Answer to is there a difference between “意思 (yìsi)” and “有意思 (yǒu yìsi)?”

Correct Answer: B
In the Chinese language, it seems that many words have similar literal meanings, but in fact, they are quite different from each other. Let’s take a look at the two terms “意思(yìsi)” and “有意思(yǒu yìsi)” as examples.
In Chinese, “意思(yìsi)” can be used as a noun which refers to the “meaning” of something.


Wǒ míngbai nǐ de yìsi.
我    明白     你 的意思
I know what you mean.

Qǐngwèn zhè jù huà shì shénmeyìsi?
请问        这  句   话  是     什么意思
Excuse me, what’s the meaning of this sentence?

Now, let’s move on to the word “有意思(yǒu yìsi).” Literally, “有(yǒu)” means “to have” and “意思(yìsi)” means “meaning.” It would seem then that “有意思(yǒu yìsi)” should mean “to have meaning,” but in fact, Chinese people use the word as an adjective meaning “interesting.” It is used to describe things or people, and before it we can add an adverb as in “很有意思(hěn yǒu yìsi) very interesting,” “非常有意思(fēicháng yǒu yìsi) extremely interesting,” “真有意思(zhēn yǒu yìsi) really interesting,” and so on.


Zhè bù diànyǐng hěnyǒu yìsi.
这    部    电影     很 有意思
This film is very interesting.

Tom shì yígè fēicháng yǒu yìsi de rén.
Tom  是 一个  非常 有意思的  人。
Tom is an extremely interesting man.

In our test, the sentence implies that Chinese is very interesting. So the correct answer is B.

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