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Thread: effective

  1. #1
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    effective

    My question seemingly very simple, in fact constantly makes me scratching my head. I wonder how to say that something is 'effective' or ‘something will work’ using Chinese. I know a few words but its usage always depends on context. I need some examples to be more clear about that. Words are: 管用,有效果,行得通, 起作用 Maybe there are more similar words these I mentioned?

  2. #2
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    Re: effective in chinese "管用"

    I think the most common and universal saying is 有用.
    It fits almost anywhere.
    Opposite: 没有用.

    管用 is more casual, usually used as an oral expression.
    -这东西管用吗?-不管用。

    行得通 ("can run through") is an oral expression. Strictly speaking, it's used on the ways or methods, not on stuffs.
    -这方法行得通吗?-行得通!

    有效果 ("has [useful] effecs") is more formal.
    这种药对治病是有效果的。

    起作用 ("affect") is also more formal.
    这种药对治病起作用。
    作用 can be a scientific term. So 起作用 can also discribe the process of experiments and so on.
    这种成分会与水起作用。

    The two verb 有/起 are similar when discribing effectiveness.
    So you'll also hear 起效果, 有作用 etc.
    Correct my Chinglish please!

  3. #3
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    Re: effective in chinese "管用"

    Quote Originally Posted by alejandro123 View Post
    My question seemingly very simple, in fact constantly makes me scratching my head. I wonder how to say that something is 'effective' or ‘something will work’ using Chinese. I know a few words but its usage always depends on context. I need some examples to be more clear about that. Words are: 管用,有效果,行得通, 起作用 Maybe there are more similar words these I mentioned?
    I like to add that 效果 is, primary, a noun. In my region, we rarely hear people say 有效果. It's usually 有效 (effective).
    eg 这种药对你的病相当有效。(adjective)
    eg 这种药的效果不错。(noun)

    You may also like to know,
    反效果 - negative effect
    副作用 - side effect

  4. #4
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    Re: effective in chinese "管用"

    ok, so the only difference between 管用 and 行得通 is that the first one refers both to stuff and methods, the second one only to methods?

  5. #5
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    Re: effective in chinese "管用"

    Quote Originally Posted by alejandro123 View Post
    ok, so the only difference between 管用 and 行得通 is that the first one refers both to stuff and methods, the second one only to methods?
    The two are very different, alejandro, but I don't think it would be very "effective" to learn the difference without first knowing the basic meaning of each word. I therefore suggest that you learn these two words well, and then as the next step ask about the difference between them. Otherwise, all will still be fuzzy no matter how well we show you the difference.

    As I've seen another similar thread by you, I hope this advice will help you to a more 有效的 approach.

  6. #6
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    Re: effective in chinese "管用"

    If I didn't know the basic meaning of these words, I wouldn't have started this thread at all. I didn't start learning Chinese yesterday I think that good question is that kind of question that helps not only me but others too. For example someone want to say that my approach to learning 行不通 but I don't know wheter I can say it is 不管用 as well. This is that sort of question. Maybe it should be more precise.

    You say that they are very different (maybe you can try to explain me the difference) but I'm not so sure and this is the reason I created the topic.

  7. #7
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    Re: effective in chinese "管用"

    Alejandro,
    Since you simply put out a list of near-synonyms and ask for explanation of the difference between them, it is not an effective approach and it wouldn't help your case. There are thousand ways to tell you the difference and all would be irrelevant and wasted unless you would at least give some indication where your problems are. For example, give some concrete examples and tell us what you think, then we'll know where to start and how to help you. The rules of the forum specifically asking you to provide complete sentences and background information every time you ask a question is for this very reason.
    For a start, look at some threads that have got good response and good result and you may get some idea of how to make your questions work better for you. Also, don't forget the forum rules. They are not just rules. They are there to help those who are not familiar with the forums to make the best of them: http://forum.wordreference.com/faq.p...#faq_rules_faq
    Last edited by xiaolijie; 31st December 2012 at 5:35 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: effective in chinese "管用"

    Ok, you are right. Supposing that we have that sort of a situation:

    A:我们菜市场的苹果定价为5块钱(一斤),比别的地方贵点,我们还能赚钱吗?
    B:这个方案行不通。/这个做法行不通。

    I know that I can use 行得通 but I wonder if 管用 is also correct:
    B: 这样做的不管用/这个做法不太管用

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