give it a wide berth

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by alejandro123, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. alejandro123 Member

    So my question is how to say in Chinese "give it a wide berth" or "steer clear". For example: Since they almost cheated me in this shop I give it a wide berth/steer clear of it.

    In dictionary I found 避开 and 敬而远之 to describe the situation you avoid someone or some place, but I'm not sure that they suits here.

  2. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    I think a big difficulty for learners is that they almost have no way to distinguish "formal" and "colloquial" usages, since no dictionary would tell you specifically.

    自从... is a formal style of telling things. 宰了 is clearly a slang. Putting them together makes the first sentence not natural. I think 因为 is better, or Chinese often say 上次 (last time).

    避开 is a little bit formal.
    敬而远之 is formal, but you can use the formal idiom in a sarcastic way. 之 in the idiom already means “it”, so you cannot add a subject to it. (Not 敬而远之这个商店, but 对这间商店敬而远之.)

    There are colloquial ways of saying these, such as 离它远远的/躲它远点 etc.

    If you want a very idiomatic translation, I would say: 上次那间店的人差点把我宰了,我后来都躲它远远的。
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  3. chlorophylle Senior Member

    Mandarin Chinese
  4. alejandro123 Member

    wow, thank you for great explanation, I agree that using proper words, using it in natural way, being more colloquial is not easy for learners any kind of a language!


  5. chlorophylle Senior Member

    Mandarin Chinese
  6. mimibuda Member

    I think for an immobile 'shop', you just 'never step into/visit' that shop:) (再也不去那家店了) instead of having to steer clear or give a wide berth (避开/敬而远之);
    but for an active,mobile, annoying object (which can possibly make you uncomfortable when you get too close), you can now use (避开/离它远远的) to avoid damage;
    If you are less stronger than your opponent who bullies you for fun everyday, you steer clear of him, saying "惹不起,躲得起!" with resent at the same time.
  7. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie Senior Member

    English (UK)
    Thanks mimibuda! What you've said makes good sense :)
  8. alejandro123 Member

    But if you would like to strongly advice someone not to go to a specific place for certain reasons, I think it would be better to use sugessted (避开/离它远远的) for example:

    what do you think?
  9. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member


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