In natural conversation, one inevitably finds oneself agreeing with the other party, and yet at the same time, one does not want to just keep saying 是 shì (“Yes”), 嗯 ǹg (“Mmm/Yeah”), or even 同意 (“I agree!”) which is quite formal. 我也这么感觉 wǒ yě zhème gǎnjué (“I feel that way too”) sounds pretty good, but it’s not strong enough when you really just want to say “indeed!” – or perhaps just a natural way of saying one of the following natural-sounding English expressions in Mandarin Chinese:
- You can say that again!
- That’s so true!
- For sure!
So how would one word such a construction? In fact there are a number of interesting ways that I’d like to outline today. I’ll try to provide literal translation glosses where possible – all of these can be used as interjections meaning “indeed”, expect where noted otherwise.
“Indeed” in Chinese
1. 谁说不是呢 shéi shuō bu shì ne – Literally, “Who says ‘no’ ah?”
2. 可不是吗 kě bushì ma – To be honest, I have no idea how to break down the literal components of this phrase, perhaps a commenter can assist me. At any rate, it’s quite a fluent way of saying “You can say that again!” Remember that, when pronouncing it, the emphasis usually rests on kě.
3. 说得对 shuō de duì – “[What you] say is correct.” Could also be expanded as 你说得很正确 Nǐ shuō de hěn zhèngquè. — What you say is very correct. (Which sounds bizarre in English, but that’s the Chinese logic.)
4. 说的是 shuō de shì – “[What you] say is true.” Same deal as number 3.
5. 没错 méicuò – “[You're] not wrong.” Probably one of the most common on the list.
6. 的确… díquè… – “Precisely.” Cannot stand by itself as an interjection; must be connected with an adjective, e.g. 的确很难看 Díquè hěn nánkàn. — It was indeed ugly.
7. 确实… quèshí… – “Truly.” As with 的确 díquè, 确实 quèshí must be used with an adjective, e.g. 确实非常恐怖 Quèshí fēicháng kǒngbù. — It was truly [extremely] terrifying.
8. 就是 jiùshì – “Exactly.” Can be used both as an interjection and in the middle of a sentence, e.g. 这个问题就是很严重 Zhège wèntí jiùshì hěn yánzhòng — This problem is indeed serious.
9. 正是如此 zhèng shì rúcǐ – Here, 正是 zhèngshì means “exactly”; 如此 rúcǐ, “like this.”
10. 是这么回事 shì zhème huí shì – “It’s this kind of matter.”
11. 那倒是 nà dàoshi – “That actually is.”
I hope you find these useful in conversation. Let me know if you can think of any more!