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How to Say 'Probably' in Chinese
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IN THIS LESSON
ID: QW0417 Intermediate
In today's Qing Wen video lesson, we teach the Mandarin Chinese for the different ways to say "probably." Much like in English, using slightly different terms can change the likelihood of something happening, and in this lesson, we show you the three most common ways of expressing this. 大概 (dàgài) has the highest likelihood of something happening, 可能 (kěnéng) is about a 50% or higher chance, and 恐怕 (kǒngpà) is also likely to happen, but the important thing is not the percentage, but rather that the outcome is an undesirable event. A top tip is that the final word in 恐怕 (kǒngpà) has the character for "scared" in it, so you don't want this thing to happen. With 大概 (dàgài), dà means big, and gài means approximation, so a "big likelihood." After today's lesson you should "probably" be a lot more confident when speaking Chinese, and you'll definitely know which one is most suitable for the situation. If you have any questions, particularly about the rather tricky 恐怕 (kǒngpà), just leave a comment and we will try and get back to you.
Fri Jan 15 2016 | Constance Fang, Fiona Tian
Our lessons contain natural communication in Chinese in video and audio format. We have have lessons focused on video or a podcast format and our lessons have transcripts of Lesson Dialogues, Important Vocabulary, Expanded Materials for a deep dive into the lesson topic and Exercises focused on testing your retention.
hěn wǎn le ，wǒ hái zài wàimian wán ，yǒurén gěi wǒ dǎ diànhuà ）
(It's very late, I'm still out, someone calls me...)
shì wǒ mā ，dàgài shì jiào wǒ kuài yīdiǎnr huíjiā 。
It's my mom, most probably telling me to get home sooner.
shì wǒ mā ）kěnéng wǒ mā yào shuìjiào le ，tā bù děng wǒ le 。
(it's my mom!) Maybe my mom is heading to bed and she is not waiting up.
zāogāo ！hěn wǎn le ！kǒngpà wǒ mā shēngqì le 。
Oops! It's so late! My mom is probably really angry with me.
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