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No Nonsense Newbie Tips: Four 喜欢 Alternatives

In this installment of No Nonsense Newbie Tips, we want to help our readers escape the 喜欢 (xǐ huan) rut.

Found in chapter 1 of all beginner textbooks, 喜欢 is an easy catch all for anything and everything. 中国菜? 喜欢。 王老师? 喜欢。 骑自行车? 喜欢。 在沙滩上散步? 也喜欢。

Surely, your favorite hobbies, foods, people, and ideas deserve more descriptive words than tired old 喜欢. Today, we’ll discuss alternatives to describe things you like, are fond of, prefer, or enjoy.

This is not to say 喜欢 isn’t a good, functional word. On the contrary, it is a very frequently encountered verb, and is essential for learners to grasp.  However, if you find 喜欢 becoming a crutch for anything and everything positive, it is important to incorporate more situation specific words to help you escape this rut!

And when you master the vocabulary from this list, be sure to try out FluentU.

1. 享受 (xiǎng shòu)- To enjoy

Instead of telling your boss you really “喜欢“ your first week on the job, let him know you “享受” it instead. This word, meaning enjoy, can be used in a wide range of contexts, as in English. From immediate sensual pleasures to grander ideas of freedoms or rights, 享受 can be used to show appreciation or enjoyment of things both tangible and abstract.

Example A

流动人口将与市民享受同等待遇

liú dòng rén kǒu jiāng yǔ shì mín xiǎng shòu tóng děng dài yù

The “floating population” (migrant workers) will enjoy the same treatment as city residents.

Example B

安静假期享受最美隐居地里的小旅馆

ān jìng jià qī xiǎng shòu zuì měi yǐn jū dì li de xiǎo lǚg uǎn

During a quiet holiday, enjoy the most beautiful and remote small hotel

 

2. 欣赏 (xīn shǎng)- Appreciate, admire, savor

Similar to 享受 in that it can be used to describe “enjoying” or “appreciating” something, 欣赏 more specifically means something suits your taste or preferences, as in art, music, or food.  It can denote a level of sophistication to 欣赏 an exquisite piece of art, a complex balance of flavors, or the grandiosity of nature.

Example A

游客在现代艺术博物馆欣赏艺术作品

yóu kè zài xiàn dài yì shù bó wù guǎn xīn shǎng yì shù zuò pǐn

Tourists admired the works at the Museum of Modern Art

Example B

花点儿时间欣赏所有这一切,这样做会比你用尽每分每秒去得到更多要快乐的多

huā diǎner shí jiān xīn shǎng suǒ yǒu zhè yī qiè, zhè yàng zuò huì bǐ nǐ yòng jìn měi fēn měi miǎo qù dé dào gèng duō yào kuài lè de duō

Spend more time appreciating everything, you’ll be far happier than if you try to cram everything in all the time

3. 倾向于 (qīng xiàng yú)- Inclined towards, prefer, prone to

If you are with friends trying to decide between two dinner options, instead of the predictable “我更喜欢。。。”, use “我倾向于。。。“. 倾向 means tendency or inclination, and adding the particle shows your preference toward the following option. This phrase is a bit more formal than, and can never directly substitute for, 喜欢.  It is a good way to indicate your preference for one of several options. Similar to “I’m leaning towards…” in English.

Example A

“我有机会在周末去打高尔夫或者去滑雪,我总是倾向于滑雪

rú guǒ wǒ yǒu jī huì zài zhōu mò qù dǎ gāo ěr fū huò zhě qù huá xuě, wǒ zǒng shì qīng xiàng yú huá xuě

If I have the option to play golf or go skiing on the weekend, I always prefer to ski

Example B

公司倾向于将外包翻译服务交给能提供全面解决方案的合作伙伴

gōng sī qīng xiàng yú jiāng wài bāo fān yì fú wù jiāo gěi néng tí gōng quán miàn jiě jué fāng àn de hé zuò huǒ bàn

Companies prefer to outsource translation services to partners who can provide comprehensive solutions.

 

4- 热衷 (rè zhōng)- Fond of, keen on, crazy about

Probably closest to 喜欢 out of these four, 热衷 goes one step further. Beyond simply liking something, 热衷 shows your ardent enthusiasm or fondness, even bordering on 疯狂 (fēng kuáng-crazy) adoration.

Example A

中国商人热衷投资法国葡萄酒庄

zhōng guó shāng rén rè zhōng tóu zī fà guó pú táo jiǔ zhuāng

Chinese businessmen crazy about investing in French wineries

Example B

热衷”走出去” 中企对外直接投资额有望持续增长

rè zhōng“zǒu chū qù” zhōng qǐ duì wài zhí jiē tóu zī é yǒu wàng chí xù zēng zhǎng

Chinese businesses keen on foreign direct investment hope to continue growth

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