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Chinese Grammar: Lesson Part 1: Expressing "a bit" with 一下

Lupishu is discovering a bunch of things everywhere he goes. He’s always curious to try this or that, so expressions that allow him to ask for a little bit of something or to do something briefly are his new favorites!

Let's start with 一下. “Shu! 一下 is great when you want to taste a little bit of something” he says. "And believe me, there's plenty of new foods to discover in Ninchana!"


Here's the gist:

When a verb is followed by 一下, it implies the action lasted or will only last a short time. You're, technically, doing something briefly, for just “a little bit".

Subject + Verb + 一下+ Object

Just follow the verb with 一下, and you're good to go.


Please wait a little bit.

Could I use it for a little while?

一下 is also often used after a verb to relax and soften the tone of what you’re saying. It's not quite sugarcoating, but it certainly helps you sound less imperative.

You might end up waiting more than just a little bit, but if you were told that up front, you would have never agreed to wait, right? Cheeky, but come on. We all do that.

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