In English, one can write, "I am mad at you!" as "I AM MAD AT YOU!" for greater emphasis; on the internet, it's seen as "yelling". Absent the ability to format text (say, bold or italics), what is done / can be done to emphasize a statement in Chinese other than simply adding more exclamation marks or some kind of emoticon?

2 Answers 2


Emphasis mark (underneath dots) is the Chinese counterpart of italics.

In printing, besides emphasis mark, fonts are used for distinguishing purposes. Bold (黑体) is also considered as a different font (rather than a variation of the same font).

In handwriting, people use straight underline and tilde underline.

Example of emphasis mark

Example of bold font

  • +1 I didn't know about the dots eheh :D
    – Alenanno
    Sep 24, 2012 at 6:31
  • 1
    I have never seen the dots, actually. Perhaps it's a Mainland/Taiwan thing. Does anyone know?
    – Olle Linge
    Sep 24, 2012 at 10:51
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    @OlleLinge What I am sure is it's not a mainland-only thing as it was originated in the ancient times, see this reference and I've seen them used in photo print of these books myself. But I don't know if in Taiwan it's not common or even obsoleted.
    – NS.X.
    Sep 24, 2012 at 17:59
  • I saw them just yesterday in a dictionary of idioms. They were used in the pinyin character index to show the position of the character in the idiom. Copyright was 2010. I'm in South China.
    – tao
    Sep 26, 2012 at 7:04
  • @NS.X. In the ancient time, they're usually red hollow dots. Sep 28, 2012 at 11:33

Chinese people usually use some 语气词 like 啊, 呀 and other words describe your feeling (you can put any words here). Repeating is also a useful way (not for books). You can find that Chinese books don't ususually have such thing.

你笨(you are stupid)

你太笨了(you are too stupid)

你笨死了(hmmm... I don't know how to translate this well...)

完了,你笨得没救了(oh dear, nobody can't help you to be not so silly)

If you've already known this person is TOOOOO stupid, you can even simply say 完了,你没救了.

If you understand what Chinese language really is, you may find such a thing is useless, because there are many ways to say what you really want to express.

In fact, "extract important points from text", "understand the writer's feeling" are a basic knowledge taught in lessons, at least middle schools.

Also the marks in the answer above are rarely used...

  • I would argue against the last statement. Every one of my middle school and college textbook use these marks. A lot of publications use them too. You can find them even in literature and novel books. As a matter of fact, I pick a random book from my bookshelf and I can find the emphasis mark somewhere in it.
    – NS.X.
    Oct 14, 2012 at 22:56
  • haha, this answer is interesting! Oct 16, 2012 at 11:05
  • @NS.X. I don't know what books do you have, I haven't read any books using them, to be honest. Oct 20, 2012 at 10:17

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