If you are a frequent visitor to Guangzhou wholesale markets, there is an expression you must be very familiar with: No have or Have.
You wander around the shops in Guangzhou Railway Station Markets area, find the replica Gucci shoes you are looking for, and ask whether they have size 46, then get the answer: No have. Clever as you are, you understand it means no but sometimes you would get confused if the sales girl says slowly no.. have, then do they have or not? Why don’t they say “don’t have”?
On the other hand, luckily as you are, the shoes you are looking for are in stock and the sales girl answer “Have”. You would feel confused why they don’t answer your question “Do you have this pair of shoes in size 46” in “Yes” or “No” way, rather, they answer “Have” or “No Have”.
Why they say “Have” or “No Have”?
“Have” or “No Have” is a direct Chinglish translation of “有 you” “没有 mei you”. Just like Google translation, it translates the sentence word by word.
In China, when we enquire whether the store has the shoes in stock, we would say:
Zhe shuang xie zi you 46 ma ma?
Do you have this pair of shoes in size 46?
Positive answer: 有
Negative answer: 没有
“有 You” means “Have” in English, and “没 Mei ” means “no”. If “没 mei” is added in front of “有 you”, then it means the opposite “没有 Mei you”, that’s where “No Have” comes from.
So next time when you are going to the market, suppose the replica watch market in Guangzhou, you are bargaining for a replica Rolex watch, the sales girl is asking you to increase the price a bit and add more money, you know what to say, right?
Of course “NO HAVE”.