I recently saw these phrases (from the song 我要你的爱): 你为什么不走过来 (I think it basically means: Why won't you come here) 你为什么不说出来 (I think it basically means: Why won't you say it) 为什么不肯说 (I think it basically means: Why don't you feel like saying it) I concluded their meanings from context but am still confused as to what the meaning of their predicate is: What exactly does 走过来, or 说出来, or 肯说 mean? How would they be translated? Are they colloquial expressions? Thanks


2 Answers 2

  • "你为什么不走过来?" --> 你(you) 为什么(why) 不走过来(don't come over) --> "Why you don't come over?"

  • "你为什么不说出来" --> 你(you) 为什么(why) 不说出来 (not speak out) --> "Why you don't say it?"

  • "为什么不肯说" --> 为什么(why) 不肯说 (unwilling to say) --> Why do you unwilling to say?"

What exactly does 走过来, or 说出来, or 肯说 mean?

'走过来' means 'come over (by foot)'

'说出来' means 'speak (it) out' = "say it"

'说' means 'willing to speak/ say'

Depend on context 肯 could mean 'willing to' or 'agree to'

In English, you must put the question form before the subject. For example, you can't say "you why don't come over?" instead of " why you don't come over?"

However, in Chinese, question form and the subject can switch place. e.g. "(你)为什么不走过来?" = "为什么(你)不走过来?"


These are very common expressions, not dialect.

Why don't you come on over?
Why don't you say anything / what you feel / what's on your mind?
why don't you want to say anything?

These are easier to put into German, English has lost these kind of verb forms:
herlaufen (walk over from) (her (spoken like 'hair': indicates from somewhere towards the speaker)
aussprechen (speak out = speak, say something) (aus (spoken like 'ouse' from 'mouse': out)

肯:agree, willing, consent, 不肯:unwilling, disagree
不肯说 unwilling (to) speak

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