Mini-test answer: Why do Chinese people always say “die?”

The right answer is B.


  Lily: Nǐ zài gān shénme? Wǒ zhè jǐtiān dōu méiyǒu jiàn dào nǐ.
         你 在  干    什么?    我   这   几天   都   没有    见   到  你。
        What are you doing? I haven’t seen you for several days.

Tom: Ài, wǒ zhè jǐtiān máng sǐ le.
        唉,我 这  几天    忙   死 了。
        Ah, I’m up to my neck in work.


In Chinese, 死 () means to die or death. 忙死了 (máng sǐ le) is a widely used colloquial phrase to say that someone is extremely busy, or, busy to death. It should not be taken literally. Here 死 () is an adverb used to modify the word 忙 (máng) and to intensify the degree of the tone. There are a lot of similar phrases in the Chinese language that use the character 死 (). For example: 笑死了 (xiào sǐ le) means laughing to death, and 累死了 (lèi sǐ le), means dead tired.


1.Zǒu le zhème jiǔ, lèi sǐ le.
走   了 这么  久,累 死 了。
After walking such a long disance, I am dead tired.

2.Yào xiě zhème duō de lùnwén, máng sǐ le.
要    写  这么     多   的    论文,忙     死 了。
I’m up to my neck in papers.

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