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The Biggest and the Best - Superlatives in Mandarin Chinese

Using the Zui Particle

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Zui

The Mandarin particle zuì is used for forming superlatives. In English, this function is often done by adding “est” to an adjective or adverb, to form words such as “biggest” or “fastest.”

Zuì is used with a Stative Verb (SV) – verbs or verb phrases which indicate a condition or static state. Examples of Stative Verbs are tall; expensive; and important.

Zuì is placed directly before the Stative Verb.

Examples of Zuì

He is the tallest in our class.
Tā shì bān shàng zuì gāo de.
他是班上最高的。

She has the best grades.
Tā de chéngjī zuì hǎo.
她的成績最好。

That was the longest movie I’ve ever seen.
Nà shì wǒ kàn guò zuì cháng de diànyǐng.
(trad) 那是我看過最長的電影。
(simp) 那是我看过最长的电影。

Favorite

There are two common ways to say “favorite” :

zuì xǐ huan
最喜歡

and

zuì xǐ ài
最喜愛

Examples of Favorite

Ice cream is my favorite desert.
Bīngqílín shì wǒ zuì xǐhuan de tiándiǎn.
(trad) 冰淇淋是我最喜歡的甜點。
(simp) 冰淇淋是我最喜欢的甜点。

She is my favorite singer.
Tā shì wǒ zuì xǐ ài de gēxīng.
她是我最喜爱的歌星。

Nothing Better

If someone makes a very good suggestion, you can show your approval by saying “There’s nothing better” - zuì hǎo bù guò le.

Let’s go to the park this afternoon.
Wǒmen jīntiān xiàwǔ qù gōngyuán.
(trad) 我們今天下午去公園。
(simp) 我们今天下午去公园。

There’s nothing better than this. (Great idea!)
Zuì hǎo bù guò le.
(trad) 最好不過了。
(simp) 最好不过了。
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