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

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3answers
202 views

Why is the 了 here after 错 not after 投?

The agent says the customer should insure all risks, he wants normal insurance. Agent: 万一货物出了问题,就有可能因为投错了险而无法得到赔偿,那麻烦就大了。 I imagine '投了险' is short for '投保了保险' and I thought '错‘ is an adjective for ...
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3answers
246 views

How does 平均 differ from 均匀?

I already knew that 平均 means "average", 均匀 means "even" or "evenly distributed". But how to distiguish these two phrases? Can you give me some examples? Thanks a lot!
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2answers
103 views

When not to split up the VO verb?

虽然是坑爹了,但是认错态度很好。 (He got his father in trouble, but it's good for him to admit his bad attitude.) I see the verb 认错 a VO verb(verb-object). So shouldn't it be something like this as follow? ...
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5answers
359 views

which do I use , 喜欢不喜欢 or 喜不喜欢?

I know that 喜不喜欢 and 喜欢不喜欢 have the same meaning, but in a sentence, which would look more appealing or make more sense in the sentence? In other words, which one is grammatically correct?
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3answers
115 views

What is the difference between 省 and 省份?

Two sentences "他也算是我省的名人" and "他也算是我省份的名人", is the second sentence wrong? If it is wrong, why?
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2answers
146 views

What is the difference between “吗 (mǎ)” and “么 (ma)”?

Both seem to be question particles. What's the difference between them (in meaning & usage)?
2
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2answers
172 views

What is the meaning of 水 in this text?

Someone was asking about this in a German Chinese forum. Now I too would really like to know what 水 is here! The author is from 重庆, maybe it is dialect. ...
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5answers
428 views

How to correctly use 恐怕

According to Pleco, 恐怕 has 2 definitions fear; dread; be afraid of perhaps; probably; maybe The second definition is what I am struggling with. I was taught that it is similar to 也许, but ...
5
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3answers
183 views

How do you ask how old a building is?

I know to say to a person how old they are you can say "你多大" or "你几岁". But, how could you express "how old is this building?" Would you say "这楼有几年的历史?" Or would that only be used for something grand ...
4
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3answers
232 views

How to say “On the phone” (手机里 vs. 手机上)

Prepositions are always a fun part to learn of a language. Right now, I'm running into the difficulty of trying to describe "On My Phone". I've heard people say "手机上“ but, after Baiduing I also know ...
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3answers
133 views

When to omit the modifying 的?

他给她买来了一个戒指。 He gives her a ring that he bought. I assume that this sentence should need 的 before "a ring that he bought" to be modifying, as below. 他给她买来了'的'一个戒指。 So I think 的 is somewhat ...
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3answers
124 views

How to say “After +Verb” in Chinese?

How to say "After +Verb" in daily conversation? For example: "After eating my candy, I will go there". "After he saw you were coming, he left". "After she found the book, she called me". etc. So ...
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3answers
119 views

Do I use “扔掉” or “倒掉” to expressing getting rid of 死水?

I know this is very specific, but I was looking for a translation for standing/stagnant water (context: mosquitoes), but found out it `死水`(if that's incorrect though, someone please kindly notify me). ...
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1answer
46 views

How to interpret 家居家装 in this sentence

Happy New Year to all on this beautiful sunny day in Nanjing! 从商品类别来看,网购用户指出主要集中在服装配饰、护理美容、消费电子及家居家装这四大领域的产品上。 How to interpret '家居家装'? What does it actually mean or include?
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3answers
185 views

What is the difference: “和小猫一样可爱” and “像小猫一样可爱”

There are two sentences: 她的宝宝和小猫一样可爱 (I never ran into a sentence like the one until recently.) 她的宝宝像小猫一样可爱 Question: Are these two sentences exchangeable? Or, what is the difference between ...
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10answers
679 views

What is the difference between “我还没打算” and “我还没决定”

In a question-response practice, the question is "你暑假要去旅游吗"? Why is the right response "我还没决定", not "我还没打算"?
3
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1answer
138 views

Usage of direction and location (destination) complements (衣服都装进箱子里去了 vs. 衣服都装到箱子里了)

In some situations, it is not clear to me when to use a direction complement or a location (destination) complement. For instance, I read from a book that the sentence "衣服都装进箱子里去了" is correct. This ...
2
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3answers
94 views

grammar sentences

I have been learning Mandarin since beginning of this year. I also learn from song. Then today I read some lyrics from song. I read some sentences : "我看不清楚", then I just think why it should be like ...
2
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2answers
192 views

吃午饭了, should 了 be right after 吃?

