I came across these two sentences.

你是在说.... (You're trying say ....) 我不是很懂你的意思。 (I don't really get what you mean.)

And yet, I am trying to wrap my head around why 是 is there in the first place. Shouldn't they be 你在说 and 我不懂你的意思 considering that they are describing verbs?

Please help.

  • It's like the English "what I do suggest is…" Jun 19, 2018 at 4:43

1 Answer 1


See the definition 7 from this dictionary:

  1. 加重语气,有“的确”、“实在”的意思:天气~冷。

天气冷 vs 天气是冷, the latter means that the truth is that the weather is cold, 天气确实/的确冷. The former just means the weather is cold.

In practice, 天气是冷 is used to confirm/justify what the other person have said. 天气是冷 stands alone (without previous contexts) doesn't make much sense. Refer to this exchange:

A: 今天天气很冷!

B: 恩,今天天气是冷! // implying B agrees what A have just said by repeating it with 是 for emphasis.

Back to your examples, 你是在说 means what you are actually saying is...., while 你在说 is what you are saying is.... 我不是很懂你的意思: I don't really quite get what you meant. 我不懂你的意思: I don't get what you meant.

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