Best Way to Praise Others—"真牛!"

Updated 2014-07-29 14:04:01

Simon finds that Chinese animals are commonly used in daily conversations. For example, "牛"(niú), literally means "ox". It is a powerful animal, so in Chinese, people say "力大如牛"(lì dà rúniú), which means "as robust as a bull". The English equivalent would be "as strong as horse".) However, 牛 is not only used to describe the ox,it also combines with other characters to create different meanings.

dà wěizuì jìn niú qì hǒng hǒng dì dào chùkuā yào zì jǐshì zú qiútiān cái
A: 大伟最近牛气哄哄地,到处夸耀自己是足球天才。
Da Wei is very cocky recently. He always boasts that he is a footballing talent.

dé le ,tāzuìàichuīniú le
B: 得了,他最爱吹牛了。
Come on, he loves to big talk.

búguò wǒ tīng shuō tā men duìjué sài yíng le
But I heard that their team won the final.

nàshì yīn wéi tā men duìzhǎng tàiniú le
That is because their team captain is so awesome.

In the dialogue, A complains that Da Wei has recently been braggingabout his footballingskills, and she uses the phrase "牛气哄哄"(cow's breath) to describeDa Wei, who is considered to be arrogant and rude. B says Da Wei likes to "吹牛"(chuīniú ), literally meaning "blow ox", whichis a verb used to mean "boast" or "talk big".

The final "牛"(niú) comes in the last sentence. It is one of the most frequently used sentences designed to praise someone who is awesome/great. You can say "你好牛啊"(nǐ hǎo niúā) or "真牛"(zhēn niú) to express your praise to others. There are many circumstances in which"牛" can be used in this way. For example, if your friend has wins an important competition, you can give him/her a thumbs up and say "你好牛啊!" (nǐ hǎo niúā) or "真牛!" (zhēn niú) to expressthat that person has performed excellently.

There are other phrases which also include the character "牛",for example: "牛脾气" or "ox temper" meaning "stubborn or unyielding temper".


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