330 To Guess

What did you have for lunch today? Jesse Edbrooke guesses what ShaoLan had for lunch! One of the benefits of this word is that it’s extremely useful for playing some games. In fact, when you first meet Chinese people, something they often like to do for fun is to ask you to guess their age (if in doubt, guess young)! It’s a good way to break the ice and start a friendly conversation. Jesse remembers a time meeting some students from Taiwan in the UK for the first time when they asked him to guess where they were from and he guessed their exact hometown in one. It was the start of a long friendship!

The Chinese word for “guess” is 猜, which interestingly includes the “dog” radical because, in ancient China, the dog was seen as a suspicious animal, always sniffing around and generally being suspicious! As well as meaning “guess,” it can also mean “to think” or “to suspect.”

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To guess
You guess
nǐ cāi
I guess, I think
wǒ cāi
I guessed it wrong
我猜錯了 / 我猜错了
wǒ cāi cuò le
Wrong, mistake
錯 / 错
I guessed it right
我猜對了 / 我猜对了
wǒ cāi duì le
You guess what time it is now?
你猜現在幾點? / 你猜现在几点?
nǐ cāi xiàn zài jǐ diǎn
Have a guess, guess what?
猜一猜 or 猜猜看
cāi yī cāi or cāi cāi kàn
To guess correctly
cāi zhòng

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