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Interesting usages of “死” in Chinese


In Chinese, the character "死 sǐ" usually means "death" (死亡) or "being departed". But when it is used in spoken Chinese, it can describe one's mood in an exaggerated way.



It’s quite easy to use “死” in that way, with the structure “verb/adj+死了”. When the weather is hot, people will complain that “热死了rè sǐ le (It’s bloody hot!)”. When there are lots of people on a bus, they will complain that “挤死了 jǐ sǐ le (It’s too crowded.)”. When someone is frightened suddenly, he will say “吓死了xià sǐ le (You scared me!)”. If there is much work to do, people will grumble “累死了lèi sǐ le (I’m too tired.)”. When someone has nothing to do, he will complain “无聊死了 wú liáo sǐ le (I’m dying of boredom!)”. If someone is hungry, he can say “饿死了 è sǐ le (I’m starving.)”. But never stuff yourself too much, or you will “撑死了 chēng sǐ le (overeat)”. Additionally, there are other many sentences like “担心死了 dān xīn sǐ le (I’m very worried.)” and “zhǎo jí sǐ le 着急死了(I’m very anxious.).



More interestingly, “死” can be used to express one’s good mood. A person on his or her birthday will be “开心死了 kāi xīn sǐ le (Happy to die for!)” after receiving gifts. When a student gets good results on exam, he or she will feel “高兴死了gāo xìng sǐ le (Delighted!)”. The fans will feel “激动死了 jī dòng sǐ le (excited)” when they meet the celebrities. Likewise, there are other sentences like “兴奋死了 xìng fèn sǐ le” (Getting thrilled) and “幸福死了 xìng fú sǐ le (Being blessed)” to express one's utter happiness.



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