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So there are 3 main translations for 秀气:

  1. Delicate
  2. Elegant
  3. Graceful

Which makes it seem like it could be used to describe really anything-- However I have a friend who is saying that it is normally used only to describe people.

Is it not an adjective I could use to describe non-people-- like an elegant wristwatch?

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秀气

基本解释:

  1. 样子清秀 (elegant appearance)

  2. 言谈文雅,举止优美 (elegant demeanor)

  3. (器物)小巧灵便 (elegant, exquisite object)

  4. 灵秀之气 (elegant feel);秀美(elegant)。小巧而清秀 (delicate)

(1) and (2) definition are mostly used to describe people

(3) definition said it can be used to describe 器物 (object)

Example:

秀气的刺繡 (delicate embroidery)

秀气的雕塑 (delicate sculpture)

(4) definition said it describes something that emit delicate, elegant or graceful feel

Example:

秀氣的山水 = 山明水秀 (exquisite landscape)

秀气的文章 (elegantly written article)

寫得一手秀氣的字 (able to write elegant hand written words)

0

I also heard that it is usually used to describe people; however, it does seem possible to describe inanimate objects - such as wristwatches - using 秀气(according to Pleco, at least):

pleco definition for 秀气

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