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Special verbs with "hen"

Using 很 (hěn) to intensify verbs that express thoughts or feeling is really easy.

Structure

Subj. + 很 + [Certain Verbs]

Certain "psychological verbs" related to feelings or emotional sates can be modified with 很 (hěn) to increase their intensity. This is similar to using "really" or "very much" in English. Remember that this only applies to psychological verbs, such as:

  • 想 (xiǎng) to think; to want; to miss
  • 喜欢 (xǐhuan) to like
  • 小心 (xiǎoxīn) to be careful
  • 怕 (pà) to fear; to be afraid of
  • 了解 (liǎojiě) to know a lot about
  • 讨厌 (tǎoyàn) to hate
  • 担心 (dānxīn) to worry about
  • 希望 (xīwàng) to hope

Examples

  • 你。hěn xiǎng nǐ.I really miss you.
  • 喜欢 你。hěn xǐhuan nǐ.He really likes you.
  • 你应该 小心Nǐ yīnggāi hěn xiǎoxīn.You should be very careful.
  • 晚上 一个人 在家。hěn wǎnshang yīgèrén zài jiā.I fear staying home alone at night.
  • 你 应该 了解 自己 的 孩子。Nǐ yīnggāi hěn liǎojiě zìjǐ de háizi.You should know a lot about your child.
  • 外国 人 讨厌 中国 的 公共 厕所。Wàiguó rén hěn tǎoyàn Zhōngguó de gōnggòng cèsuǒ.Foreigners really hate public toilets in China.
  • 你 两天 没 回家,妈妈 担心 你。Nǐ liǎng tiān méi huíjiā, māma hěn dānxīn nǐ.You haven't gone home in two days. Mom is really worried about you.
  • 父母 都 希望 我 能 上 一 个 好 大学。Fùmǔ dōu hěn xīwàng wǒ néng shàng yī gè hǎo dàxué.Both of my parents really hope that I can go to a good college.

Did you ever notice that some Chinese people with less-than-perfect English will use the phrase "very like?" Now you know why!

See also

Sources and further reading

Books