Chinese Corner

The Said Unsaid

When Mandarin means more than you think – Karin Malmstrom and Nancy Nash

It is always said, and it’s usually true, that méiyǒu is the first phrase a visitor learns in China. So often is it heard, it may be the only Chinese phrase that many visitors remember. But méiyǒu can mean more than “not have”…

Méi yǒu (没有) – “not have”

  • There are none.
  • We have some, but are saving them for special customers.
  • I cannot be bothered to find any because I have no incentive to do so.
  • If you are persistent enough to hang around and ask a few more times, I may be able to locate some.