I'm reading a text on New Practical Chinese Reader 4 (讳疾忌医). 扁鹊 is trying to convince a king to treat his disease, but he doesn't listen, until it's too late. And there's this sentence:


I can understand most of it as:

I said everything I had to say. (If you) are not afraid of having a disease, 只怕有病说没病, not willing to let the doctor treat it.

It's not making any sense at all.

4 Answers 4


Haven't read the story for more context, but I would read it like this:

I've said all I can say.

Don't worry if you get sick,

just worry if you get sick but pretend you are not sick,

(and therefore) you don't let the quack treat you.

Boom, shortly after, clogs popped!



The only scary thing is being sick and saying you’re well.


  • 只怕 = only fear
  • 有病 = ill
  • 说 = say
  • 没病 = not sick

"有病不怕" does not mean "(If you) are not afraid of having a disease". It means "being sick is not to be feared".

In "只怕有病说没病,不肯让大夫治疗", everything after "只怕" is together.

"不怕A,只怕B" means "A is not to be feared/not the real problem, B is".

In this sentence, A is "有病" = "being sick", B is "有病说没病,不肯让大夫治疗" = "pretending to be not sick and refusing to see doctor".

The whole sentence together means "I said everything I had to say. Being sick is not the end of the world, but you have to face it and let the doctor treat you."


I will translate 我该说的都说了。有病不怕,只怕有病说没病,不肯让大夫治疗。 to I have told everything that I need to tell. Having a disease is not horrible. It is afraid that you telling you are not sick when you are sick and not willing to get treatment from doctor.

Here 有病不怕 is used to contrast with 有病说没病.

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