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How to express disagreement politely in Chinese


Chinese tradition emphasizes a lot on using "polite language" to communicate with people.


Nowadays, no matter who you are, calling yourself 我(wǒ) is nothing than normal. However, there are still a lot of polite ways you need to learn when you communicate in Chinese. Knowing the native way of expressing disagreement, for example, is important in helping you with your social life or business in China.


When you disagree with other people's opinion, under certain circumstances it is not very pretty by just blurting out your big "NO" straightforward. In fact, there are some other ways to handle it more smoothly in Chinese.


Instead of saying "NO" and go ahead elaborating your strong objection, would it be more acceptable if you can start with a question first? A question that makes people to give a second thought on their opinion might be more acceptable than an up front objection.


Let's try this in Chinese :


如果这样做, 会不会……?

rúguǒ zhèyàng zuò, huìbùhuì…

If we do this, whether …?

Another way we can try is to agree with the positive side of the opinion first and then point out the issue we'll possibly have if we move forward with that….


你说的是没错, 但如果我们这样做, 不会……吗?

nǐ shuō de shì méicuò, dàn rúguǒ wǒmen zhèyàng zuò, búhuì … ma?

What you've proposed is good, but if we go down that path, is it a possibility that …. will happen?

Also you can bring out your own opinion as another option for discussion first without explicitly expressing your objection first.


能说说我的看法吗? 我们是不是可以试试这样……?

néng shuōshuo wǒ de kànfǎ ma? wǒmen shìbùshì kěyǐ shì shì zhèyàng …?

May I show my idea? Could we give it a try to do it this way …?


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