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Lesson 26 – Advanced – Distinguish 和蔼 and 和睦, 不必 and 何必

For the purpose of improving the Chinese language skill, the Chinese language learners need to understand the meaning and application of Chinese words. One of the most important things is to tell apart the similar words which have similar meanings but should be applied in different situations. Let’s take the group of words 和蔼、和睦and和气as an example, both of which are used to indicate the gentle attitude toward somebody.

和蔼emphasizes the elder generations or the people with higher status are easy to close to because they do not think they are higher than anyone else. You can say王老师很和蔼. However, 和睦 is more often used to indicate two persons get along well with each other and there is no contradiction. We can say 和睦相处and the reduplicated form is 和和睦睦. Teachers in qualified Mandarin program would tell you that 和气 stresses to be polite to somebody like 一家人都很和气. It also has the reduplication form of 和和气气.

Another important group words are 何必and不必, both indicating it is unnecessary to do something. The difference is that the former one is used in the rhetorical questions to mean not necessary, thus often collocating with the character 呢 like何必去那么早呢. However, 不必usually appears in the declarative sentences like 你不必买,把这个拿走吧. In addition, 又(是)is often placed before 何必to strengthen the tone like 这又是何必呢. But the word 不必can’t be used in this way.

During the process when you learn Chinese language, you may often see the word 巨大which is to describe something is really large and giant. It emphasizes something is big in form of the whole body and is used to describe change, scale, number, sound and shape. Being a neutral word, it has wide application range. However, 宏大is to say something is magnificent, usually used for ambition, scale, dream, project and architecture. If you want to describe things that too much large and not proper, you can use 庞大, mainly for number, system, organization and structure. 

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