March 08, 2010, 10:06 AM posted in I Have a Question

Can háishì (还是) be used as an implied threat, as in "you had better not ...".

For example, in the classroom, can you say to a kid who is talking:

你还是闭嘴. (nǐ háishì bìzuǐ) ?

Whether you can or can't, is there a better way of saying "you had better (not) ..." ?

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March 08, 2010, 01:25 PM

You can say “你最好闭嘴!”, probably it's slightly more harsh than “你还是闭嘴吧”. Just saying “你闭嘴” would also be OK. In any case, “闭嘴” is a rather harsh word, just like "shut up" in English.

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March 08, 2010, 01:52 PM

I guess "better not" is a very english grammatical form. You might be able to reform it to "if you know what's good for you, you will..." or " ... or else!" .. something like:

如果你是一个聪明人 ...

Rúguǒ nǐ shì yīgè cōngmíng rén


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March 08, 2010, 03:03 PM

I agree with Changye, if use"吧", it's better. Otherwise, you can use: 你可以....(ni3 ke3 yi3....). which means 'you may'. It can also be used as a suggestion and sounds better.

I won't use 闭嘴 in classroom. 不要说话.bu2yao4shuo1hua4 is much better.