is usually paired with 要, 不能, 别 or similar types of words. You can use 千万 with sentences that are commanding someone not do do something, or you can tell them to do something.
千万 + Verb / Verb Phrase
千万 with "Don't"
The following examples use 千万 in the negative to strongly command someone not to do something.
- 这 个 菜 很 难吃，千万 不要 点！ This dish is horrible. Make sure you don't order it!
- 那里 太 危险 了，千万 不要 去！ It's too dangerous there. Whatever you do, don't go!
- 他们 的 产品 是 假 的，你 千万 不要 买！ Their products are fake. DO NOT buy them!
- 他 不 是 什么 好人，千万 不要 相信 他！ He is not a good person, you really can't believe him!
- 孩子 有 错，父母 可以 教育 他， 但 千万 不 能 打 孩子。 When a child does wrong, parents can teach them. But they really mustn't beat them!
千万 with "Do"
The following examples use 千万 to strongly command someone to do something.
- 过 马路 千万 要 小心。When crossing the street, you really must careful!
- 这 句 话 你 千万 要 记 在 心里。You must memorize this phrase by heart!
- 一个人 去 旅行 千万 要 注意 安全。When traveling alone, you really must pay attention to safety!
- 出门 以前 千万 要 把 门 锁 好。Before leaving make absolute sure to lock the door!
- 雨天 路 滑， 千万 要 开 慢 点。The rain makes the road slick. You really must drive slowly!
Sources and further reading
- HSK Standard Course 4下 (pp. 61) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 2, Part 2(P.95) →buy
- Practicing HSK Grammar (语法精讲精炼)(P.42) →buy
- 现代汉语八百词(P.447) →buy