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Making judgments with "suan"

The word 算 (suàn) has a number of uses which can be translated in a number of ways. 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

Structure

Subj. (+ 不) + 算 + Noun

Examples

  • 秘密 吗 ?Zhè suàn mìmì ma?Do you consider this as a secret?
  • 你 女朋友 ?suàn bu suàn nǐ nǚpéngyou?Can she be considered as your girlfriend or not?
  • 美国 的 中国 菜 中国 菜 吗 ?Měiguó de Zhōngguó cài suàn Zhōngguó cài ma?Can American Chinese food be considered as Chinese food?
  • 我们 认识 ,但是 不 朋友 。Wǒmen rènshi, dànshì bù suàn péngyou.We know each other, but we don't consider each other as friends.

Used with An Adjective

Affirmative Form

算 can also be used with an adjective. It has an implication of comparing.

Structure

Subj. + 算 (是) + Adj. + 的

Examples

  • 这 家 店 的 东西 便宜 Zhè jiā diàn de dōngxi suàn piányi de.The things in this shop are pretty cheap.
  • 我 女儿 听话 Wǒ nǚér suàn tīnghuà de.My daughter sorta does what she's told.
  • 在 我们 公司 ,我 年轻 Zài wǒmen gōngsī, wǒ suàn niánqīng de.I'm pretty young in our company.
  • 你 老板 大方 ,我 老板 更 小气 。Nǐ lǎobǎn suàn dàfang de, wǒ lǎobǎn gèng xiǎoqì.Your boss is pretty generous. My boss is even more stingy.

Negative Form

Structure

Subj. + 不 + 算 (+ Adv.) + Adj.

Note that you don't need add a 的 here.

Examples

  • 这 次 考试 不 算 难 。Zhè cì kǎoshì bù suàn nán.This exam isn't that difficult.
  • 三十 岁 结婚 不 算 晚 。Sānshí suì jiéhūn bù suàn wǎn.Getting married when you're 30 can't be considered late.
  • 他 才 一 米 七 五 ,不 算 高 。Tā cái yī mǐ qī wǔ, bù suàn gāo.He's only 1.75 meters tall. He can't be considered very tall.
  • 剪 个 头发 五十 块 ,不 算 贵 。Jiǎn gè tóufa wǔshí kuài, bù suàn guì.Fifty kuai for a haircut. It can't be considered expensive.

Colloquial Sayings

A few common examples:

  • 你 狠!Suàn nǐ hěn!Well aren't you!
  • 老几 ?suàn lǎojǐ?Who do you think you are?
  • 不 算 什么 。Zhè bù suàn shénme.It's no big deal.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books