Questions about the rules that govern and structure the language, and the composition of clauses, sentences and expressions.

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0
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1answer
32 views

Difficulty translating “makes”. How to translate this sentence:

I can't figure out how to translate this 对我来说,北方人的口音和语速makes it difficult for me to understand them. What's the best way to say this without losing any of the above meaning and structure?
0
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4answers
89 views

Word order question. Describing a rabbit's eyes

Forgive me for the newbie question. I've just begun learning about proper word order in Chinese sentences, and I was lead to believe that the "How" of the main verb in the sentence should always come ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

What is the phrase for “sounds like” as in “it sounds like your dad is getting better”?

At first I thought I could use 听起来, but if I'm not mistaken this is only used for actual sound, not "you just told me your dad is back from the hospital, it sounds like he's getting better each day". ...
1
vote
3answers
136 views

What is the meaning of 看在 and 分上?

看在孩子的分上,夫妇二人没有离婚。 In the phrase above, what do they mean? Neither is found in a dictionary. The sentence is said to translate to "The pair would not divorce because of the children".
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Usage of word “sun”: 太阳 (tài yáng) vs 日 (rì)

What is the difference between 太阳 (tài yáng) and 日 (rì) for "sun"? Are they used in different contexts or are they interchangeable? Thanks!
3
votes
1answer
140 views

Is '去+verb' similar to 'to infinitives' in English?

I am a collector. I collect sentences which I find interesting or exemplary for certain syntactical structures. I just stumbled over another example of this structure, so I thought I would ask the ...
5
votes
3answers
195 views

Indefinite article vs numeral: use of “一” (yī)

Sometimes, when the English has an indefinite article ("a", "an"), the Chinese translation has a numeral ("一", yī). So, for example, "I want to buy a ticket" sounds like "I want to buy one ticket". ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

When should I use “很” before an adjective? [duplicate]

Very early in the process of learning Chinese as a foreign language we are taught: 我是好 is incorrect because 是 is only used before nouns and 好 is not a noun. 我很好 is the correct way to say the former ...
5
votes
1answer
153 views

When “to be” should be used? When omitted?

There are cases in which "to be" is translated with 是 ( shì ), while in some other cases it seems not to be translated at all. When should 是 ( shì ) be used? When omitted? Here some examples: 我很好 wo ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Verbs of two words

In 你想走的时候就走吧。 it seems 的就 is supposed to be taken as the verb. At my current knowledge level, I wouldn't know how to match those two together and recognize 时候 as modifying the verb. How can I learn ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Breaking a sentence into grammatical structures

There's a very robust deck of Anki flash cards I've been using to build vocabulary. But sometimes I get stuck when new grammatical constructs are shown. The deck says 你想走的时候就走吧。 is translated "Go ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

what's the difference between 会, 可以, and 能? [duplicate]

Are they used interchangeably or do they really have separate uses? I keep getting confused between the three.
3
votes
3answers
115 views

How to say “see you this weekend?”

My Mandarin teacher told us “星期四见” to say "see you on Thursday." How would I say "see you this weekend"? “这个周末见” or “末见这个周”? Or something else entirely? This is being used to end a letter, so I don't ...
1
vote
2answers
86 views

The grammar of 实事求是的石

I actually want a tongue twister for practice. But I want one that could be a Chinese sentence. Is the following at all acceptable as way to say "This is the 'seek truth through facts' rock"? ...
0
votes
5answers
117 views

What is “一” doing in “事情一开始进展得很顺利,但后来我们遇到了困难”?

事情一开始进展得很顺利,但后来我们遇到了困难 I understand the meaning of the sentence, but I don't understand what is "一" doing in there? Could it be dropped? Would it change the meaning? Is it a part of the "一开始" as ...
4
votes
4answers
119 views

What is the difference between 好多 vs. 很多?

