I've heard many motivations to keep improving Chinese from students. Here's a very impressive one:
"I want to win the argument with my girl/boyfriends."
Well, to be honest, I have to say it's not easy to beat native speakers. However, setting such a "concrete and visible" goal can definitely help with keeping your focus on Chinese practice because as far as I know, students who have the pressure of doing a work presentation in Chinese, or getting an HSK certificate by a certain deadline, usually have the fastest progress.
Back to our topic, to win an argument, sometimes you need to know how to render your emotion when you talk in Chinese. You need to show your partner your upset mood in the words that you say.
Well, we've learnt so much grammar and of course, you don't want only use them for the multiple choices, right? Grammar is a very important tool for expressing your emotion in Chinese especially some structures of rhetorical questions as well as some adverbs.
Today, let's see how to complain in Chinese with HSK1-3 grammar! I'll explain one by one below:
We've talked about "怎么" could mean "how come" to convey a melodramatic tone. → 为什么 vs. 怎么So, of course, it's a super useful tool for complaining when your partner didn't clean the room, get back home late or for whatever reasons.Nǐ zěnme zhème wǎn huíjiā？
How come you get back so late?
How come the house is so messy?
你怎么可以这样？（→see the use of "这样"）How come you're like this?
2. 能néng……吗ma？/ 不是búshì……吗ma？
No matter what language you speak, the rhetorical question is the universal way to strengthen the tones when talking. When arguing in Chinese, you can try these two:
你不多喝热水，感冒能好吗？Nǐ bù duō hē rèshuǐ，gǎnmào néng hǎo ma？How come you can get better from the cold if you don't drink more hot water?
Nǐ zuìjìn búshì tǐng máng de ma？Hái yǒu shíjiān tī zúqiú？
Aren't you busy recently? Still have time to play football?
We all know "都" means "all". But "都" also can be used to emphasize, meaning "already" in the structure above. Here are some examples:
Dōu bā diǎn le，nǐ zěnme hái méi dào？
It's already 8 o'clock. How come you're still not here?
Dōu zhème cháng shíjiān le，néng bù tí le ma?It's already so long time. Can you not bring it up again?
"总是" is an HSK3 word meaning "always", which is widely applied in lots of complaints in Chinese. Sometimes you hear the "是" of "总是" is omitted in native's speaking. e.g.:
You can't always be like this!
Nǐ zǒngshi bù bǎ wǒ shuō de huà fàng xīn shang！You always don't keep what I said in mind！
It is also worth mentioning that in spoken Chinese, "老(是)" is a frequent alternative to "总（是）". For example:
Nǐ lǎo shì zhèyang！Shuōhuà bú suànshù！You're always like this! Always break your promises！
You got it？HSK grammar is alive in your daily talking every day, isn't it！Practice all the lines above to fling back a "nice" retort in your argument with your Chinese friends/partner next time!