So, I am reviewing something which I thought I knew, but - on second thoughts - maybe I don't.

有一点儿 translates as 'a little bit'

And 不太 translated as 'not very'

So far, so good.

But in English, you can only use 'a little bit' with negative adjectives (i.e. you can say 'he is a little bit annoyed' but not 'he is a little bit happy').

And vice versa with 'not very' (i.e. 'he is not very happy' is fine, but 'he is not very annoyed' is not).

Is this the same in Chinese, or can they be used any which way?

Many thanks people!

1 Answer 1


It is similar in Chinese,

有一点儿 is usually used with negative adjectives

  • We say 有一点儿笨 but not 有一点儿聰明

  • We say 有一点儿不足 but not 有一点儿充足

  • We say 有一点儿軟弱 but not 有一点儿强堅


  • We say 有点笨 but not 有点聰明

  • We say 有点不足 but not 有点充足

  • We say 有点軟弱 but not 有点强堅

不太 can be used with either positive or negative adjectives

  • 不太笨, 不太聰明

  • 不太缺乏, 不太充足

  • 不太軟弱, 不太强堅

  • Thanks Tang for the info! :-)
    – Hashamyim
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 21:31

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