I saw this sentence from a text book: 你吃午饭了没有? Have you had lunch yet? Does the 了 have to be right after the verb 吃 though? 你吃了午饭没有? Have you had lunch yet? I learned that 了 with verb ...
2
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2answers
73 views

What abstract things can you 吸收?

So, I recently learned 吸收 can be used abstractly. Looking around example sentences we have 吸收知识 吸收A的思想 吸收B的信念 吸收A的经验 Two questions: 1. How common are these collocations? How colloquial? 2. ...
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2answers
130 views

一眼之念 一念执着 meaning

I want to translate lyrics for 步步惊心 intro song. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj8kElvozBY) 一眼之念 一念执着 - My Chinese friend told me that meaning is "I fall in love with you from first look" 一眼之念 - ...
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1answer
63 views

Is 是 being used as a measure word in this sentence?

现在,中国网民总数已经超过美国人口总数,但美国网购人数占其全部人口的75%,中国则只有25%左右,而且,中国网购消费者年均消费额仅为美国消费者的1/5。于刚认为,这是差距, 更是中国电子商务的潜力。 Is '是‘ in 这是差距 working as a 量词?Or should I read 'this is a disparity'?
2
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1answer
86 views

How to interpret '开始起步' in this sentence

In this sentence, IT企业的电子商务也在1999年开始起步。how would you translate '开始起步'?
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3answers
127 views

Complement of direction: difference between two sentences

他出商店去了。 他从商店出去了。 Why is only the second sentence right? I knew that when we use a directional complement, we could put the object in the middle between the two verbs. So why do I have to use 从 in ...
2
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1answer
153 views

有钱能使鬼推磨, is this verb serialization?

So there is a Chinese saying, 有钱能使鬼推磨。 If you have money, you can make the devil push the millstone for you. Right after the verb 有,the other verb 能+使 comes. Is that also considered verb ...
6
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4answers
227 views

Why should I use 由 here and not 被?

I could choose 由 or 被. Why should I choose 由? Are there any good reasons for this choice? 这件事 _______ 公司负责。My girlfriend immediately said 由, but she couldn't say why. Considering the answers below ...
4
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2answers
139 views

How can I negate time and when to place 在 before time?

I know we can negate place, manner, etc. by just placing a 不 before the verbs (prepositions) that introduce the clauses. 我不在中国工作。 他不坐车去工作。 But how can I negate time, since it doesn't have a ...
2
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1answer
385 views

How does ‘三神不挂二神’ come to mean 'unconcentrated' in this sentence?

This is from a German Chinese forum: 她骂斥道:“好生点嘛!叫你做事,你就三神不挂二神。” Source: 《饥饿的女儿》,作者:虹影,出版年1997,第一章。 English, ISBN 0-8021-1637-X 1999 : ‘Pay attention,’ she growled. ‘can’t you do anything right?’ ...
1
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1answer
93 views

How to translate and answer the question?

I make my homework, but I am not sure in translating of a sentence and would be glad to become an answer from native speakers. The task is to write an answer to a question. The question is: 学经济的人多不多? ...
7
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1answer
289 views

Macau Cantonese, any differences from HK?

Does anyone know how Cantonese from Macau differ from HK if there are any? Any slangs or terms used in Macanese Cantonese that is rarely used or heard in HK? Maybe some sinicised portuguese words? ...
5
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5answers
186 views

What is the role of 都 in this sentence?

What is the role of 都 in this sentence? 你网上小店都卖什么东西啊? Should I read: 你卖 = you sell 你的小店卖 = your little shop sells 都卖 = all sell 你和你的小店都卖 = you and your little shop both sell Basically, who is the ...
3
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5answers
223 views

Generally speaking, is it not possible to indicate 'was' or 'were' on '是‘?

I was listening to this 听力练习 on this beautiful day, staring at the little mountain outside my window. 莉莉:英子,你不是在一家公司工作吗? I, swift as an eagle, think ‘Yingzi, aren't you working for a company?’ ...
2
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4answers
125 views

Can you say “回去 ____" (A location?)