I'm an ABC and I find myself often using 好多. I was talking to my dad yesterday and I noticed that I said it, but something just didn't seem right. Is this correct or does it not make any sense? I'm ...
0
votes
2answers
91 views

Say hallo to many people: 你好 or 你们好? [duplicate]

If a meet you (singular), I say "你好". If I meet you (plural), shall I say "你们好", instead?
5
votes
1answer
76 views

Definite and indefinite noun after 找

What's the proper translation for "I'm looking for a phone charger" (any charger, I just need to charge my phone) "I'm looking for the phone charger" (the specific charger, I seem to have misplaced ...
2
votes
3answers
107 views

个 ge usage plus 每 mei

Anybody can explain me the reason why: -we don't say 每个年 but 每年? and, on the contrary, we must say 每个月 and not 每月? -Is there somethig to do with the fact that sometimes we must use 全 (全身)instead of 整个 ...
1
vote
2answers
60 views

的 with nouns which classify other nouns

Should the particle 的 be omitted among nouns that refer to other nouns, such as phrases like "the plot of the film", "the head of a giraffe", etc.? Thanks!
4
votes
4answers
179 views

最后吃的菜 or 吃最后的菜?

I had a friend who said there is a slight difference in the two phrases. But I don't see any difference between the two expressions. Could anyone explain it? Thanks, Rachel
2
votes
2answers
124 views

Is this Chinese sentence grammatical? I'm unsure about a few words and phrases

I've been trying to translate this sentence but there are a few points I'm puzzled on: 市场调查部就最近为针对Quest公司在市场策略上对'以客户为主以雇员为本'所作出的调整而拟定的方案发表了分内整和外扩的两个方面的建议,其目的为促使本公司在相应策略上能够与时并进,从而得到市场竞争力的提升. This is ...
1
vote
3answers
162 views

Which is the right order 您好,大姐 or 大姐, 您好?

A while ago I ran into a friend of a friend on the street I said 您好,大姐. (She is two year older than me, 28). She gave me a strange look like she was taken back by what I said so I was wondering: ...
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vote
2answers
99 views

When do you use 呢 ?

What is the difference between: 你在哪儿? 你在哪儿呢? Or in general: When do you use ne and what does it indicate apart from "and you? / what about you?"
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3answers
110 views

”e.g.“ and “i.e.”

I'm working on a translation that requires an "e.g.". For an example: "The way we cook food (e.g. baking or frying techniques) leads to different health consequences despite using he same ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Punctuation and Footnotes in Mandarin Chinese

I'm trying to translate a research paper into Mandarin Chinese and I was hoping I could get some insite on proper footnote placement around punctuation. For example, if I'm trying to footnote twice in ...
2
votes
4answers
114 views

A noun version of “need”

I'm trying to write a sentence with the phrase "eliminates the need to do sth..." and have gotten as far as “消除作sth..的————”, any suggestions? I don't think 需要or必须are very good choices because they are ...
3
votes
4answers
152 views

Meaning of 嘛 in this context?

台灣都嘛是做小成本人文電影 I was wondering how 嘛 is used in this sentence. I think the sentence could be translated as something like "Taiwan only makes low-cost movies about the humanities."?
0
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3answers
78 views

What Different Patterns Are There To Make 不如 Sentences?

A 不如 B+object+verb+得+adjective example: 玛丽不如保罗法语说得流利 A 不如 B+Verb-object+verb+得+adjective example: 玛丽不如保罗说法语说得流利 Are these two patterns correct? Some say it's correct, some says it's ...
2
votes
2answers
75 views

他很慢地走: why there is 地 if the adjective is monosyllabic?

I can't use 地 after the adjective if the adjective is monosyllabic (他慢地走 isn't acceptable. Then why in this sentence is there 地 after a monosyllabic adjective? 他很慢地走 Is it because I can use 地 if ...
1
vote
4answers
93 views

How to use 像…似的?

Can someone explain me the comparison structure 像 … 似的? Why in this sentence there is 得 after 红? 他脸红得苹果似的 Couldn't I have said this instead? 他的脸红像苹果似的 Is there a pattern/scheme that I ...
7
votes
2answers
164 views

“I will,” “I can,” “I will (probably)” A fundamental problem with 會

I've always been a little wary of talking about the future in Chinese using the character 會, my early teachers made it ambiguous or demanded that I use a 的 at the end of every 會 sentence, but then ...
1
vote
2answers
36 views

Place of 都 in a sentence meaning all

Where is the correct place of 都 in this sentence, before or after time definition? Is there a rule for this? 德国人今天不工作。
1
vote
3answers
131 views

How do you 'second best'?

