Use of 老 [lǎo]

2024-04-19 Chinese

In Chinese, the character 老 has several meanings:

1- As an adjective meaning "old" or "aged", it is usually used to refer to old age or to indicate that something is old or aging.
For example:
老人 。
[lǎo rén.]
Elderly person

2- As a prefix
As a prefix to someone's name (in most cases with a structured surname): it is used as a term of respect or affection to address an older person.
For example:
老王 。
[lǎo Wáng.]
"Mister Wang" or "Uncle Wang"

As a prefix to show familiarity or affection towards someone or something.
For example:
[lǎo péngyou.]
Old friend. (Someone you have known for a long time)

老 can be used as a prefix to indicate a familiar or affectionate term used only for parents
For example:
老爸 。
[lǎo bà.]
Daddy. (Affectionate way of addressing the father)

3- 老 can also mean experienced or skilled in a particular field. It implies a level of experience or mastery.
For example::
[lǎo sī jī.]
Experienced driver. (Often used humorously to refer to someone who has a lot of knowledge or experience in a particular area, not necessarily driving.)

4 - As an adverb, it indicates frequent, continuous or long-term states or actions. Often used together with "是" (shì).
For example::
[tā lǎo shì chídào.]
He always arrives late.

5 - As an intensifier of adjectives to emphasize the degree or extent of a quality or state, "very":
For example:
[zhège diànyǐng lǎo hǎokàn le!.]
This movie is so good!