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Dui Bu Qi - Daily Mandarin Lesson

"Sorry" in Mandarin Chinese


Dui Bu Qi

There are many ways to say “sorry” in Mandarin Chinese, but one of the most common and versatile phrases is ►duì bu qǐ. This consists of three Chinese characters: 對不起. The first, 對 (duì), means “for” or “to.” The second character, 不 (bù), is a negative particle. The third character, 起 (qǐ), means “to rise.”

The literal translation of duì bu qǐ, then, is “don’t get up,” which could perhaps be interpreted as “stay calm.”

Examples of Dui Bu Qi

Duì bu qǐ, wǒ gāi zǒu le.
對不起, 我該走了。
对不起, 我该走了。
Sorry, I have to go now.

Rú guǒ wǒ shuō duì bu qǐ, nǐ shì fǒu jiù huì yuán liàng wǒ?
如果我說對不起, 你是否就會原諒我?
如果我说对不起, 你是否就会原谅我?
If I say I’m sorry, will you be able to forgive me?
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