I'm continuously confused on how to best say something is alcoholic. For example, I have heard 酒精很强, 很有酒精 , But I've also heard "酒量很高“ or ”酒量很大”

Could someone clarify which of these is the most common/which might be bad translations?

  • 酒量很大 generally refers to somebody's ability to drink without getting drunk.
    – Marko
    Aug 13, 2019 at 2:56

1 Answer 1


Per my understanding, alcoholic has two meanings in English:

  1. (Something) contains or is related to alcohol.
  2. (Someone) is addicted to alcohol or is affected by alcoholism.

For the first meaning, in Chinese we say 含有酒精的 or 酒精含量高的. E.g.

Alcoholic drink 含酒精的饮品 or simply 酒精饮品

For the second, we use the word 酗酒(成性) (adj.) or 酗酒者/酒鬼 (noun).

He is an alcoholic. 他酗酒成性 or 他是个酒鬼。

Regarding the Chinese phrases in your question,

酒精很强,很有酒精 means #1 but don't sound natural without context.

"酒量很高“ or ”酒量很大” means someone is good at drinking. 酒量 is not the short form of 酒精含量, but one word meaning 'the ability of a person to hold liquor'.

  • so 酒量 refers to how much alcohol a person can take, correct?
    – Stephen
    Oct 12, 2014 at 14:52
  • Would you say "高“ or ”大“ ?
    – Stephen
    Oct 12, 2014 at 14:52
  • @Stephen 酒量 is usually associated with 大. 酒精含量/浓度 is usually connected with 高, although 大 is also correct and common.
    – NS.X.
    Oct 12, 2014 at 19:21

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