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Mini-Test Answer: In vain

Oct. 26, 2011

Beginner Level 初级 (chūjí)

The right answer to this test is B.

Translation:

Gānggāng diànnǎo sǐjī le, wǒ de gōngzuò quán dōu bái gàn le.
刚刚            电脑    死机了,我的 工作        全     都   白   干 了。

 

My computer crashed just now. All my work was in vain.

Analysis:

A. White is “白色 (báisè)” in Chinese.
B. In vain is “白费 (báifèi)” in Chinese.
C. Black is “黑色 (hēisè)” in Chinese.

We know “白 (bái)” is the color white. However, in Chinese people usually use “白 (bái)” or “白白 (báibái)” to mean “in vain/for nothing.” For examples:

Tā bái (bái) děngle yì tiān.
他 白(白)等了      一天。

 

He waited all day in vain.

Bù néng ràng tā bái chī bái hē.
不   能      让   他 白 吃 白 喝。

 

Don’t let him be a freeloader.

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