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Interesting usages of “死” in Chinese

“死”的另一种用法.jpg

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.

在中文里面,“死”除了表示死亡、去世的意思之外,还有一个重要的用法。这种用法在口语中使用,能很夸张地描述一件事情或者表达人的心情。

 

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.).

这种用法很简单,就是“动词/形容词+死了”。如果天气很热,人们抱怨“热死了”。公共汽车上人太多,人们抱怨“挤死了”。遇到不高兴的事情,人们就抱怨“气死了”。突然被惊吓,人们就抱怨“吓死了”。工作太多,人们抱怨“累死了”。没有事情做,人们抱怨“无聊死了”。如果肚子很饿,你可以说“饿死了”;但是别吃太多,否则就要“撑死了”。另外,还有“担心死了”,“着急死了”等等。

 

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.

更有意思的是,“死”也可以用来表达好心情。收到礼物,寿星觉得“开心死了”。考试取得好成绩,学生觉得“高兴死了”。见到明星,歌迷们觉得“激动死了”。另外,还有“兴奋死了”,“幸福死了”等等。

2016-06-21

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