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The Best Laid 安排(ānpái) of Mice and Men

Oct. 15, 2020

Given how packed everyone’s schedules are, it’s become imperative that we “plan” or “make plans” in order to get everything done that we need to do, and see everyone who we need (or want) to see. It’s probably this way in your country, and it’s definitely this way in China. Enter: 安排.

As a noun, 安排(ānpái) means, “arrangement”, or, “plan”; as a verb it means, “to arrange,” or, “to plan”.

安排(ānpái): n. arrangement, plan
安排(ānpái): v. to arrange, to plan

Examples:

lǎoshī bǎ míngtiān de huódòng ānpái yòu shuōle yíbiàn.
老师把明天的活动安排又说了一遍。
The teacher repeated the schedule for tomorrow’s activities again.

wǒ fúcóng lǐngdǎo de ānpái.
我服从领导的安排。
I follow the leadership’s plans.

Though perhaps mundane in its origins, 安排 has recently been co-opted into internet slang and more casual use. Below are three such examples:

(1) Used to express agreement with someone else’s plans

Example:

A: jīn wǎn yìqǐ qù yīnyuè jié?
今晚一起去音乐节?
Do you want to go to the music festival tonight?

B: ānpái!
安排!
Let’s do it!

(2) Used as a euphemism for something being banned

Example:

Netflix bèi ānpái le.
Netflix被安排了。
Netflix was banned.

(3) To rally to a cause; to express support for something (especially friends)

Example:

A: tāmen yǐjīng lián yíng hǎojǐ chǎngle.
他们已经连赢好几场了。
They have won several games in a row.

B: ānpái!
安排!
Let’s get ‘em!

必须安排(bìxū ānpái):Express support for friends

Examples:

Friend A: wǒ de diànyǐng shàngyìng le.
我的电影上映了。
My movie is has been released.

Friend B: bìxū ānpái!
必须安排!
I’ll definitely go see it!

安排(ānpái) also lends itself to formal usages, as in, “被安排的明明白白(bèi ānpái de míngmíng báibái)”.

明明白白(míngmíng báibái) is an idiom meaning clear and unmistakable, or upright.

Examples:

wǒ yǐjīng bǎ yìsi shuō de míngmíng báibái le.
我已经把意思说的明明白白了。
I have made it clear.

míngmíng báibái de gàosù nǐ, wǒ bù dāyìng.
明明白白的告诉你,我不答应。
To tell you plainly, I don’t agree.

被安排的明明白白(bèi ānpái de míngmíng báibái) refers to one person’s plans, role, or time being arranged by someone else. For example:

Boss: jīn wǎn jiābān!
今晚加班!
Everyone’s going to work overtime tonight!

Me (to another person): bèi ānpái de míngmíng báibái.
被安排的明明白白
I don’t have a say in the matter.

HSK 3 quiz

Mike: 我最近想学中文了。
Tom: ______ 。

A.安排(ānpái)
B.被安排的明明白白(bèi ānpái de míngmíng báibái)

You May Want to Learn More:

Know These Phrases If Your “体温 (Tǐwēn) Temperature” Is High
Taobao – A Brand Becomes a Verb
Do You Qualify As a Smiling Tiger Face?

HSK 1 quiz

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