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Chinese Text Pinyin English Notes
{{word.text}} {{word.text}} {{word.pinyin}} {{word.english}} {{word.notes | limitTo: 100}} ... details All {{word.count}} word senses

  1. adverb not / no
    Domain: Function Words 虚词 , Concept: Negation 否定
    Notes: 不 is used for simple negation, as opposed to 没, which is used for existence. 不 is used before adjectives, adverbs, and verbs, except 有 (Li Shaoqi, 2003, p. 26; Ho, 2002, '不'; NCCED '不' 1). For example, 不知道是怎回事 '[He] did not he did not know how that was possible.' (Lao She, 2003, p. 207) This use is similar in both modern and literary Chinese (Pulleyblank 1995, p. 103). For example, in literary Chinese, 不可,直不百步耳,是亦走也。'They should not do so. Though they did not run a hundred paces, yet they also ran away.' (Meng 1.3/1/26, translation by Legge) The tone is changed to bú when 不 is followed by a syllable with fourth tone, in accordance with tone sandhi 变调. For example, 不去 bú qù 'will not go' (Sun 2006, loc. 545). 不 is the sixth most frequently used word in the Beijing Language Institute's 1985 frequency wordlist (Ho, 2002, '不').
  2. adverb expresses that a certain condition cannot be acheived
    Domain: Function Words 虚词 , Concept: Negation 否定
    Notes: In this pattern 不 is used after a verb to form a complement (Li Shaoqi, 2003, p. 27; NCCED '不' 7) For example, 洗不掉 'could not be washed away.' (Lao She, 2003, p. 211).
  3. adverb as a correlative
    Domain: Spoken Language 口语
    Notes: Used to form as a correlative with 就 in the pattern 不 ... 就 (NCCED '不' 9)...
  4. adverb no (answering a question)
    Domain: Function Words 虚词
    Notes: 不 can be used independently to answer a preceding question (Li Shaoqi, 2003, p. 26; NCCED '不' 5).
  5. adverb forms a negative adjective from a noun
    Domain: Function Words 虚词 , Concept: Negation 否定
    Notes: For example, 不运气 'unlucky' (NCCED '不' 4)
  6. adverb at the end of a sentence to form a question
    Domain: Spoken Language 口语
    Notes: In this form 不 is used at the end of the sentence to turn it into a question (NCCED '不' 6).
  7. adverb to form a yes or no question
    Domain: Spoken Language 口语
    Notes: In this form 不 is used to offer an alternative as part of a question (NCCED '不' 8). For example, 商量商量好不好? 'Can we talk about it?' (Lao She, 2003, p. 216)
  8. infix infix potential marker
    Domain: Function Words 虚词 , Concept: Negation 否定
    Notes: 不 is one of the two infixes in Chinese, the other being 得 'can'. For example, 看不见 'cannot see' (Sun 2006, loc. 728).

Contained in

不丹意想不到不但不断不到位不仅不同不得不可抗力不顾不了不禁不仅如此不可逆转不端不暇目不暇接不满不乏不如必不可少不相上下不住不可思议不过源源不断层出不穷不动产不见不是不敌不可不移瞧不起了不起不及不及物动词不定不错不要不用不久对不起不必不大不得不不得了不敢当不管不好意思不论

Word is mentioned most frequently in

Truncated for common words

CollectionDocument TitleOccurrences
Records of the Grand Historian 《史記》 《龜策列傳》 Biographies of Diviners 266
Commentaries on the Four Books by Zhu Xi 朱熹《四書章句集注》 《中庸章句》 Commentary on Doctrine of the Mean 203
Commentaries on the Four Books by Zhu Xi 朱熹《四書章句集注》 《盡心章句上》 Commentary on Jin Xin I 181
The Book of Rites 《禮記》 《曲禮上》 Summary of the Rules of Propriety Part 1 169
Commentaries on the Four Books by Zhu Xi 朱熹《四書章句集注》 《離婁章句上》 Commentary on Li Lou I 147
Commentaries on the Four Books by Zhu Xi 朱熹《四書章句集注》 《公孫丑章句上》 Commentary on Gong Sun Chou I 134
Commentaries on the Four Books by Zhu Xi 朱熹《四書章句集注》 《述而第七》 Commentary on Shu Er VII 126
Commentaries on the Four Books by Zhu Xi 朱熹《四書章句集注》 《萬章章句下》 Commentary on Wan Zhang II 120
Records of the Grand Historian 《史記》 《秦始皇本紀》 Annals of Qin Shi Huang 114
The Book of Rites 《禮記》 《王制》 Royal Regulations 113

Usage

Sampled for common words

ExampleSourceOccurrences
1. 《學而》 Xue Er in The Analects of Confucius 《論語》 15
2. 《為政》 Wei Zheng in The Analects of Confucius 《論語》 13
3. 《八佾》 Ba Yi in The Analects of Confucius 《論語》 16
4. 《里仁》 Li Ren in The Analects of Confucius 《論語》 21
5. 《公冶長》Gong Ye Chang in The Analects of Confucius 《論語》 11
妄說 《曲禮上》 Summary of the Rules of Propriety Part 1 in The Book of Rites 《禮記》 169
《曲禮下》 Summary of the Rules of Propriety Part 2 in The Book of Rites 《禮記》 60
《檀弓上》 Tan Gong I in The Book of Rites 《禮記》 70
《檀弓下》 Tan Gong II in The Book of Rites 《禮記》 82
《王制》 Royal Regulations in The Book of Rites 《禮記》 113
千里 《內篇‧逍遙遊》 Inner Chapters - Enjoyment in Untroubled Ease in Zhuangzi 《莊子》 28
《齊物論》 The Adjustment of Controversies in Zhuangzi 《莊子》 59
《養生主》 Nourishing the Lord of Life in Zhuangzi 《莊子》 5
《人間世》 Man in the World, Associated with other Men in Zhuangzi 《莊子》 47
《德充符》 The Seal of Virtue Complete in Zhuangzi 《莊子》 43
Selections from Stories by Liu Xiang in Selections of Literary Chinese Prose 5
殺人 Selections from Stratagems of the Warring States in Selections of Literary Chinese Prose 1
練實 Selections from Zhuang Zi in Selections of Literary Chinese Prose 2
Sections from Records of the Historian in Selections of Literary Chinese Prose 11
苟得 Selections from Mencius in Selections of Literary Chinese Prose 7
《釋訓》 Explanation of Instructions in Er Ya 《爾雅》 9
《釋宮》 Explanation of the Court in Er Ya 《爾雅》 1
《釋器》 Explanation of Utensils in Er Ya 《爾雅》 2
《釋天》 Explanation of Heaven in Er Ya 《爾雅》 5
不比 《釋地》 Explanation of Earth in Er Ya 《爾雅》 1