Making judgments with "suan"
The word 算 (suàn) has a number of uses which can be translated in a number of ways. None of these is particularly hard to understand, but for the sake of clarity, we've brought them all together in one place. The common theme is that 算 indicates some kind of judgment, and may be thought of as "counts as" or "is considered to be."
Used with A Noun
Subj. (+ 不) + 算 + Noun
- 这 算 秘密 吗 ？Do you consider this as a secret?
- 她 算 不 算 你 女朋友 ？Can she be considered as your girlfriend or not?
- 美国 的 中国 菜 算 中国 菜 吗 ？Can American Chinese food be considered as Chinese food?
- 我们 认识 ，但是 不 算 朋友 。We know each other, but we don't consider each other as friends.
Used with An Adjective
算 can also be used with an adjective. It has an implication of comparing.
Subj. + 算 (是) + Adj. + 的
- 这 家 店 的 东西 算 便宜 的 。The things in this shop are pretty cheap.
- 我 女儿 算 听话 的 。My daughter sorta does what she's told.
- 在 我们 公司 ，我 算 年轻 的 。I'm pretty young in our company.
- 你 老板 算 大方 的 ，我 老板 更 小气 。Your boss is pretty generous. My boss is even more stingy.
Subj. + 不 + 算 (+ Adv.) + Adj.
Note that you don't need add a 的 here.
- 这 次 考试 不 算 难 。This exam isn't that difficult.
- 三十 岁 结婚 不 算 晚 。Getting married when you're 30 can't be considered late.
- 他 才 一 米 七五 ，不 算 高 。He's only 1.75 meters tall. He can't be considered very tall.
- 剪 个 头发 五十 块 ，不 算 贵 。Fifty kuai for a haircut. It can't be considered expensive.
A few common examples:
- 算 你 狠！Well aren't you!
- 你 算 老几 ？Who do you think you are?
- 这 不 算 什么 。It's no big deal.