(wo3) [(bu4)(xiang3)](qu4) (you2 yong3)
(I) [(not)(want/think/feel)] (go) (swim)
I don’t feel like swimming.
This bothered me some, since I have a very nice swimming pool and had been trying to get to it for a couple of days.
As I tried to analyze this, I remembered some recent Chinese vocabulary I was learning. I wondered how it applied to this situation.
I certainly could not honestly say
(wo3) [(bu2)(hui4)]❶ (you2 yong3)
(I) [(not) (able/capable)] (swim)
I cannot swim (at all ever).
Too many people have seen otherwise…
I couldn’t even say
(wo3) (jin1 tian1) [(bu4)(ke3 neng)] (qu4(you2 yong3)
(I) (today) [(not) (possible)] (to go) (swim)
Today it is not possible for me to go swimming.
I could sort of say
(wo3) (jin1 tian1) (you2 yong3) [(bu4) (liao3) (le.)]❷
(I) (today) (swim) [(not) (able) (suffix emphasizing completeness of statement)]
Today I cannot swim (due to certain circumstances or conditions).
But I came to the conclusion that the real problem was that
(wo3) (jin1 tian1) [(bu4) (gai1)] (you2 yong3), (yao4 bu4 ran2) (ming2 tian1) (tai4) [(lei4) (le.)] [(bu4) (neng2)] (pao3 bu4) (shi2 wu3) (ying1 li3)
(I) (today) [(not) (should)] (swim), (otherwise) (tomorrow) (too) [(tired/weary) (suffix emphasizing completeness)] [(not) (able)} (run) (15) (miles)
Today I shouldn’t swim, otherwise tomorrow I will be too tired to run 15 miles.
When I know
(我)(跑步)， (游泳)，(騎)(腳踏車)， (應該)(覺得)(強壯)，(可是)(如果)(我)[(感覺)(不)(到)]
(wo3) (pao3 bu4), (you2 yong3), (qi2) (jiao3 ta4 che1), (ying1 gai1) (jue2 de.) (qiang2 zhuang4), (ke3 shi4) (ru2 guo3) (wo3) [(gan3 jue2) (bu2) (dao4)]
(I) (run), (swim), (ride) (bicycle), (should) (feel) (strong), (but) (if) (I) [(feel) (not) (arrive)]
I run, swim, and ride a bike, so should feel strong, but if I don’t feel it….
It is very likely that I need to take a rest day.
It is not quite that
(wo3)(jin1 tian1) [(bu4) (ying1 gai1)] (qu4) (you2 yong3)
(I) (today) [(not) (should/ought to)] (to go) (swim)
I must not go swimming today.
Because it really is all up to me.
But, it is okay to say
(wo3) (jin1 tian1) [(bu2 ) (hui4)] (qu4) (you2 yong3)
Today, I will not go swimming.
To be more clear,
(ru2 guo3) (ming2 tian1) (wo3) (yao4) [(pao3) (de.)] (hao), (jin1 tian1) (wo3) (dei3) (xiu1 xi1)
(if) (tomorrow) (I) (want) [(run) (adverbial expletive)❹ (good/well), (today) (I) (must) (rest)
If I want to run well tomorrow, I must rest today.
Who knew that learning the Chinese language could be so helpful in figuring out my swimming schedule?
And, here is an audio of the blog:
- 不會 by itself, without a time indicator or another verb, means “cannot at all” in terms of not being capable
- 不會 with a time indicator and another verb means “will not”
- 不了了 after a verb means there is an existing condition that inhibits carrying out that activity, but if that reason ceases to exist, then the activity would again be an option, like getting chores done or the weather changing.
- 不可以 and 不能 are basically the same, meaning “am not allowed” and “should not” because of limits imposed, such as a parent prohibiting being recognized as absolute
- 不應該 is very similar to the above two words, meaning, “should not”, but might indicate that things are still being considered
- 不可能 adds one more character (the 可) and makes a word which means much more distinctly “impossible”
- 不想 is like 不要, meaning “I thought about it and I don’t want ______” or “don’t feel like (doing) it”
- 感覺不到 is a common phrase that means some thing is not felt, like love or warmth.
Notes on helpful things I learned or was reminded of while writing these sentences:
❶ (hui4) has several possible meaning, including both “will” and “capable/able”
❷ There a number of characters that have different sounds, with associated different meanings. They are called 破音字 (po4 yin1 zi4)
❸ Maybe you noticed that these are also 破音字 (po4 yin1 zi4)
❹Here is a link to a website that tries to explain “expletives.” They are apparently words either that help with the structure of a sentence, but have no real meaning of their own; or they are “cursing or oaths” that add emotion, but not real meaning.