To say something or someone is the best or most we use 最, but how about second, third, fourth best/most etc? For example: He's the second most expensive player in football history. He kept the third ...
0
votes
2answers
66 views

What's the difference between 许多 and 很多? [duplicate]

What's the difference between 许多 and 很多? I have learned that 许多 can't be used as predicate yet in this sentence it seems to have a predicative function 他觉得妻子虽然老了许多 但仍很美丽
3
votes
4answers
97 views

Can “未” modify descriptive adjectives?

Can “未” modify descriptive adjectives (in either classical or modern Chinese)? I've previously asked about the correctness of the phrase "未長未短", but I think 長 and 短 are used as verbs (instead of ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

Is 未長未短 grammatically correct (in classical Chinese)?

Is 未長未短 grammatically correct (in classical Chinese)? The article http://www.hainan-today.com/2012/201201/web/201201_28.htm uses “未長未短”: ...
2
votes
3answers
194 views

Difference between 几岁了 and 多大了

I googled a bit on it and found different explanations. Some says it just depends on the region and dialect. But my text book explains that as a rule of thumb 几岁了 should be used for kids before 10 ...
4
votes
3answers
144 views

Meaning of 所 in “有所…”

As far as I know, 所 has the following meanings: a place, as in 派出所 (police office). a counter, as in 一所科學中心 (a science center). a passive voice indicator that pairs up with 被(為), as in 被(為)愛所糾纏 ...
0
votes
6answers
198 views

Can I replace 给 with 替 or 为?

Below are just 2 example sentences for the general format '[phrase]地给[noun][verb][phrase]'. 他十分坦率地给我讲了他的故事. 他很不情愿地给了我帮助. This type of sentence is very common in Chinese. I would like to know if, ...
2
votes
3answers
118 views

Is the word “以后” in “回家以后” an adverb?

My question is as titled. Per my understanding the "以后" in "回家以后", "从此以后", etc. is a preposition. So I am surprised the textbook says 以后 is an adverb here. Can anyone find a grammar book, dictionary, ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Questions with multi-syllable verbs

What would be the difference between 你认识不认识他? and 你认不认识他? Are they the translated with the same "Do you probably know him?
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Usage of 一边 (doing things simultaneously)?

Is this the correct way of saying "she is taking a bath while listening to music"? 她一边洗澡,一边听音乐。
7
votes
3answers
194 views

Quotation Marks (“”) and Angle Quotation Marks (《》)

Based on my recent observation, most people use "" to enclose a quote and use 《》 to enclose the name of a book (or a movie?). However, since I began my Chinese study, I have been learning to use 「」 as ...
4
votes
2answers
47 views

Is 在我们村里有一所中学 incorrect?

My question is as the title. The English equivalent is: There is a middle school in our village. I know the correct one is "我们村里有一所中学". But I think adding 在 at the beginning is also okay. So I am ...
2
votes
2answers
115 views

What is the difference between 看来, 看起来, and 看出来 ?

Please help, I'm not getting this, 听来我不懂! Could you please use examples in your answer?
2
votes
5answers
175 views

Is “之” usually used as a possessive pronoun (attributive) in Classical Chinese?

True or False Question: In classical Chinese, “之” is usually used as a possessive pronoun (attributive), “其” is usually used as a subject, and “彼” is usually used as an object. a. True b. ...
2
votes
3answers
173 views

Why is 跟他一起去不去 wrong but 跟不跟他一起去 right

I am confused about the Chinese equivalent of "Do you go with him". The sentence is a so-called yes/no question by many textbooks and grammar books. Using the VA-not-VA(Verb Adjective) to compose this ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Why did the writer use 支 here?

I know it is not easy to say why which 量词 should be used when, but this one seems strange to me. Why did the author choose ‘支’? 开发出中国第一支儿童营养液,。。。 支 is normally for 'pens,guns, army divisions, songs ...
1
vote
2answers
122 views

Chinese use of abstract “saw?”

I'm trying to accurately translate an abstract use of "saw." Example: the Korean War saw fighting between America and the PRC. 朝鲜战争看到了美国与中华人民共和国之间的战斗。 Now, I have no idea if that sentence is ...