Directly and indirectly in Chinese

Diameter 直径 (zhíjìng)

Diameter 直径 (zhíjìng)


The opposite of (wān curved or bent) is (zhí), which means straight, directly, straightforward, upright or just.

直接 (zhíjiē) means direct, directly or immediately.

你可以直接和他联络.
Nǐ kěyǐ zhíjiē hé tā liánluò.
You can contact him directly.

直达 (zhídá) means nonstop. Therefore, 直达车 (zhídá chē) is a bus that will go directly to the destination without making stops on the way.

We have previously (4/9/14) learned that 半径 (bànjìng) is the radius of a circular shape. The diameter is called 直径 (zhíjìng).

直流电 (zhíliúdiàn) is direct current. Alternating current is called 交流电 (jiāoliúdiàn).

直肠 (zhícháng) is the straight section of the large intestine, or rectum. On the other hand, 直肠子 (zhíchángzi) refers to a person who is straightforward and outspoken, or 直爽 (zhíshuǎng).

他个性直爽.
Tā gèxìng zhíshuǎng.
He is straightforward in personality.

You could also describe such a person by using a four-character Chinese idiom:

他心直口快.
Tā xīnzhíkǒukuài.
He is frank and outspoken.

直截了当 (zhíjiéliǎodàng) means straightforward, blunt or pointblank.

他直截了当说他不爱她.
Tā zhíjiéliǎodàng shuō tā bù ài tā.
He said pointblank that he did not love her.

As “he” and “she” sound exactly the same in Chinese, it will not be possible to tell whether a man is dumping a woman or a woman is dumping a man if you are not familiar with the situation and just heard someone utter the above sentence.

一直 (yīzhí) means continuously, always or all along.

她一直不停地哭.
Tā yīzhí bùtíng de kū.
She kept crying non-stop.

直到 (zhídào) means up until.

我永远爱你, 直到海枯石烂.
Wǒ yǒngyuǎn ài nǐ, zhídào hǎikūshílàn
I will love you forever, until the seas run dry and the rocks are totally eroded.

直觉 (zhíjué) is one’s intuition or gut feeling.

我的直觉是他没有诚意.
Wǒ de zhíjué shì tā méiyǒu chéngyì.
My gut feeling is that he is not sincere.

正直 (zhèngzhí) means honest, upright and fair.

理直气壮 (lǐzhíqìzhuàng) means acting bold and assured because one has justice on one’s side.

间接 (jiànjiē) means indirect or indirectly.

间隔 (jiàngé) is the interval between two events or the space separating two objects.

房间 (fángjiān) are rooms that are separated from each other by walls.

间断 (jiànduàn) means interrupted or disconnected.

我和他通信多年, 没有间断.
Wǒ hé tā tōngxìn duōnián, méiyǒu jiànduàn.
I corresponded with him for years without interruption.

中间 (zhōngjiān) means in the middle or being between two things or persons. Therefore, a middleman is called 中间人 (zhōngjiānrén), and a spy is called 间谍 (jiàndié).

“Directly” and “directly” are adverbs. You might want to review Chapter 17 of “Learn Chinese through Songs and Rhymes” for the correct placement of an adverb in a sentence.

Lead as a Chinese Polyphone

When you see the word “lead” out of context, you might interpret it to mean a clue or the action of guiding. Or you might conjure up a piece of heavy metal in your mind. Words that look identical but are pronounced differently and have different meaningas are called polyphones. In Chinese these are called 破音字 (pò yīn zì).

It just so happens that the Chinese word for “to lead” is also a polyphone. However, as you will find out below, its “alterego” is not a heavy metal.

(shuài) as a verb means to lead or to guide.

率领 (shuàilǐng) means to lead or to head a group. The leader is called 领袖 (lingxiù).

向导率领我们走过木桥.
Xiàngdǎo shuàilǐng wǒmén zǒu guò mù qiáo.
The guide led us across the wooden bridge.

统率 (tǒngshuài) means to command and lead (a troop). 统率三军 (tǒngshuài sānjūn) is to command and lead the three armed services. This duty usually falls on the shoulders of the president of a nation.

率先 (shuàixiān) means to take the lead in doing something.

他率先表示反对.
Tā shuàixiān biǎoshì fǎnduì.
He was the first to voice his objection.

表率 (biǎoshuài) is an examplar. This word is used as a noun. It is synonymous with 好榜样 (hǎo bǎngyàng a fine example) and 模范 (mófàn a model).

(shuài) as an adjective means to be hasty or to be forthright. So, 轻率 (qīngshuài) is being rash and careless.

率真 (shuàizhēn) means candid and sincere, and 坦率 (tǎnshuài) means candid and straightforward, while 率直 (shuàizhí) means straightforward and blunt.

我喜欢她坦率的为人.
Wǒ xǐhuān tā tǎnshuài de wéirén.
I like her candid and straightforward ways.

(lǜ) is a rate, a ratio or a proportion.

速率 (sùlǜ), or 速度 (sùdù), is the speed or velocity.

频率 (pínlǜ) means frequency. It can be the frequency of radio waves, or the frequency of occurrence of an event.

成人的正常呼吸频率约每分钟 12 次.
Chéngrén de zhèngcháng hūxī pínlǜ yuē měi fēnzhōng shí èr cì.
The normal respiratory rate in adults is about 12 breaths (times) per minute.

效率(xiàolǜ) is efficiency.

他做事缺乏效率.
Tā zuòshì quēfá xiàolǜ.
He lacks efficiency in doing jobs.

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