Dialogue

Vocabulary

Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Introduction
Eric: Welcome to 3-Minute Chinese Season 1, Lesson 5 - Making Apologies. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to apologize and how to say that you didn't do it on purpose or that you are sorry in Chinese.
Body
Eric: Here's the informal way to say "Excuse me." in Chinese.
Cho: [Normal] 不好意思。(bù hǎoyìsi)
Eric: First is a word meaning "not"
Cho: [Normal] 不 [Slow] 不 (bù)
Eric: Next is the adjective meaning "good"
Cho: [Normal] 好 [Slow] 好(hǎo)
Eric: Last is the noun for "meaning"
Cho: [Normal] 意思 [Slow] 意思(yìsi)
Eric: Listen again to the informal phrase meaning "Excuse me."
Cho: [Slow] 不好意思。 [Normal] 不好意思。
Eric: Ok, now let's take a look at the formal way to say "Excuse me."
Cho: [Normal] 对不起。(duìbùqǐ)
Eric: This expression has only one word meaning "sorry"
Cho: [Normal] 对不起 [Slow] 对不起 (duìbùqǐ)
Eric: Listen again to the formal word meaning "Excuse me."
Cho: [Slow] 对不起。 [Normal] 对不起。
Eric: Next up is the formal way to say "I didn't mean it."
Cho: [Normal] 我不是这个意思。(wǒ bú shì zhège yìsi.)
Eric: First is a pronoun meaning "I"
Cho: [Normal] 我 [Slow] 我(wǒ)
Eric: Next is the adjective meaning "not"
Cho: [Normal] 不是 [Slow] 不是(bù shì)
Eric: Then comes the pronoun meaning "this"
Cho: [Normal] 这个 [Slow] 这个(zhège)
Eric: Last is the noun for "meaning"
Cho: [Normal] 意思 [Slow] 意思(yìsi)
Eric: Listen again to the formal phrase meaning "I didn't mean it."
Cho: [Slow] 我不是这个意思。 [Normal] 我不是这个意思。
Eric: Finally, here is a formal way to say "I'm very sorry."
Cho: [Normal] 我很抱歉。(Wǒ hěn bàoqiàn.)
Eric: First is a pronoun meaning "I"
Cho: [Normal] 我 [Slow] 我(wǒ)
Eric: Next is the adjective meaning "very, very much"
Cho: [Normal] 很 [Slow] 很(hěn)
Eric: Last is the verb meaning "sorry"
Cho: [Normal] 抱歉 [Slow] 抱歉(bàoqiàn)
Eric: Listen again to the formal phrase meaning "I'm very sorry."
Cho: [Slow] 我很抱歉。 [Normal] 我很抱歉。
Cultural Insight
Eric: Now it's time for a quick cultural insight.
Cho: If you accidentally bump into someone in China, say 对不起 (Duì bu qǐ) or 不好意思 (bù hǎoyìsi), which means “I am sorry.” This shows people that you are genuinely sorry.

Outro

Eric: And that’s all for this lesson. Don’t forget to check out the lesson notes, and we’ll see you in the next lesson!
Cho: 再见。

17 Comments

Hide
Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Listeners! Let's practice in the comments!

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 11:54 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

你好 robert groulx,


谢谢 for posting and studying with us. If you have any questions, please let us know.😄


Kind regards,

Levente

Team ChineseClass101.com

robert groulx
Saturday at 04:11 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

thank you for the lesson


bàoqiàn meaning i am sorry


robert

ChineseClass101.com
Tuesday at 09:51 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Franz Gassner,


Thank you for your comment.


意思 (yìsi) literally means 'meaning'. For example, 这句话的意思是什么?(What is the meaning of this sentence?).


As always, let us know if you have any questions.


Ngai Lam

Team ChineseClass101.com

Franz Gassner
Saturday at 01:50 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

What does 意思(yìsi) mean literally? Many thanks!

ChineseClass101.com
Wednesday at 12:15 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Guy,


Thank you for your comment.


The translation is correct, '我不是这个意思' means 'That's not what I meant' or 'I didn't mean that'. It literally means 'I did not (mean) this meaning.' The verb 'mean' is omitted in the Chinese version.


Hope it helps, let us know if you have any questions.


Ngai Lam

Team ChineseClass101.com

Guy
Monday at 06:23 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

hi

Efrem wrote : 我不是这个意思。Wǒ bùshì zhège yìsi.

Google translate the sentence as : That was not what I meant.

not clear for me so could you, please, explain the structure of this sentence

Thanks a lot

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 01:11 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi, Patricia,

Thank you for asking.

很抱歉/非常抱歉 is very formal, and 抱歉/对不起 are the lesser, and 不好意思 is even lesser.

很抱歉/非常抱歉 are usually used in formal situations or business, while the 不好意思 are commonly used in informal situations.

Since we usually use 很 before an adjective, the same to 抱歉,if we use 抱歉 in a long sentence, we add 很.

For instance,

A :我们很抱歉通知您,您乘坐的航班已被取消。(We are sorry to inform you that your flight has been cancelled.)

B: 抱歉,您的航班已被取消。


Cho

Team ChineseClass101.com

Patricia
Tuesday at 02:00 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

What kind of situations are most appropriate for [很抱歉], where 对不起 and the others are the lesser?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 11:08 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi, Efrem,


Good job.

加油!(fighting!)


Cho

Team ChineseClass101.com

Efrem
Sunday at 05:55 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

对不起。

我很抱歉。

我不是这个意思。

不好意思。