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While I was studying, I came across this sentence.

如果她不是特别漂亮也没关系。

But I’m confused as to why 是 is there. I thought negation of adjectives should’nt be accompanied by 是. Could someone explain this please? Thank you!

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But I’m confused as to why 是 is there. I thought negation of adjectives should’nt be accompanied by 是. Could someone explain this please?

First think the component as 是[other description] where [other description] is true. 是 is used to denote some description is true. Because [other description] is after 是, [other description] is true.

Second think another component as 不[other description] where [other description] is false. 不 is used to denote some description is false. Because [other description] is after 不, [other description] is false.

First point and second point exist independently. Although they exist independently, they can be used together.

Use "first point" first. think 是特別漂亮 as 是[特別漂亮](是[other description], where [other description] is 特別漂亮)(is especially pretty). 是 is used to denote [other description] is true so 特別漂亮(especially pretty) is true. You get that 是特別漂亮 means is especially pretty.

Then use "second point" , think 不是特別漂亮 as 不[是特别漂亮](不[other description], where [other description] is 是特别漂亮) (is not especially pretty). In this example 不 is used to denote [other description] is false so 是特别漂亮(is especially pretty) is false. You get 不是特別漂亮 means "is not especially pretty".

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"不是" is a set team for "is not". It doesn't negate the adjective. It is the negative form of the verb "是"(is)

  • 她(是) = she (is)

  • 她(不是) = she (isn't)

  • 她(是)特别漂亮 = she (is) very pretty

  • 她(不是)特别漂亮 = she (isn't) very pretty

~

不 = not

When we use 不 alone before an adjective, it modify the adjective by negate it. The subject 她 became the topic, and the negated adjective 不漂亮 became the comment

  • 漂亮 = pretty

  • 不漂亮 = not pretty

  • 她(漂亮) = she, (pretty)

  • 她(不漂亮) = she, (not pretty)

  • 她(不漂亮但善良) = she, (not pretty, but kind)

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  • Then is 她是漂亮 wrong but 她是特别漂亮 correct? – Dimen May 20 at 12:56
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As a rule of thumb, you can interpret 是 and 不是 as follows:

是 - It is the case that...

不是 - It is not the case that...

"如果她不是特别漂亮也没关系。" - It's OK if it is not the case that she is very pretty.

A: "你不喜欢红酒?”

B: 是。 (No, I don't like - Yes, it is the case that I don't like.)

B1: 不是。(But yes, I do like - No, it is not the case that I don't like.)

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