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How to use ‘yào bù’ in Chinese

要不 (yào bù) has a number of meanings, depending on how it is used.

“要不”有几个不同的意思,这取决于它的用法。

"要不" as to mark possible choices

要不 can be used to offer "either/or" choices to others, similar to 或者.

“要不”可用于向别人提出“either/or”这样的选择,类似“或者”。

nǐ yào bù kànshū yào bù tīng yīnyuè.

你要不看书要不听音乐。

You can either study or listen to music.

yào bù nǐ zuò, yào bù wǒ zuò, dànshì yīdìng yào zuò wán.

要不你做,要不我做,但是一定要做完。

Either you do it or I do it, but it's definitely going to be done.

Another word that can be used in a similar pattern is 要么, with the difference that 要么 can only be used to list the either/or choices available to oneself as well as the choices available to others.

另一个可用于类似的词是“要么”,不同之处在于“要么”只是用于举例同时适合自己和他人的选择。

wǒ men yào me hē pú táo jiǔ, yào me hē pí jiǔ.

我们要么喝葡萄酒,要么喝啤酒。

We either drink wine or we drink beer.

"要不" used for suggestions

要不 can be used as an indirect way of giving a suggestion, as the speaker is using 要不 to seek consent of the listener.

“要不”可用作为间接的建议方式,说话者使用“要不”去寻求听话者的同意。

yī gè rén qù kàn diànyǐng méi yìsi, yào bù wǒmen yīqǐ qù ba.

一个人去看电影没意思,要不我们一起去吧。

It's no fun to go to the movie by myself. How about we go together?

yào bù wǒmen qù guàngjiē ba, bǐ zàijiā shuìjiào yǒu yìsi.

要不我们去逛街吧,比在家睡觉有意思。

Let's go shopping. It's more fun than sleeping at home.

"要不" means otherwise

要不 can also be used to mean otherwise:

“要不”也可以用于表示“不然、否则”:

nǐ kuài diǎn dǎ diànhuà gěi tā, yào bù tā huì hěn dānxīn.

你快点打电话给他,要不他会很担心。

You need to call him soon, or he'll start to worry.

wǒ yào dǎ di, yào bù wǒ huì chídào.

我要打的,要不我会迟到。

I'm going to take a taxi, otherwise I'll be late.

wǒmen jīn wǎn xūyào shōushí hǎo xínglǐ, yào bù míngtiān lái bù jí.

我们今晚需要收拾好行李,要不明天来不及。

We need to prepare the luggage tonight, otherwise there won't be time tomorrow.

The article is translated and editted by Chinlingo. Please indicate the source for any use, reproduction or transfer. 

本文由Chinlingo编译后发布,如需转载,请标明来源。

2016-08-30

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