小心点

ireen

Member
Korean
I found an example: 他们应该小心点 (They should be more careful).
I guess "more" comes from 点, but I do not know why the character means "more" since my dictionary only says "points" and "to order". Could you explain how I can use this 点 and give me some examples?
 
  • Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    I do not know why the character means "more"
    It does not mean "more". We need to be a little bit careful here about how to interpret the literal meaning of 点.
    他们应该小心点 They have to be a little bit careful.
    多一点,再来一点 ==> The sense of "more" is conveyed by 多 or 再. 一点 still means "a little bit".
     

    hongover

    Member
    Chinese-China
    I disagree with what's said above. Without a specific context, I do not think "小心点" carries any implication on the "degree" or "comparison". It just means "be careful".

    So, "他们应该小心点" just means that they should be careful. (no implication on "a little bit" or "more")

    A similar example is that when you say goodbye, you sometimes say "慢点", which means "be slow". It does not mean that you should be a little bit slow nor that you should be more slow.

    Nonetheless, I think when it is used as an imperative, it does carry an implication of "more", since it implies that you've not done it enough.

    For example, when you say, "小心点!" It usually means that the person has not been careful enough and you want to remind her that she should be more careful than she has been.

    Another example, when you say, "快点!" It does not only mean that "be quick", but also implies that that person is not quick enough and she should be quicker.
     

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    We need to be a little bit careful here about how to interpret the literal meaning of 点.
    Obviously, I was discussing the literal meaning of 点. Hongover, on the other hand, was discussing its pragmatic meaning.
    What's the difference? For instance,
    "I'm a little bit confused" = I'm confused. "A little bit" is just there to make milder the tone of speech and does not necessarily imply "degree".
    "We need to be a little bit careful here" = We need to be careful here. "A little bit" in this context obviously does not imply "degree". It is used here to soften the imperative tone.
    能不能討口飯吃 = 能不能施頓飯吃 "口" here literally means "a bite" but pragmatically means "a meal".
     
    Last edited:

    hongover

    Member
    Chinese-China
    Thanks for the clarification. But I am not sure whether the literal meaning of 点, as a adverb, includes a milder or softer tone. What you are saying seems more like the literal meaning of 一点 in 快一点,慢一点,小心一点,etc.

    But 点 seems different to me. For example, if somebody tells me, "快点!" or "小心点!", I think whether it is harsh or soft is totally dependent on pragmatics. There are contexts in which it expresses a harsh order.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top