Different levels of exaggerations in Chinese

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Yes, I know, we Chinese loves exaggerating things. May it be the  Terrecotta Army, the Great Wall, or the Olympics opening and closing ceremonies. Since we love doing everything in such a spectacular way, we must have the words to describe them. Today, let me introduce to you a few  different adverbs for different levels of exaggerations in Chinese.

Level 1: 很 hěn (formal/informal)

Commonly translated as very, however, more often it just acts a link used to connect a subject to an adjective, it does not have any actual meaning. Like what I said, we Chinese loves exaggerating things.


他很好 Tā hěn hǎo  He is good

Level 2: 真 zhēn (informal)

has the meaning of really. It is a level above because unlike , it actually has some real meaning. It is normally used in informal situation.

For example:

他真好 tā zhēn hǎo He is really good

菜真香 cài zhēn xiāng The dishes smell really good

Chelsea 真好笑 zhēn hǎo xiào Chelsea is really funny

Level 3: 非常 fēi cháng(formal)

非常 can be translated to ‘very’, it is similar to 太,but more formal.


非常好 fēi cháng hǎo very good

非常美味 fēi cháng měi wèi very delicious

Level 4: 太 can be translated as ‘too/so.. ‘

For example:

太好了 tài hǎo le too/so good
太美味了 tài měi wèi le too/so delicious

Level 5:    超 chāo (informal)

literally means super,it is a bit less of a formal term. A great word to use when you see or experience something super exciting, for example:

超好吃 chāo hǎo chī super tasty

超好玩 chāo hǎo wán super fun to play

It is used a lot by advertising companies, as you would probably know, they love a bit of exaggerations too.

Level 6: 极 extremely (formal)

is used to indicate superlative conditions. It is one of those terms we used more in writings than general speakings.  Examples can be:

美极了 měi jí le extremely beautiful

好吃极了 hǎo chī jí le extremely tasty

极好 jí hǎo extremely good

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