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Four uses of “大不了”

大不了.png


Many phrases in spoken Chinese take on completely new meanings when just one or two words are changed. Take the phrase we will learn today for instance: "大不了 (dà bù liǎo)." You will find that this versatile phrase is used a lot in daily conversations. Let's have a look!

在汉语口语中有很多短语,如果其中的一两个字换掉以后,意思会完全不同。 口语中常用的“大不了 (dà bù liǎo)”就是一个典型的例子。今天我们将详述该词的用法。

 

1. 大不了 (dà bù liǎo) = At worst

 

"大不了 (dà bù liǎo)" always follows the speaker's prediction of a worst case scenario, which shows his or her acceptance of what might possibly happen. Usually the phrase is used in the beginning or middle of a sentence.

“大不了 (dà bù liǎo)”通常是在说话者预测最坏情形时使用,表示他能接受可能发生的事情。该词通常位于句首或句中。

 

Examples:

例句:

 

Wǒ bùzhīdào chē néngbùnéng xiū hǎo, dà bù liǎo, wǒmen mǎi liàng xīn de.

我不知道车能不能修好,大不了,我们买辆新的。

I don't know if I can fix the car. At worse, we can buy a new one.

 

Dà bù liǎo wǒ bú gàn le!

大不了我不干了!

At worst I'll quit the job!

 

2. 大不了多少 (dà bù liǎo duōshǎo) = Not much bigger/older than

"大不了多少 (dà bù liǎo duōshǎo)" is used for comparative sentences:

 "A + 比 + B + 大不了多少 (A bǐ B dà bù liǎo duōshǎo)," meaning A is not much bigger/older than B. Here "大(dà)" means "bigger" or "older."

“大不了多少 (dà bù liǎo duōshǎo)”是比较级:

“A + 比 + B + 大不了多少 (A bǐ B dà bù liǎo duōshǎo),” 指A 并不比B大很多。“大 (dà)”在这里的英文意思为“bigger”或 “older.”

 

Examples:

例句:

 

Zhège píngguǒ bǐ nàgè dà bù liǎo duōshǎo.

这个苹果比那个大不了多少。

This apple is not much bigger than that one.

 

Tā bǐ wǒ dà bù liǎo duōshǎo.

她比我大不了多少。

She is not much older than me.

 

3. 没什么大不了(的) {méishénme dà bù liǎo (de)} = no big deal

 

Here "没什么大不了(的) {méishénme dà bù liǎo (de)}" means that the present situation is not so bad or wouldn't lead to a worse case. Similar to "大不了 (dà bù liǎo)," this phrase also shows that the speaker cares little about the situation or result. The difference is that "大不了 (dà bù liǎo)" emphasizes the following estimation of the worst result. Usually the phrase is used as a conclusion at the end of the sentence.

“没什么大不了(的)(méishénme dà bù liǎo(de))”表示当前情形并不是很糟,也不会使情况变得更糟,和“大不了”一样,该词也显示出说话者对当前的情形或结果并不特别在乎。但两者不同的是,“大不了”强调的是预测的最坏结果。“没什么大不了(的)(méishénme dà bù liǎo(de))”通常作为总结语放在句末。

 

Examples:

例句:

 

Nǐ zhǐshì chídào le yìdiǎndiǎn, méishénme dà bù liǎo.

你只是迟到了一点点, 没什么大不了。

You're only a minute late, it's no big deal.

 

xiǎo hái zǒu lù huì diē dǎo, méishénme dà bù liǎo de.

小孩走路会跌倒,没什么大不了的。

Kids just walk and fall down, it's not a big deal.

 

What does "有什么大不了(的) (Yǒu shénme dà bù liǎo (de))" mean?

那么,“有什么大不了(的) (Yǒu shénme dà bù liǎo (de))”意思是什么呢?

 

4. 有什么大不了(的) (Yǒu shénme dà bù liǎo (de))?= What's the big deal?

 

This sentence expresses the same meaning as "没什么大不了 (méishénme dà bù liǎo)" and also shares the same usage. The only difference lies in its rhetorical question structure which carries a stronger tone.

“有什么大不了(的)(Yǒu shénme dà bù liǎo(de))”和“没什么大不了 (méishénme dà bù liǎo)”的意思及用法都相同。两者唯一的区别就是前者是反问句,语气更加强烈。

 

Examples:

例句:

 

Zhǐshì yīzhī xiǎo chóngzi, yǒu shénme dà bù liǎo de?

只是一只小虫子,有什么大不了的?

It's just a tiny bug. What's the big deal?

 

Zhǐshì diǎn xiǎoshāng, yǒu shénme dà bù liǎo?

只是点小伤,有什么大不了?

It's just a small cut. What's the big deal?

2016-06-21

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