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

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3
votes
6answers
621 views

What's the difference between 打开 and 开门?

How can I tell when to use 打开 and when to use 开门 in Chinese? For example, in the following sentences: 这扇门打开了 这个书店开门了 Why does the first sentence use 打开 and the latter use 开门? Also, is it ...
4
votes
3answers
129 views

difference between 伤痕, 伤疤 and 疤痕?

Recently, I read that someone's 额头上有一个伤痕 。 I knew that the sentence literally meant that there was a scar. But then I thought "Why didn't they say "伤疤” or “疤痕”。 All three of these translate to scar ...
5
votes
3answers
117 views

Is there a difference between 凡事 and 所有?

Recently, I've been reading a bit of 鲁迅 and I've run into the word 凡事 a number of times. Everytime, I see it translated it seems to mean 所有。 It seems to me that 凡事 is either an older usage or is much ...
4
votes
2answers
95 views

Is there a difference between 教训 and 论点 ?

I'm taking a history class in Chinese and my teacher brought up 四五运动的两个教训 。 Then later on he talked about 启蒙的两个论点 。 I know that roughly 教训 is translated as "lessons" and 论点 is a bit more like "thesis, ...
4
votes
3answers
189 views

How formal is 如何 in the context of 最近如何?

I was told by friend who is a native mainland speaker that "最近如何", or anything containing "如何", is a very ancient/formal way of speaking. This was quite a shock to me—I was taught this sentence ...
4
votes
3answers
139 views

Complement of result:完 or 好

I‘m currently learning how to form the complement of result and what are the translations of some common compound verbs. My book makes this examples: • 看完=to finish watching • 写好=to finish writing • ...
3
votes
4answers
121 views

Is 起 too formal to use in day to day writing?

I recently read in a piece of poetry ”从明天起, 我会做一个幸福的人“ - what is the difference between this and say "从明天开始?“. Is 起 significantly more formal? Could I use it in day to day writing? (Say a diary?)
10
votes
4answers
856 views

Does 多 always come after the measure word?

I've realized that I still don't fully understand the placement of "多“ a relatively common word. Can you never place 多 before a measure word? A friend recently corrected my "四多快美金“ into 四块多美金” but ...
4
votes
2answers
510 views

How to say “Next time” in the past tense?

I'm a bit confused on how to use the expression "The next time" in chinese. I originally wrote (after going to Kigali for the first he realized there were no ethiopian restaurants) 于是, 他下次回基加利时, ...
3
votes
4answers
164 views

how to use 受欢迎 in the past tense?

I'm a bit confused on how to use A受的欢迎 in the past tense. Would you say "可是这家餐厅已经受了所有外国人的欢迎。 or 这家餐厅已经收到了所有外国人的欢迎? Thanks for any help in advance!
3
votes
1answer
87 views

Can 良好 be used as a closing remark?

良好 is translated as be good, or be well in one of my dictionaries. This is a common closing remark in spoken English. Can 良好 be used in the same context in Chinese. i.e. OK, Bye now... Take care, be ...
8
votes
4answers
265 views

Is it 一些东西 or 一点东西?

I know that 东西 translates to "something" in english - so I was interested Can I both 一些东西 and 一点东西 be used? If so what are their differences in meaning?
1
vote
3answers
159 views

Chinese Contractions (缩约)

While speaking to Chinese Speakers, I sometimes notice that words are left out of a sentence. I have also read this thread on Chinese Contractions. When longer phrases are shortened in Chinese is this ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

How to say “To end” when the verb is not a simple V + O

I know that there are some basic ways to say " to end" with a common Verb + Object pair. (ex. 吃完饭。 开完会, 等) But, what if it is a verb like 培训? Or if it is a noun form of 培训 ? Would you say “培训完成以后?“ ...
1
vote
6answers
385 views

Can you say someone is a ”非常熟的人“?

I know that you can say something like "我跟她很熟“。 But can you make someone into a very 熟的人。 ex。 他们是我在大学最熟的人
2
votes
1answer
114 views

Sound Loans in Chinese

On one comment to a recent question, LulalaBoss made reference to this article on Chinese character classification. When a character is transformed or redefined, is there a comprehensive method to ...
6
votes
3answers
549 views

Chinese countable/uncountable nouns (How do they work? Examples?)

