There are many situations I'd like to say the following in Chinese:

  • "That phone call was unexpected"
  • "I did not expect that meeting to be so difficult"

The only approach I know of is:

  • "我没想到那个电话“
  • ”我没想到那个会议会是哪么难“

I know you can also use 突然, but it's not quite parallel. The best way I can think of applying it in this situation is:

  • 那个电话突然来了

Appreciate anyone's thoughts on this!

Thanks

  • I think you have a good colloquial handle of this already – user3306356 Mar 5 '17 at 1:00

expect

《21世紀英漢漢英雙向詞典》

<<及物動詞>>

1 預期,期待

[a]. (當作當然之事而) 期待…,預期…,等待…,預計會有…

Don't expect wonderful results.
不要期待有很好的結果

I expected the worst.
我曾預期會有最壞的情形

We are all expecting you.
我們都在期盼著你來

The scenery was not so fine as we expected.
景色並不如我們所期盼的那麼美

[b]. <人>期盼…要來的事

What time do you expect him home?
你想他什麼時候會回來?

I expect him back at six.
我想他會在六點回家

We are expecting you in London on Tuesday.
我們星期二在倫敦等你來

[c]. (視為當然地) 期待[某人]; [對某人]寄予…的期待[of, from]

You are expecting too much of him.
你對他期望過多

As might be expected of a gentleman, he was as good as his word.
就像紳士應該做的 [不愧為一名紳士] ,他履行了諾言

What more can you expect of [from] him.
你還能對他期待什麼呢?(更多的期待是辦不到的)

[d]. 預期<要做…>,打算<做…>

I expect to be there this evening.
我打算今晚到那裡去

We expect to arrive at Heathrow Airport at eight.
我們預計八點鐘到達希塞羅機場

[e]. 期待…; 期望…,要求<某人><去做…>

I am expecting him to come any moment.
我隨時都在等待他來

You cannot expect him to do that.
你不能期望他做那件事

England expects every man to do his duty.
英國期望每一位國民盡他的義務

[f]. 認為,期待

I expect that you will come to our party.
我期待你會來參加我們的聚會

I expect that you will obey.
我認為你會服從

2 (口語)想

I expect (that) you have been to Europe.
我想您去過歐洲吧

3 [用進行式] ( (口語)懷孕

She is expecting a baby.
她懷孕了

<<不及物動詞>>

[用進行式] (口語)懷孕,有喜

His wife is expecting.
他的妻子 (不久) 要生孩子了


《牛津現代英漢雙解詞典》

v

1

(a) expect sth (from sb/sth) think or believe that sth will happen or that sb/sth will come
預料, 預計, 期待, 盼望(某事物會發生或某人[某事物]會來到)

This is the parcel which we have been expecting (from New York).
這是我們一直在期待的(從紐約來的)郵包.

I expect (that) I will be back on Sunday.
我預計星期日回來.

You would expect that there would be/there to be strong disagreement about this.
可以料到此事會有嚴重分歧.

You can't expect to learn a foreign language in a week.
不要指望一個星期就能學會一門外語.

We expected him to arrive yesterday.
我們原以為他昨天能到.

(b) expect sth (from sb) hope and feel confident that one will receive sth (from sb)
期望, 盼望, 指望(從某人處)得到某事物

I was expecting a present from her, so I was disappointed I didn't receive one.
我原來一直盼望著能收到她送的禮物, 所以因得不到而失望.

Don't expect any sympathy from me!
不要指望能得到我的同情!

2

expect sth (from sb) require sth (from sb), esp as a right or duty
要求(某人)某事物(尤指有權或有責任要求者)

The sergeant expects obedience from his men/that his men will obey him/his men to obey him.
中士要士兵服從他的命令.

I expect you to be punctual.
我要求你準時.

You will be expected to work on Saturdays.
你們星期六要上班.

3

(not in the continuous tenses 不用於進行時態) (infml 口 esp Brit) suppose (sth); assume
料想為(某事物); 認為; 猜想

"Who has eaten all the cake?" "Tom, I expect/I expect (that) it was Tom."
‵誰把蛋糕都吃光了?′‵我想是湯姆[大概是湯姆]吧.′

"Will you need help?" "I don't expect so. "
‵你需要幫忙嗎?′‵我想不必了.′

"Will he be late?" "I expect so." ‵他會遲到嗎?′‵我想會的.′

4

(idm 習語) be expecting (a baby/child) (infml euph 口, 婉) be pregnant
懷孕

I hear Sally's expecting again.
我聽說薩莉又有身子了.

  • This is great - thank you for all the different approaches – kmix9911 Mar 5 '17 at 21:09
  • The title of the question asked the positive tone. The negative tone in the examples can be expressed as "没想到会" or "没想到 ... 会". 我没想到那个电话 is not fully correct for "That phone call was unexpected". It is better to use 我没想到会有那通电话 or 那通电话不是我所预期(or 期待/期盼/盼望)的. There is a minor mistake in 我没想到那个会议会是哪么难. "I did not expect that meeting to be so difficult" 我没想到 (or 没预期/没料到) 那个会议那么难 – user16115 Mar 6 '17 at 4:20
  • Got it, 没想到 ... 会" looks quite versatile. In most cases I first try to master the most versatile approach, use it a few times "out in the field" and then come back for the more nuanced approach (like "没预期/没料到"). Thank you very much for your help! – kmix9911 Mar 7 '17 at 17:18

不可预知的情况 not can predict situation = an unexpected situation
出乎意料的形势 unexpected circumstance
不意外 not unexpected
意外 unexpected 竟然 unexpected

’那个打过来的电话是意料之外的。‘ 或者 ‘没想到那个电话会打过来。’
That phone call was unexpected.

会议比我预料中的难很多。 The meeting was much more difficult than I expected.

  • Thank you also for your response. I had not considered 不可预知 as another approach. Is this a more formal phrasing than "没想到?" – kmix9911 Mar 6 '17 at 0:13
  • Not really suitable in your context. – Pedroski Mar 6 '17 at 1:14

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