Chinese Pronouns

How to Say “Personally” in Chinese? 亲自 Qinzi, 亲手 Qinshou & 亲身 Qinshen



How to Use “Personally” in Chinese?  Qinzi 亲自, Qinshou 亲手 and Qinshen 亲身 in Mandarin

What is the difference between 亲自 Qīnzì, 亲手 Qīnshǒu and 亲身 Qīnshēn? We are going to bring you to a higher level by expressing your sentiment with the use of ‘personally and individual’ after I have explained a set of Chinese Pronouns in detail.

亲自 Qīnzì, 亲手 Qīnshǒu and 亲身 Qīnshēn mean ‘personally’ but they have some difference when it comes to deploying them in Chinese sentences. They emphasise on ‘self’, highlighting the person who attends to the task.

Sometimes, they can have a “wow” effect to signify surprises that the person is attending to the matter personally himself. Moreover, they could have a meaning of feeling pleased, honoured and special.

亲自, 亲手 and 亲身 can be used to express formality in appreciating someone. In such instances, the word can be omitted and does not affect the Chinese grammar in any way.

Many of the sentences with 亲自 Qīnzì, 亲手 Qīnshǒu and 亲身 Qīnshēn can be replaced by 自己 | Zìjǐ (oneself/myself) too.


How to Use “亲自 Qinzì” in Chinese?

亲自 Qīnzì means to attend to a matter personally or in person. There are two Chinese proverbs relating to the word 亲自 Qīnzì亲自动手 and 亲自出马. 亲自出马 means literally ‘to take/ride a horse personally’.

The Chinese proverb started in Chinese history when people of importance took the lead personally during wartime when they do not have to do it themselves. Hence, it is a motivating factor to the subordinates in confronting the enemies.

In the modern context, it might not necessarily mean to have the same kind of positive influence but solely refers to take charge of an affair even when it does not fall under his responsibility.

The same interpretation goes to 亲自动手, literally means ‘to move your own hands’. That is to say ‘to do the job personally’.

The boss attended to the matter personally and closed the deal.

老板亲自出马搞定这宗生意。
Lǎo bǎn qīn zì chū mǎ gǎo dìng zhè zōng shēng yì.


My good friend made this cake personally for me.

我的好朋友亲自动手做蛋糕给我。
Wǒ de hǎo péng yǒu qīn zì dòng shǒu zuò dàn gāo gěi wǒ.


The hotel chef personally cooked for us these few delicious cuisines.

酒店大厨亲自为我们煮出这几道美味佳肴。
Jiǔ diàn dà chú qīn zì wéi wǒ men zhǔ chū zhè jǐ dào mě iwèi jiā yáo.


I am happy that you come personally to my house to give me the present.

我很高兴你亲自来我家送礼物给我。
Wǒ hěn gāo xìng nǐ qīn zì lái wǒ jiā sòng lǐ wù gěi wǒ.


He does many things personally / himself and does not like to bother other people.

很多事情他都亲自去做,不喜欢麻烦别人。
Hěn duō shì qíng tā dōu qīn zì qù zuò, bù xǐ huān má fan bié rén.



 

How to Use “亲手 Qīnshǒu” in Chinese?

means hands. So, you can guess from the meaning that it is a contracted form of the Chinese proverbs 亲自动手. 亲手 Qīnshǒu indicates that someone makes something with his own hands and not through others. Figuratively, it also denotes ‘handling the matter personally’.

I am touched that you personally knit the sweater for me.

我好感动你亲手织毛衣给我。
Wǒ hǎo gǎn dòng nǐ qīn shǒu zhī máo yī gěi wǒ.


You cannot ask him to hand the documents to lady boss. You have to hand over to her in person.

你不能叫他帮你交文件给老板娘。你必须亲手交给她。
Nǐ bù néng jiào tā bāng nǐ jiāo wén jiàn gěi lǎo bǎn niáng. Nǐ bì xū qīn shǒu jiāo gěi tā.


No matter how busy, she cooks personally for her family every day. So heartwarming!

不管多忙,她每天亲手为家人下厨。好温馨啊!
Bù guǎn duō máng, tā měi tiān qīn shǒu wèi jiā rén xià chú. Hǎo wēn xīn a!


My brother’s workers could not manage this troublesome customer. He has to handle the matter personally.

我哥哥的员工搞不定这个麻烦的顾客。他必须亲手处理此事。
Wǒ gē gē de yuán gōng gǎo bù dìng zhè ge má fan de gù kè. Tā bì xū qīn shǒu chǔ lǐ cǐ shì.


In the drama, the Crown Prince killed the emperor with his own hands.

在剧中,太子亲手把皇帝杀掉。
Zài jù zhōng, tài zǐ qīn shǒu bà huáng dì shā diào.



How to Use “亲身 Qīnshēn” in Chinese?

When talking about a life experience personally or first-hand account, we use 亲身 Qīnshēn. The keyword to pay attention when using 亲身 Qīnshēn is “personal life experience”.

It can be used to express extreme feelings like euphoric, traumatic or unforgettable experiences that might not be experienced by others.

亲身 frequently goes with 体验, 经历, 体会 and 感受 as a group phrase most of the time. The first three are experiences whereas the fourth one indicates feeling. 亲身 has the most distinguishable usage as compared to the first two.

Everyone will go through the personal experience of illness and death.

人人都会亲身体验生老病死。
Rén rén dōu huì qīn shēn tǐ yàn shēng lǎo bìng sǐ.


My friends have personally experienced the tragic days of the Sichuan earthquake.

我朋友们亲身经历过四川大地震那段悲惨的日子。
Wǒ péng yǒu men qīn shēn jīng lì guò sì chuān dà dì zhèn nà duàn bēi cǎn de rì zi.


She finally experienced the happiness of getting married.

她终于亲身体会结婚的幸福。
Tā zhōng yú qīn shēn tǐ huì jié hūn de xìng fú.


I have the first-hand experience of that type of coldness during the winter in Russia.

我亲身感受过在俄罗斯冬天的那种寒冷。
Wǒ qīn shēn gǎn shòu guò zài è luó sī dōng tiān de nà zhǒng hán lěng.


I have done a demonstration personally. The response is not bad.

我亲身做了一个示范,反应良好。
Wǒ qīn shēn zuò le yī gè shì fàn, fǎn yìng liáng hǎo.



 

How to say “Don’t Take it Personally to Heart” in Chinese?

When consoling someone in English, we often say “don’t take it personally” or “don’t take it to heart” which means ‘no offence’ when one says the wrong things. In the Chinese language, you can also use the same expression to advise someone.

Don’t take it personally. / Don’t take it to heart.

不要放在心上。/ 不要把它放在心上。
Bù yào fàng zài xīn shàng./ Bù yào bǎ tā fàng zài xīn shàng.

 

Well, nothing to do with all the three Chinese terms learnt above! Just an extra piece of information for you because the English word uses “Personally. You may like to continue reading How to Use “Personal” and “Individual” in Chinese with 个人 Geren to showcase your individualism.

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