I recall in Mandarin class, my teacher would often discuss an idea about countable nouns. I never really understood how one would easily determine when one is faced with a countable vs uncountable ...
2
votes
4answers
129 views

Ways to determine whether a noun phrase is plural

So in a recent answer someone told me: 预言 here most likely is not plural - hence the whole 的大 Which brings to mind a question about other ways of determining plurality. Certainly I've heard of ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

Rules on when to read characters in sequence

Maybe the hardest part so far about learning to read Chinese is determining when to read the characters in sequence and when to view them separately. So, in my recent question on 的大预言 for example: ...
4
votes
2answers
118 views

When to use 了 and 的?

了 is used after verb or sentence to indicate that something has been finished/done or something has changed. 的 is used in many cases, one of which is to indicate the speaker's modality of certainty. ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

How do you say “I quickly forgot…” (As in an emotion you were feeling)

I'm trying to figure out how I could express that I had a feeling/emotion. and then, after a certain event happend/began I "Quickly forgot" that I had that emotion. In english we could say "At the ...
2
votes
2answers
314 views

How informal can 为 someone 服务 be?

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, ...
3
votes
2answers
123 views

How to say “Say hi to someone” as a description?

So, I've been trying to figure out what is the best way to describe the sentence "I went to the store to say hi to the owner". (Imagine in this context I haven't seen him for a certain amount of time, ...
7
votes
5answers
626 views

What are the rules in Chinese for adjective order when multiple adjectives describe a noun

See http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/1155/what-is-the-rule-for-adjective-order for the equivalent question in English. I didn't find any discussion online of the order for multiple Chinese ...
1
vote
3answers
151 views

combining noun and measure word

I have read article which show this sentence 一本书, then if want to make it plural, it becomes 书本, so my question is it for all noun and measure word ? Example : 一首歌 becomes 歌首
2
votes
3answers
78 views

How to ask whether you left A in B

I'm trying to figure out how to say "to leave" as in to leave something behind somewhere. Would you say one, two, or three? How to say “left my bag in the car” 1. 丢了我钱包在出租车里 2. 留了我得钱包在出租车里 3. ...
2
votes
2answers
328 views

the meaning of 算什么 in 《我爱台妹》

I have recently been listening to MC Hotdog's seminal 2006 hit 《我爱台妹》 I am a little confused by the second and fourth lines of the chorus 我爱台妹,台妹爱我 对我来说,林志玲算什么 我爱台妹,台妹爱我 对我来说,侯佩岑算什么 I understand ...
3
votes
2answers
229 views

Are there relative pronouns in Chinese

Are there words for relative pronouns, for example: The man, who was walking to the shop, was tall. Is there a Chinese word for the bolded "who"?
3
votes
1answer
110 views

How to say “this?” interjection in chinese?

For example of a case: (I was in home walking holding a jar of chocolate candy, I was gonna go to upstairs) Mom: (She saw me and she called me from behind) "Where did you buy that?" Me: (I was a bit ...
3
votes
2answers
136 views

How to say “Catch a plane”

I'm interested to see if there is a translation for "catch a plane". I know that 赶不上飞机 is an expression - but could you say "今天我有很多事。 最要紧的是赶上飞机“
5
votes
1answer
546 views

How to say “A Person's Strength”

Is there a good translation for "strengths" in Chinese? I am trying to say strengths as in 'We should try to improve our strengths, not our weaknesses'. I know that 强项 is one phrase that has a ...
4
votes
3answers
489 views

Can you 关心 an object?

So, I've used 关心 consistently with people - 关心别人, 关心我的妹妹, but can 关心 be used for object or a phrase?? Example for a phrase 我们关心的应该是房子应该有几间屋子? Example for an object 吃饭时, 我关心的是调味。 长得怎么样, 我都不管。 ...
3
votes
2answers
173 views

Difference between 月 and 月份 for the noun “A month”

So, I'm trying to figure out what is a better way to simply translate "An important month". For example if I wanted to talk about the month of Ramadan I originally said "斋月是穆斯林非常重要的一个月“ but a ...
2
votes
2answers
135 views

Difference between 尊敬 and 尊重

So, I know that chinese has (at least) two common words for "Respect" - 尊敬 and 尊重 . Is there a clear way to divide the two ? What if I wanted to say "Respect a teacher" or "Respect the law"
2
votes
4answers
145 views

Should you ever repeat the subject "我“ in a sentence?

