真不巧 Unfortunately, such a shame

真不巧 zhēn bù qiǎo has the meaning of ‘unfortunately’, ‘such a shame’, and it is used in situations when you are unable to fulfill one’s wishes. has the meaning of ‘coincident’, with the negating prefix it is like having a negative coincident. This is different from ‘this is unfortunate’, the phrase that you say when you are feeling sorry for someone. For example if someone head died, you cannot say to their family or friends ‘真不巧’, that would just sound like ‘what a coincident (that he had died)’, and it would be totally inappropriate.

Let’s take a look of a few examples mentioned in the video:

jiè wǒ sān kuài qián
A:  借我三块钱! Lend me 3 Yuan. 

zhēn bù qiǎo wǒ wàng le dài qián bāo
B:真 不 巧!我 忘 了 带 钱 包。 What a shame! I did not bring my purse. 

wǎn shàng péi wǒ qù chī dùn fàn ba
A:晚上陪我去吃顿饭吧!Come and have dinner with me!

zhēn bù qiǎo wǒ jīn tiān wǎn shàng gāng hǎo yǒu shì
B:真 不 巧!我 今 天 晚 上 刚 好 有 事What a shame! I just happen to be busy tonight.

heng! wǒ yào qù zhǎo ā gān
A: 哼!我要去找阿甘!   Huh! I am going to find A Gan!

zhēn bù qiǎo a gān jīn tiān bú zài jiā
B: 真 不 巧!阿 甘 今 天 不 在 家。What a sham! A Gan is not at home today.

nà wǒ qù mǎi gè píng guǒ ba
A:那我去买个苹果吧!Okay then… I’ll go and buy an apple!

zhēn bù qiǎo diàn lǐ de píng guǒ dōu mài guāng le
B:真 不 巧!店 里 的 苹 果 都 卖 光 了。

What a shame! All the apples in the store were sold out. 

hǎo ba nà wǒ yào jià gěi xióng xiān shēng
A:好吧。。。那我要嫁给熊先生! Okay…I wanna marry to Mr Bear!

zhēn bù qiǎo xióng xiān shēng yǐ jīng jié hūn le
B: 真 不 巧!熊 先 生 已 经 结 婚 了。Unfortunately, Mr Bear is already married.

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