# What's the difference between 她很普通 and 她很一般？

###### xiaophil
January 26, 2010, 02:01 AM posted in I Have a Question

I can't recall what the exact difference is between 她很普通 and 她很一般.  I remember having this discussion with a teacher before, but I cannot remember the outcome clearly.  It seems to me that she said  她很普通 is a bit negative, as if to say, "She is just ordinary," i.e. emphasizing she is not special in any way.  On the other hand, 她很一般 is more like saying, "She is average," i.e. emphasizing while not spectacular, she is definitely not a bad student.  I also seem to remember being told that 她很一般 can sometimes mean "very good," i.e. it is a modest way to praise someone, but again, I can't remember clearly.

So are any of my ideas correct?

BONUS: Does the following sentence make sense?

Actually, this post was inspired by this sentence.  I found it in my old notes.  It seems to say, "She is very average at playing piano.  In our class she is one of the best."  This totally makes no sense in English.

###### arielshtarkment
January 26, 2010, 03:49 AM

I guess 普通means common. just like putonghua. a common language.

you can say:这双鞋怎么样？我觉得很普通，我不喜欢。

That bonus sentence doesn't make any sense. I don't think when people say something 一般means very good. you can only say:他的钢琴弹得很好，在我们班数一数二。

###### xiaophil

I think you are on to something.

As for the bonus, someone on another forum told me I should change 得 to 不, i.e. 他的钢琴弹得很一般，在我们班数不着。 I tend to agree. This makes sense now.

###### xiaophil
January 26, 2010, 05:19 AM

I think you are on to something.

As for the bonus, someone on another forum told me I should change 得 to 不, i.e. 他的钢琴弹得很一般，在我们班数不着。 I tend to agree. This makes sense now.