Chinese Notes
Chinese Notes

  1. adverb not / no
    Domain: Modern Chinese 现代汉语 , Subdomain: 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: Modern Chinese 现代汉语 , Subdomain: 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: Modern Chinese 现代汉语 , Subdomain: 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: Modern Chinese 现代汉语 , Subdomain: 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: Modern Chinese 现代汉语 , Subdomain: 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思议界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不平

Texts that the word is most frequently mentioned in

Collection Document Title Occurrences
The Commentary of Zuo on the Spring and Autumn Annals 《春秋左氏傳》 昭公 Lord Zhao 605
Daode Jing 《道德經》 Daode Jing 《道德經》 512
The Commentary of Zuo on the Spring and Autumn Annals 《春秋左氏傳》 襄公 Lord Xiang 482
Canon of Supreme Mystery 《太玄經》 Full Text 315
The Commentary of Zuo on the Spring and Autumn Annals 《春秋左氏傳》 僖公 Lord Xi 259
Records of the Grand Historian 《史記》 《龜策列傳》 Biographies of Diviners 247
Book of Jin 《晉書》 卷九十四 列傳第六十四 隱逸 Volume 94 Biographies 64: Hermits and Recluses 246
Records of the Three Kingdoms 《三國志》 卷十 魏書十一 袁張涼國田王邴管傳 Volume 10: Book of Wei 10 - Biographies of Xun Yu, Xun You, and Jia Xu 237
Records of the Three Kingdoms 《三國志》 卷十一 魏書十一 袁張涼國田王邴管傳 Volume 11: Book of Wei 11 - Biographies of Yuan, Zhang, Liang, Guo, Tian, Wang, Bing, and Guan 237
Records of the Three Kingdoms 《三國志》 卷六 魏書六 董二袁劉傳 Volume 6: Book of Wei 6 - Biographies of Dong, the two Yuans, and Liu 231