There are also some other phrase which have this kind of meaning. For example: “Heavy” and “weighty”(with the meaning of “重” in Chinese), “dear” and “expensive” (with the meaning of “贵” in Chinese),“likely”and “possible” (with the meaning of “可能” in Chinese). In the above phrases, we found the former emphasis on the subjective initiative, while the latter pay more attention to the objective elements.

The word “true” also has the meaning of “真实”, with the antonym of “false”, while the word “actual” express the reality of the fact, and it is not related with our opinions. The word “little” reflects more subjective feeling than the “small”.

We usually use the word “long” to express “长”,but there is another new word “lengthy” widely used recently, which also has such kind of meaning. So what are the differences between them? The point is also reflected in the subjective and objective aspects.

For example: “a long time ago” is translated into “很久以前”,“it is a long story”is not translated into “有个故事很长”, but “说来话长”. “she is wearing a lengthy trousers” means that “她穿了一条显得很长的裤子”. We use this word “length” to express that the trousers are thought to be long, which it is not long in fact.

Let us have a look at the adjective phrases “wishful” and “hopeful”. “wishful thinking” is used to express “如意算盘” in subjective way and we do not use “hopeful thinking”. That is because the meanings of these two words are different. “wish” emphasis on the subjective way, which could not be come true, and the latter “hope” means the hopes based on the facts, which could be come true. In Chinese, both these two words are translated into “希望”, but actually they are different. So we should pay attention to this. Another example: 党对年轻人寄托着很大的希望—The Party lays much hope on the young people.

Having a look at another more sentences:

This is a difficult problem.

The situation is quite difficult.

The word “difficult” in the above sentences has the same meaning of Chinese word “困难的”,so the Chinese translation will be “这是一道难题” and “情形很困难”. While it is not always expressed like this way. Let us look at this sentence “我很难明白他的意思。”

If we would like to translate it, we should not say like this “I am difficult to understand him / what he means”, but “It is difficult for me to understand him / what he means”

From the grammatical aspect, the word “it” is expletive word refers to the phrase “to understand him”. In English, the expression is used from the objects, so we can understand the English by dividing the sentence into several parts.

– It is a difficult thing

– A thing that I could not understand him/what he means

So the subject is used by the word “it”. While the subject is obviously “我”, the person who has difficulties to understand him in Chinese.

Also in English “he is a difficult person”. It should be translated into “别人很难同他相处”, not “他自己感到困难”. We can use another way to express this sentence which is “it is difficult to deal with him/get along with him”