Chinese Characters

Does建议mean exactly the same thing as意见?

意见 and 建议 are two Chinese words with similar meaning of opinion and advice. Therefore, we usually them casually to express our opinion or advice. For example:

My opinion is to start this program next month.

Chinese meaning: 我的意见/建议是下个月开始启动这个项目。

But it does not mean that they are completely the same. Today I will introduce these two words in details including their meanings and when to use them, that is, how to say advice in Chinese, different opinions in Chinese.

1. 意见

This word is mainly used as a noun and it includes two different meanings below:

1). view, suggestion, opinion, idea

2). objection, differing opinion, compaint

2. 建议

Different from 意见, 建议 can be used as a noun as well as a verb. Its meaning includes:

1). [used as a noun] almost the same with 意见, which means opinion and advice

2). [used as a verb] under this circumstance, it differs from 意见 completely. It means suggesting or advising.

3. Differences between 意见 and 建议

1). in meanings

意见 is a word with criticizing and amending meaning at a certain extent. If someone says this word to you, he is very likely hope that you can amend what you did.

For example: Does anyone have any 意见 about this election result? (it means objection here)

建议, in generally speaking, means construction opinions or advice to something. That is to say, 建议 is equal to 建设性的意见 (contructive opinion), you can remember this word as this meaning.

2). in parts of speech

As we said before, 意见can only be used as a noun, while 建议can be used as a noun and a verb.

4. When to use 意见 and When to use 建议

If you want to use these two words accurately, you’d better memorize what I said above. But before you make it, you can use 建议 no matter whether you want to express different opinions, advice or adjection. This word is more polite and moderate than 意见.


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