I've seen cases of 还 being used with adjectives and verbs like in the following examples:

  • 还好

  • 还可以

What connotation does 还 give in these cases?

  • iciba has entries for both with plenty of examples (it seems meaning is quite close to "still")
    – user6065
    Sep 25 '15 at 3:25

还 is a polyphone with two pronunciations: hai2 and huan2. Your examples are using the first one.

The idea behind 还 (hai2) in these words is still; yet.

还好 = yet good = fair

还可以 = still acceptable = fair

还 (hai2) has another meaning: in addition; else, as in 还有, 还要.

The meaning backto; return mentioned in the other answer belong to the pronunciation huan2, which IMHO has nothing to do with your examples.


The most basic meaning of 还 is "back to", "return";

In your examples it means "fairly".

The connotation is that it requires a second (returning, back to start) thought to determine that it is good (还好) .

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