Verbing briefly with "yixia"
After briefly reading this article, you will know how to use 一下 (yīxià) to express a brief action!
Note: The pinyin for 一下 is written "yīxià" but pronounced "yíxià" due to a tone change rule.
To express that a verb is carried out briefly or "a little bit," you can add 一下 (yīxià) after it. Sometimes 一下 (yīxià) can soften the tone.
Subj. + Verb + 一下 + Obj.
Often, adding 一下 (yīxià) just makes the Chinese feel more natural. This is not something you can get a feel for quickly. You'll want to observe how native speakers use 一下 (yīxià) over a long period of time to really get used to how it is used.
- 请 你 等 一下。You get the feeling that it shouldn't be a long wait.Please wait a little bit.
- 你 看 一下。It should be quick.Take a look.
- 试 一下 吧。How long can trying it take? Try it.
- 我 要 想 一下。You're supposed to believe that I won't need to think about it long.I want to think a little.
- 开 一下 门 吧 。 How long can it take to open the door?Please open the door.
- 请 你 说 一下 为什么。I feel it should be a quick explanation.Please say why.
- 不要 生气 了，笑 一下！Just one quick laugh!Don't be mad, laugh!
- 宝宝，亲 一下 爸爸。If a baby's kiss isn't quick, it's weird for everyone.Baby, give your dad a kiss.
- 你 可以 来 一下 我 的 办公室 吗？Just come real quick.Could you please come to my office?
- 你 能 介绍 一下 自己 吗 ？ Not your life story, just a brief self-introduction.Could you introduce yourself briefly?
Sources and further reading
- HSK Standard Course 2 (pp. 20) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 1 (3rd ed) (pp. 126) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） (pp. 206) [ →buy]