Chinese grammar:Expressing "excessively" with "tai"

The simplest structure for expressing too in the sense of excessively in Chinese uses the word 太 (tài).


As in English, this can express that something really is excessive, or can colloquially express the meaning of so or very. Note that in Chinese, you can say "太好了" which just means "very good" (wheras in English the phrase "too good" sometimes makes it sound like there’s reason for suspicion).


Subject Adjective   Translation
He is too heavy.
米饭 There is too little rice.
大象 The elephant is too big.
You are "too good" [so great].
He is too tall.
小猫 可爱 The panda is too cute!

Note for the more advanced learner: This pattern can be used with modal verbs (e.g. 会, 能) as well as psychological verbs (e.g. 喜欢, 崇拜) to intensify the degree.

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