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Not sure if this is exactly what you're asking, but 厉害 (li4hai) can have both a good or bad meaning depending on the context. For example, if a student says a teacher is li4hai they probably mean strict. If you do something and demonstrate great ability, someone might say, "Wow! You're really li4hai!"


Just a supplement. There is actually a word "不得",which is a formal way to say "should not","not to be allowed","to be prohibited". You may say "我不得工作",which means "I am prohibited to work","I should not work", however, this meaning sounds very weird. You should also take care of the pronunciations. When "得" means "to have to","must",the pinyin is dĕi,while ...

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