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I have two sentences. Does 不 preceding or following 很 affect the sentence meaning?

她不很聪明,但很努力。
她很不聪明,但很努力。
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很不 reinforces the (negated) adjective. 不很 indicates that the subject is "not really" as the adjectives says.

  • 很不聪明 - very unintelligent.
  • 不很聪明 - not too intelligent, not really intelligent.
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1

The degree of "不聪明" changes according to the order of words; the object being qualified changes.

她不很聪明 ->
她(不(很聪明)) ->
She is not very smart. ->
She might be just ordinary.

她很不聪明 ->
她(很(不聪明)) ->
She is not smart greatly. ->
She might be quite clumsy.
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  • I'm confused that your answer differs from Musialmi's. He says: 很不聪明 - very unintelligent. 不很聪明 - not too intelligent, not really intelligent. – Jenny Apr 12 '20 at 10:30
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    @Jenny Hmm? It seems coincident to me. 很不聪明 - very unintelligent - quite clumsy. 不很聪明 - not too intelligent, not really intelligent - ordinary. – user4072 Apr 12 '20 at 10:36
  • My brain got a bit clumsy because I had thought that very unintelligent = ordinary... – Jenny Apr 12 '20 at 10:45
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I want to add another thing is that: we rarely say 不很 in Chinese. Usually, we say 不是很.

她不是很聪明,但很努力。 -> She is not very smart but she works hard.

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  • Do you have any internet sources that I can investigate more? – Jenny Apr 13 '20 at 2:48

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