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Recently, I've heard the phrase " 为你们服务 “ used in a number of contexts. It seems like a relatively formal phrase, but I'm wondering how widely it could be used. Could I say, for example, "我们一下车就有两个人为我们服务“ (the example would be at a sporting event with volunteers). Is this colloquial? Or would it only work in written, very formal language?

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2 Answers 2

This totally works colloquially.

One of the most famous slogans in Chinese is: 为人民服务 (Serve the people!) - there is not a single Chinese person who doesn't know this.

Likewise you can always 为 XXX 服务, this should be very easily understood by almost anyone.

edit: maybe it would just sound a little pedantic...you wouldn't exactly say that there's two people serving you in English, though, would you...

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or

我們一下車就有兩個人服務我們.

or better

我們一下車就有兩個人招待我們.

or more specifically

一下車便有兩個服務員招待我們.

(And I think the leading "我們" can be omitted.)

(Question: is "就有" proper spoken Mandarin?)

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就有 is fine in spoken Mandarin –  小太郎 Aug 22 at 8:08
    
我們一下車就有兩個人服務我們.As a native speaker, I will never say like that. I would rather use 我们一下车就有两个人为我们服务。 –  Xiaoge Su Aug 26 at 0:50
    
@Xiage, how about "我們一下車就有兩個人招待我們." –  Henry HO Aug 26 at 10:10
    
@Xiage, it is sad to know that we adopt such clumsy sentence structure as the norm ...... –  Henry HO Aug 28 at 0:45

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