What is Qi? (2)

The word (qì) is also used to represent the emotions, the spirit, the quality or the momentum within a person or the mannerism and airs about a person.

Emotional Qi

We’ve talked about 火气 (huǒqì) before, which is used to describe an inflammation or a rage. 气愤 (qìfèn) is an adjective that means to be angry. 生气 (shēngqì) also means to get angry or to take offense. However, as a noun, this word means vitality or a sign of life.

她听了这话, 非常生气.
Tā tīng le zhèhuà, fēicháng shēngqì.
After hearing these words, she got very angry.

气人 (qìrén) means annoying.

(chōng) means to clash or to flush away with water. 气冲冲 (qìchōngchōng) is to be beside oneself with rage. (hū) is to breathe out or to shout. 气呼呼 (qìhūhū) means panting with rage.

怄气 (òuqì) is to sulk at someone or something. 赌气 (dǔqì) is to feel wronged or offended and act rashly.

他怄气, 不来了.
Tā òuqì bù lái le.
He is upset and does not want to come.

出气 (chūqì) is to vent one’s anger, usually upon another person.

有时大人拿小孩出气.
Yǒushí dàren ná xiǎohá chūqì.
Sometimes grown-ups vent their angers on the children.

脾气 (píqì) is one’s temperament. 脾气大 (píqì) means to have a bad temper. 脾气好 (píqìhǎo) means to have a good disposition. This is akin with 和气 (héqì), which means being friendly and amiabile.

牛脾气 (niúpíqi) means ox-like stubbornness, or pigheadedness.

沉住气 (chénzhuqì) is to keep one’s cool, stay calm and not jump to action.

语气 (yǔqì) is the tone of voice. 低声下气 (dīshēngxiàqì) means talking in a subdued voice and in meek manners. This phrase is commonly used for describing submissiveness.

不服气 (bù fúqì) means to remain resentful and unconvinced, and refuse to accept a settlement or judgement as being reasonable or final.

Qi as Mannerism and Airs

气度 (qìdù) is a person’s comportment or capacity for tolerance, and 气派 (qìpài) are a persons airs, mannerism and style.

傲气 (àoqì) is arrogance, while 流气 (liúqì) is a roguish demeanor.

客气 (kèqi) is being polite and courteous.

小气 (xiǎoqì) means stingy or petty.

幼稚 (yòuzhì) means naïve or childish. 稚气 (zhìqì) and 孩子气 (háizǐqì) are two other terms for childishness.

怪里怪气 (guàiliguàiqì) describes someone who is queer or eccentric.

珠光宝气 (zhū guāng bǎo qì) is a term often used to describe a richly bejewled lady.

Spiritual Qi

正气 (zhèngqì) is uprightness or morality. 勇气 (yǒngqì) is the word for courage. 志气 (zhìqi) means aspiration.

才气 (cáiqì) refers to literary talent. A gifted scholar, like Xu Zhimo, would be called a 才子 (cáiqì).

运气 (yùnqi) is one’s luck, which can be good or bad. 福气 (fúqi) is good fortune. 喜气洋洋 (xǐqìyángyáng) means to be full of joy, as on one’s wedding day.

一口气 (yīkǒuqì) literally means one breath. It can be used as an adverb to describe doing something at one go. For example,

他一口气把那本书念完了.
Tā yīkǒuqì bǎ nà běn shū niàn wán le.
He finished reading that book in one sitting.

On the other hand, 争一口气 (zhēng yīkǒuqì) means to try to win some honor or credit for your family or country. So, 不争气 (bùzhēngqì) is a term often used by parents to criticize their son or daughter for failing to live up to their expections.

Since (qì) is pronounced the same as the initial sound of “cheese”, why not say (qì) next time you pose for a photo?

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