So, I struggle with a common construction in Chinese where I don't know whether I should use the subject twice or not. For example, in the sentence "After I finished talking with her I went to ...
2
votes
4answers
134 views

追忆 vs。怀旧 how to say “To reminisce”?

For a while, I've been trying to express a good translation for the english "to reminisce". Reminisce means, in general, to spend time with friends/family thinking about happy things that had happened ...
2
votes
4answers
62 views

I did (Something) as much as I would in (X amount of time)

In english there is a common expression that is "I did (something) as much as I would in (A period of time)". Generally in this pattern the period of time is a large period of time - and the ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Would you say 当动词 or 是动词?

I am back to the classic 当 vs。 是。 I've heard some people say “这个词也可以是动词” however could I also say "这个词 也可以当动词“ - if so, which sounds more common/colloquial?
2
votes
3answers
92 views

How to say “to found”?

I've been struggling for a while with how exactly in Chinese to say "to found". Recently, I learned that 创办 could have that meaning? (I.e. 北大是1898年创办的) - but, I also know that words like 创始 also ...
4
votes
1answer
156 views

怎么… with 的 and 了

So it is said that if you find 的 after 怎么, the sentence represents 'How', and if you find 了 after 怎么, the sentence represents 'Why'. How : 你怎么来的? "How did you come?" Why : 你怎么来了? "Why did you come?" ...
8
votes
3answers
695 views

What is the difference between 免费 and 无偿?

I'm trying to sort out the difference between 免费 and 无偿 as adverbs. Would you say 水果店的老板免费送了我六个苹果。 or would it be 无偿送了?
4
votes
2answers
181 views

How do you describe a vegetarian item? As in a vegetarian burrito?

So, in english when describing whether something is friendly for vegetarians or not we say "vegetarian object_____". Is there an equivalent in Chinese? For example could you say "素的墨西哥卷“?
1
vote
4answers
257 views

How do you use translate “You can't miss this opportunity"?

So, I'm trying to figure out how to encourage someone to take a risk/try something new in Chinese. In english we often use the phrase "miss an opportunity" as in "You can't miss this opportunity!". ...
3
votes
3answers
92 views

When do I need 的?

Why do I need 的 for 爸爸 but not for 爸 ? me: So if I said "your father is....", it would be 你的爸是.... me: Right? friend: No 的 if you use 爸 friend: we say 你爸是。。。 friend: Or 你的爸爸是。。。。
2
votes
3answers
113 views

Difference between 检索 and 找

I'm interested in what the exact difference is in usage between 检索 and 找 - I know that we can saying 检索资料 but I'm wondering if we could "检索" something that is a bit more concrete. For example, ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

How Formal is 为期 (wei2qi1)- to last?

In a recent podcast I've been listening to - imandarinpod - the term 为期 was mentioned. It was loosely explained to mean "to last" as in for a period of time. I know that we can say something like ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Can 余 (more than) go after the measure word?

I've just learned a new formal word 余 and I'm trying to understand it's placement. I know that roughly it means 多 but in a more formal way. If for example, I was saying "more than 500 people" I think ...
5
votes
2answers
361 views

How to say “unsurprisingly” as in “Someone unsurprisingly did something”

I'm trying to figure out how to say unsurprisingly; I know that 果然 generally implies that you expect that something is going to happen, but in some contexts I'm not entirely sure if it is most ...
1
vote
4answers
181 views

Can you use 丰富 to describe a day?

So, I'm trying to figure out how to use 丰富 most correctly. I know that youcan say 今天的晚餐很丰富。 But how else could it be used? Could I say “今天过得好丰富?“ in say a written diary? Thanks for the help guys!
4
votes
4answers
507 views

How to use “whether” in Chinese - do you need to say 如果?

I've always had a bit of difficulty with statements with the term "whether" in Chinese. In this sentence I would like to say "I asked him whether or not he had met Mark." - I translated this in my ...