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Christa

Using 好 instead of 很 - is it a regional thing?

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Christa

Using 好 instead of 很 - is it a regional thing? Or is it used everywhere and the substitution is due simply to a difference in meaning between the two (one being "so" and the other a weak "very")? 

 

And is this done everywhere? Or is the practice influenced by southern dialects and little used in the north?

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jobm

Yes, it is done everywhere, though southerners tend to use it more based from my experience.

 

I think 很 is more objective, while 好 is more subjective and has some emotional sense in it. Like when you say 今天天气很热 compared to 今天天气好热(啊). 

 

And I think this use of 好 is used more in speaking than in writing, and could sound cute. 

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Publius

It depends.

As jobm correctly pointed out, 好 is a degree adverb that also carries emotion. (《现代汉语词典》 sense ⒁)

This usage is pretty standard.

But there are situations in which northerners would never use 好, for example, 你對我好好, unless they wanted to affect a 港臺腔 or simply be cute.

 

The indiscriminate use of 好 is a sign that the speaker's native language is one of the southern varieties of Chinese, e.g., Cantonese.

You seldom if ever use 很 in Cantonese:

一直佢都好支持我 = 他一直都很支持我

我都好鍾意呢件 = 我也很喜歡這件

好好食/好好味呀 = 真好吃啊

好得意呀 = 好可愛啊

我好好,你呢 = 我很好,你呢 = I'm fine. And you?

(As any student of Mandarin would have learned very early on, 很 does not always mean 'very'. Oftentimes it just links a predicate adjective to the noun it modifies. Because *我好 is ungrammatical except when there is a contrast, 我好,你不好. This function is also carried out by 好 in Cantonese.)

 

 

 

 

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Christa
7 hours ago, jobm said:

Yes, it is done everywhere, though southerners tend to use it more based from my experience.

 

I think 很 is more objective, while 好 is more subjective and has some emotional sense in it. Like when you say 今天天气很热 compared to 今天天气好热(啊). 

 

And I think this use of 好 is used more in speaking than in writing, and could sound cute. 

 

4 hours ago, Publius said:

As jobm correctly pointed out, 好 is a degree adverb that also carries emotion. (《现代汉语词典》 sense ⒁)

This usage is pretty standard.

But there are situations in which northerners would never use 好, for example, 你對我好好, unless they wanted to affect a 港臺腔 or simply be cute.

 

These are really good, really interesting explanations. Based on this, do you think that sayings such as 好久不见 have their origin in southern Chinese dialects?

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DavyJonesLocker

I agree, southerners use 好 more than northerns. 好 sounds a bit feminine when  a guy is using it especially in the north. 

 

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Christa
14 minutes ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

I agree, southerners use 好 more than northerns. 好 sounds a bit feminine when  a guy is using it especially in the north. 

 

So, northerners do use it, but not as much?

 

How would you translate 好 used in this way? As "so"?

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DavyJonesLocker

Same reasons as the guys above . Saying 我好累seems a bit effeminate for a guy to say. I have heard more than a few Chinese telling me I sound like a soppy Taiwanese boy  when I say this so basically stopped using it. 

One of the issues learning Chinese for a guy is that the vast majority of teachers are female so their natural language tends to rub off on you.

 

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