Quick question: Can you 回去 a location? or can you only say 回去 by itself? ex. “回去 我家乡”
1
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3answers
210 views

请问您这个职位缺了多久了?Can I lose one 了

Actually 2 questions: 1) Are these sentences all good Chinese? 2) If they are acceptable Chinese, is there any difference in meaning between them? 请问您这个职位缺了多久了? 请问您这个职位缺多久了? 请问您这个职位缺了多久?
3
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4answers
490 views

When to use 我是 vs 我在

In my Chinese class notes these two sentences appear: 我是南非人 and 我在看节目 Why does the one use 我是 and the other 我在? Is there a rule/guidelines to help me decide which one to use? Thanks, Jaco
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1answer
155 views

What grammatical elements are contained in the sentence 你不听不就得了?

A book on function words contains the example sentence: 管他说什么呢, 你不听不就得了。 The first part is simple: 管他说什么呢 = "no matter what" s.o. says (管 as conjunction). The second part however is unclear to me. ...
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3answers
173 views

Is there such a thing as a run-on-sentence in Chinese?

In Chinese articles I often find these long, never-ending, main-point-less sentences. For instance check out these three sentence-paragraphs from this news article ("请给90后创业者多一些宽容") ...
2
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1answer
168 views

Difference between 只,之, and 支?

I'm a native speaker but I don't know the first thing about writing Chinese, on Rosetta stone we were shown 一支笔 and 一只狗, whats the difference and where and when do you use each one?
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4answers
297 views

What’s the function of 還, 了, and 呢 in the sentence, “我還以為他不走了呢”?

After many attempts to understand how the sentence is grammatically structured, I think I'll just ask here. The sentence "我還以為他不走了呢" is from a children's book that was originally in English. I'm ...
2
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2answers
138 views

慢慢来 is the same as 慢慢地来?

慢慢来。 Take your time. It consists of an adjective and verb. Since 慢慢 is an adjective but used in an adverbal way, I assume that this one below should be the original form of 慢慢来. 慢慢 + 地 + 来。 I ...
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3answers
61 views

What are compound words called that are composed of words with similar meaning?

Compared to classical Chinese, there are mostly words composed of more than one word/character. Especially the subgroup of VO-compoundwords (Verb Object) made from two characters have some special ...
2
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1answer
147 views

Can I use a verb+的 construction to imply an item/noun?

I'm often don't which noun to use, but I can think of a verb to describe it. I know that 吃的 (to eat + 的) means food, so I was wondering if I can use it with other verbs as well, like 洗澡的 (to bathe + ...
3
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3answers
644 views

Is there a difference in meaning between 那年夏天 and 那个夏天

I asked a native speaker whether these phrases were equivalent in meaning and she said no (although agreeing that they both ultimately do "point" to the same concept). I asked if 年 here is basically a ...
4
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3answers
383 views

How does inserting 起来 into 请客 as in 请起客来 changes the meaning?

请客 is a verb-object-verbal phrase (联合词), therefore it is able to seperate both parts and put further structures in between. I read I could put 起 in between together with 来 at the end to form a so ...
1
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1answer
132 views

Take a picture of me/for me (which preposition better translates)?

As an experienced tourist in China, I know the sentence:你能不能给我(们)相的照吗? Although it gives the desired result-- someone taking a picture of me, for me, with my own camera-- I am not sure of the exact ...
2
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6answers
398 views

What is the function of 甲 in 桂林山水甲天下?

What i know: 甲 is used for enumeration of items or persons in a dialogue, it corresponds to western 1. , a) , I. , X. 桂林山水 = Landscape of Guilin 天下 = literary expression for whole china or ...
6
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1answer
94 views

When should I use the 是…的 construction?

I've been told that 是...的 is used to put emphasis on something, but I'm not sure when or why I should use it.
6
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5answers
158 views

What is the verbatim translation for “都什么时候了” ?

"什么时候" means verbatim "what time" But, when i add 都 (adverb meaning "all") and 了(particle indicating either change of state or completion), i can not grasp what meaning is conveyed by this phrase. ...
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2answers
48 views

What is the official total sum of all Madarin pictograms?

I took a few books in a public library; I saw more than 600 different pictograms. I never found any other way to learn them than to learn them by heart. It is a very beautiful language; a form of a ...
1
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2answers
38 views

How do you describe the “growth/improvement” of “rights" (i.e. 权利)

How do we describe the growth of “rights” (or more colloquially in english the "Extension of rights' (i.e. the extension of women's rights, etc.) Is it "女性权利的发展? 增加? 提高?扩大?” Haha, let me know what ...