Saying ‘no’ in Chinese is not as straightforward as you’d want it to be. First of all, the way to say it for the present and future is different from the expression for the past. At the same time, the tone is changed on some occasions.
Saying ‘no’ in Chinese can be tricky.
The most frequently used word for ‘no’ in Chinese is bu4 (不). The word, however, is often used to express something for the present or the future. When you are talking about something in the past, you would use the word mei2 (没) instead.
Another thing that make the use of the word 不 a bit difficult is the tone. 不 is often pronounced in the 4th tone. When the character following it is also in the 4th tone, however, the word would be pronounced in the 2nd tone.
It’s a bit complicated, isn’t it!
Do not, however, worry about it. These are just the small details about how the word is used, and the ways ‘no’ is said in Mandarin. It’s good if you can observe the rules when you are using the expression. If you use it incorrectly, more often than not, people would still be able to understand you.
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