Adjectives and Opposites | Learn Chinese HSK 1 – HSK 4

Learning Mandarin Chinese can be a fascinating experience with its complex characters and tonal differences. The language’s descriptive adjectives, which shed light on nouns and circumstances, are among its fundamental components. This article explores Chinese adjectives in greater detail by presenting common adjectives with their opposites.

Expanded List of Adjectives and Their Opposites

Here’s an extended list of widely-used Chinese adjectives along with their opposites:

大 (dà) – Big | 小 (xiǎo) – Small

长 (cháng) – Long | 短 (duǎn) – Short

高 (gāo) – Tall/high | 低 (dī) – Low/short

多 (duō) – Many/much | 少 (shǎo) – Few/little

新 (xīn) – New | 旧 (jiù) – Old

快 (kuài) – Fast | 慢 (màn) – Slow

好 (hǎo) – Good | 坏 (huài) – Bad

冷 (lěng) – Cold | 热 (rè) – Hot

轻 (qīng) – Light (weight) | 重 (zhòng) – Heavy

近 (jìn) – Near | 远 (yuǎn) – Far

厚 (hòu) – Thick | 薄 (báo) – Thin

硬 (yìng) – Hard | 软 (ruǎn) – Soft

甜 (tián) – Sweet | 苦 (kǔ) – Bitter

早 (zǎo) – Early | 晚 (wǎn) – Late

浅 (qiǎn) – Shallow | 深 (shēn) – Deep

Adjectives in Sentences

Let’s contextualize these adjectives by using them in sample sentences:

那只猫很小。 (Nà zhī māo hěn xiǎo.) – That cat is very small.

这瓶酒很苦。 (Zhè píng jiǔ hěn kǔ.) – This wine is very bitter.

他的声音很深。 (Tā de shēngyīn hěn shēn.) – His voice is very deep.

桥很长。 (Qiáo hěn cháng.) – The bridge is long.

她的头发很软。 (Tā de tóufǎ hěn ruǎn.) – Her hair is very soft.

我起得很早。 (Wǒ qǐ de hěn zǎo.) – I wake up very early.


When understood alongside their opposites, Chinese adjectives offer a comprehensive perspective into the language’s descriptive capabilities. Whether it’s distinguishing between the vastness and confinement of “大” (big) and “小” (small) or the temporal differences between “早” (early) and “晚” (late), these adjectives form an integral part of Mandarin Chinese. 

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