I would like to know if you can say "我好", when someone asks you "你好吗?".
I am aware you can answer "我很好" as in "I am very good", but can you say "I am good"? Please fix my mistakes if I have any.

-Thanks, Orangalo

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    我很好, while means "I'm very good" in direct translation, is actually equivalent to "I'm fine / I'm good" and is the most commonly used. – Alex Jul 27 '16 at 15:11
  • 我很会说中国话,cf。jukuu:good at 擅长,善于,'实用英汉词典"good at:他擅长学习语言。 – user6065 Jul 27 '16 at 15:16
  • in Chinese = in the Chinese course/class: 汉语(中文)课(程)上我的成绩不错,replace 汉语 by 语文 in case of 大陆学校 – user6065 Jul 27 '16 at 15:39
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    我好 is not wrong but sounds unnatural. It's an idiomatic rule that some adjectives like 好 must be prefixed by any adverb in short sentences otherwise it doesn't sound natural. 很 is one of those 'filler' adverb commonly used before such adjectives. There are some good Q/A's existing on this site if you search carefully. – NS.X. Jul 27 '16 at 18:03
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    The simplest answer to "你好吗?" is "好" . We don't need to use the subject pronoun when the question already stated who is the subject-- if the question is "他好吗" and you answer: "好" then the subject is automatically understood as 他 – Tang Ho Jul 27 '16 at 22:12

We never answer “我好” when asked “你好吗?”. Indeed, these days it's not very common for people to greet others with “你好吗?” face to face, but simply “你好” will do just fine. When greeted with “你好”, we can acknowledge it with the same “你好”. 我很好 sometimes means I am ok (so don't worry about me). Imagine two lovers just broke up but still treat each other as friends. In their letters later on, one may write 我很好,不用担心我. This is the scenario that popped into my head when I first saw this quesiton.

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  • This. “你好吗?” is actually a translation of "How are you?" which only exists in English textbooks. – Wang Dingwei Aug 6 '16 at 7:41
  • @WangDingwei: You're not suggesting that native English speakers don't say "How are you?" are you? – Brian Tung Aug 16 '16 at 23:59
  • @BrianTung Sorry, I meant ESL or CSL books. – Wang Dingwei Aug 17 '16 at 8:44
  • @WangDingwei: Hahaha, OK. :-) – Brian Tung Aug 17 '16 at 16:24

You must be very cautious about translating 很 in a hyper-literal way. In Mandarin it often functions ONLY to link a noun and adjective, and consequently does not necessarily add the literal sense of "very". Hence your possible reluctance to use "我很好", even though it is the appropriate response for what you want to express, is unwarranted.

This point is mentioned here.

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Sometimes you need to think 很 as a linking verb, in English you never say:

  1. I fine.

    but: I am fine.

  2. The soup delicious.

    but: The soup tastes delicious.

The same in this case, 很 as a linking verb, you can't omit it.

我 很 好 = I am fine. (not "very well"), there is no "very" involved.

But if you want to express "I am very/quite well", you need to say:

我 非常 好. (that important note is now you don't need 很 anymore, since 非常 already carried the meaning of BE.)

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  1. not bad - 还行
  2. I'm good - 挺好/ (我)挺好

... depends on what you want to reply. may be you can give some description about how good you are... :) so you can start talking with people that you like to...

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I think it is not correct to translate "我很好" into "I am very good". It means "I am doing fine", "I am doing well". When one say "你好吗?",“好” is an adverb, means "How are you doing","Are you doing OK"?

In a less satisfiction case, say “我还好”,"还行吧",“就那样吧”,“还是那样”。

Why do not say "我好"?Because it is sound like the adjective "good". People do not use it to themselves.

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a: Are you ok?

b: 我很好(I'm good).

In this case, 很 does not mean 'very'. It means 'quite'

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