When I first started learning Mandarin in 1967, one of the things that troubled me most about Chinese grammar was the fact that when I wanted to say "He's fine / good / well", I couldn't just say tā hǎo 他好 ("he [is] good"), I had to say tā hěn hǎo 他很好 ("he [is]
very good", but without really meaning the "very". That bothered me, because I couldn't understand the function of hěn 很 in the simple sentence tā hěn hǎo 他很好 ("he [is] very good"). My teachers told me not to worry about it, that hěn 很 in these sentences didn't really mean anything.
At least I wasn't saying *tā shì hǎo *他是好 (*"he be good") or *Tā shì hěn hǎo *他是很好 (*"he be very good") like some of my fellow students, who felt the need to insert the copular "is" shì 是, even though hǎo 好 by itself is an adjectival / stative verb, i.e., "is good".
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