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.

Thinking logically in Chinese

帽子 (màozǐ) Hats

帽子 (màozǐ) Hats


You probably already know that 帽子 (màozǐ) is a cap or a hat. When it rains, you would put on your 雨帽 (yǔmào a rain cap or a hood). When it’s hot and sunny, girls may put on their 草帽 (cǎomào straw hats).

礼貌 (lǐmào) means politeness or manners. 有礼貌 (yǒu lǐmào) is being polite and courteous. On the other hand, 礼帽 (lǐmào) is a hat that goes with formal dress, such as a top hat.

军帽 (jūnmào) is an army cap. 脱帽致敬 (tuōmào zhìjìng) means to salute by taking off one’s hat.

The unit for hats is (dǐng). With regards to clothing articles or ornaments, (dài) means to wear or to put on.

他戴着一顶帽子.
Tā dài zhe yī dǐng màozi.
He is wearing a hat.

Please note that 戴高帽子 (dài gāomàozi) means to give someone gratuitous flattery.

你别给我戴高帽子.
Nǐ bié gěi wǒ dài gāomàozi.
Quit your flattery.

Now, on to a well-known puzzle that calls for putting on your thinking cap.

Three intelligent gentlemen are detained for some reason. Their captor agrees to set them free if they are able to solve a puzzle. He orders them to stand in a line, one behind the other, all facing the same direction, and to close their eyes. After placing one hat on the head of each of the three gentlemen, the captor lets the gentlemen open their eyes. He announces that altogether there are two black hats and two white hats, and that the fourth hat is hidden in a closet. If any one of the gentlemen correctly guesses what color hat he is wearing, without looking in a mirror or communicating with the other two gentlemen, all three will be set free. Given that the gentleman at the very back can see what hats the two gentlemen in front of him wear, the gentleman in the middle can only see what the first gentleman wears, and the gentleman at the front cannot see what anyone was wearing, how do you suppose they will be able to resolve this dilemma?

我们知道一共有两顶黑帽子和两顶白帽子.
Wǒmén zhīdào yīgòng yǒu liǎng dǐng hēi màozi hé liǎng dǐng bái màozi.
We know that altogether there are two black hats and two white hats.

一位绅士站在前面.
Yī wèi shēnshì zhàn zài qiánmiàn.
One gentleman stands at the front.

一位绅士站在中间.
Yī wèi shēnshì zhàn zài zhōngjiān.
One gentleman stands in the middle.

一位绅士站在后面.
Yī wèi shēnshì zhàn zài hòumian.
One gentleman stands at the back.

如果前面两位绅士戴相同颜色的帽子,
Rúguǒ qiánmiàn liǎng wèi shēnshì dài xiāngtóng yánsè de màozi,
If the two gentlemen in front are wearing the same color hats,

最后面的那位绅士就会猜到自己的帽子的颜色.
zuì hòumian de nèi wèi shēnshì jiù huì cāi dào zìjǐ de màozi de yánsè.
the gentleman in the very back will be able to guess the color of his own hat.

如果最后面的那位绅士不说话,
Rúguǒ zuì hòumian de nèi wèi shēnshì bù shuōhuà,
If the gentleman in the very back says nothing,

那么表示前面两位绅士戴着不同颜色的帽子.
nàme biǎoshì qiánmiàn liǎng wèi shēnshì dài zhe bùtóng yánsè de màozi.
then this indicates that the two gentlemen in front have different color hats on.

因为中间的那位绅士看得到前面的帽子,
Yīnwei zhōngjiān de nèi wèi shēnshì kàn de dào qiánmiàn de màozi,
Because the gentleman in the middle can see the hat in front of him,

所以他可以猜到自己的帽子的颜色.
suǒyǐ tā kěyǐ cāi dào zìjǐ de màozi de yánsè.
therefore he will be able to correctly guess the color of his own hat.

Sentences involving such word pairs as 如果 (rúguǒ) + 那么 (nàme), and 因为 (yīnwei) + 所以 (suǒyǐ), are complex sentences. Please review Chapter 25 of “Learn Chinese through Songs and Rhymes” to see how to construct complex sentences using the 5 W’s.

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