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CC-CEDICT: 好在 (hǎo​zài​) luckily / fortunately

I really like how simple this word is to use (and write!) when compared to 幸亏 and 多亏. Some sentences from Jukuu (my translation):

好在老师没看见他迟到。
Luckily the teacher didn't see him come in late.

好在他们还不去宣传,不然真糟。
Fortunately, they haven't spread [their views], otherwise it would be really bad.

Now, I don't think I can just use 不好在 as its antonym. Google Translate translates:

Unfortunately, I forgot my umbrella.
不幸的是,我忘记带伞了。

So it uses 不幸的是 as an antonym for 好在. I wonder if there's anything better.

Question: Is there a simple antonym for 好在 = "fortunately, luckily"?

3 Answers 3

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Yes. 不巧 means “unfortunately”.

In your example sentence, 不幸的是 can be replaced with 不巧的是/很不巧/很不幸/不巧.

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好在 can be considered as the shorthand of 好的方面在于. Usually, we introduce a negative thing first, then some good side of it follows.

E.g. 他上课迟到了,好在没有被老师抓到。

For antonym, there are few words. 可惜 is one of them. 可惜 is used when something good is introduced first, then the bad side of it follows.

E.g. 今天是我的生日,可惜她没来。/ 大家都去看电影了,可惜我没去成。

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"好在" that means "fortunately, luckily" is "好彩" in Cantonese

好(good)在(at) --> 好在 (the good thing is)

好在老师没看见他迟到 - the good thing is (fortunately), the teacher didn't see him coming in late.

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好(good)彩(luck)--> 好彩 (with good luck)

好彩老师冇睇见佢迟到 - with good luck (fortunately), the teacher didn't see him coming in late.

The antonym for 好彩 in Cantonese is 好唔好彩 (unfortunately)

For 好在, The antonym should be 弊在

  • 好在 - the good thing is --> fortunately

  • 弊在 - the bad thing is --> unfortunately

好在老师没看见他迟到 - the good thing is (fortunately), the teacher didn't see him coming in late.

弊在老师已看见他迟到了 - the bad thing is (unfortunately), the teacher has already seen him coming in late.

I think it is more precise to use 幸亏/不巧 instead of 好在/弊在 for fortunately/ unfortunately

  • 幸(good luck)亏(due to) --> 幸亏 (due to good luck) = fortunately

  • 不(not)巧(with luck) --> 不巧 (not with luck) = unfortunately

  • which mean 不巧 can also be an antonym of 好在

You can also use the more colloquial phrase 幸运的是/ 不幸的是 for fortunately/ unfortunately

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