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

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5
votes
3answers
464 views

Sentence structure “I'm [doing something] because [reason]”?

I am familiar with the sentence structure "因为。。。所以。。。," but what is the correct way to say "I am [doing something] because [reason]"? For example, "I am asking this question because I am clueless." ...
0
votes
1answer
562 views

Sample Mandarin Grammar (Sentences)

First, thank you to everyone for taking the time to read this question. I am curious whether knowledgeable native speakers could assist me with the following grammar questions: I am aware of the ...
6
votes
6answers
923 views

Is it correct to say “在手机”?

Would it be correct to use the phrase "在手机”/“在手机上”, etc to express that I am doing something on my phone? For example, could I say “我听音乐在我的手机上。”? Or can 在 only be used for my actual physical location? ...
2
votes
4answers
265 views

How to correctly order the words in this sentence?

This is a question from an exercise book that I'm currently working through, to rearrange the given words into the correct order. I believe the format is along the lines of "The person who was [doing ...
9
votes
6answers
732 views

被 (bèi) vs. 叫 (jiào) vs. 让 (ràng): regional difference? formality difference?

I know that with a 被 (bèi) sentence, you are allowed omit the object: S + 被 + (O) + Other elements, e.g. 河里的鱼都被毒死了 (Hé lǐ de yú dōu bèi dú sǐ le) whereas, when using 叫 (jiào) or 让 (ràng,) the object ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

我一個晚上開銷就不只三萬了. What's 了 doing?

我一個晚上開銷就不只三萬了. What's 了 doing?
3
votes
3answers
738 views

Differences between 咱们 and 我们?

我们,咱们 both means: we, but when I should use 咱们, 我们? What is the difference?
2
votes
5answers
148 views

Which sentence is correct?

Wondering where to put a time frequency word in a Chinese sentence? Which one of the following sentences is correct? 我每个星期去四次大学 or 我每个星期去大学四次? Thanks!
1
vote
1answer
178 views

How and when to consider 面子 when speaking Chinese?

Avoid Losing Face ( 沒面子 ) As a student of Chinese I would like always maintain a respectful tone. It can be very easy when speaking a second language to make mistakes that offend others. I would like ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

How do Chinese judge the right sound quality (softness, awkwardness, respectfulness (面子), negativity)

Please note that I have re-written this question for clarity. Subjective Comprehension In a number of questions asked here on CLSE, I have noticed answers that include responses about how ...
3
votes
3answers
164 views

Are These Equivalent Grammatical Syntax?

Chinese Grammar I am studying many sources for Chinese grammar. I understand that literally these two sentences mean slightly different things. Are there any implications or reasoning for using one ...
16
votes
4answers
658 views

How do I decide whether to use 可以, 会 or 能?

According to every dictionary I've seen so far, there is a big overlap in these: 可以 = can, may, be able to 会  = can, be able to, able 能  = can, may, able, capable How do I properly choose which ...
4
votes
7answers
481 views

When you use 在 with a time, where does 在 go in the sentence?

So, if I wanted to say, "Last week I saw my friend in Japan," where would the location (Japan) go in this sentence? I thought it would go like this: 在日本,我上个星期看朋友。 Is that correct or does the ...
2
votes
4answers
362 views

Is verb+点儿 an adverb?

My friend asked me about the following sentence that appears in NPCR 1, Lesson 12: 你要多穿点儿衣服. I understand that it means "You should wear some more clothes." However, she is confused about the word ...
1
vote
1answer
368 views

Differences between 正在, 正 and 在 with the meaning of an action in progress?

When should I prefer to use only 正, only 在 or both together? Are there any rules? Does it sound really weird or incorrect to native speakers if someone use them improperly?
3
votes
3answers
168 views

How to translate the following grammar-pattern: 让/叫 N+V —— N还/ 就真 V (呀)

I know that this is a pattern that expresses a reverse meaning of what is really expressed (some kind of rhetorical question) - and that the speaker is somehow showing a negative attitude. I suppose ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

MacOS Keyboard with Predictive Completion produces 心情舒暢

大家好 I recently read a post here on CSE regarding the use of multiple input methods. I use MacOSX 10.9 so I began experimenting with an interesting aspect of the operating system called predictive ...
5
votes
3answers
228 views

Clarification on 得 usage

My understanding of 的-地-得 is the same as what's here: 的-地-得, when do you use which? -- which is summarised as: “地” usually appears before the verb while “得” appears after the verb. However, I found a ...
27
votes
10answers
7k views

的-地-得, when do you use which?

So the age old question of 的-地-得, when do you use which? When spoken, it all sounds the same, but on paper it depends on if it's a verb, noun, adjective. But I don't quite remember if that is all that ...
1
vote
1answer
198 views

Can 只有 be used in this context?

My Chinese teacher recently introduced us to the character 只. Specifically, using it to mean "only". However, all of the examples that she gave were things, like: A:你有没有X和Y? B:没有Y,我只有X。 As in, to ...
2
votes
3answers
152 views

What is the grammar behind 没四百下不来

Ok so I recently heard the phrase on a tv show 没四百下不来 I kind of intuitively understand in the context that it meant that not even 400元 could buy the flowers that they were discussing. ...
1
vote
3answers
210 views

What do you think about this introduction to answering Yes/No questions?

I have found a lot of information about asking questions but very little about answering them. I want to create a rule to help learners answer affirmative/negative questions in Chinese. Presently I ...
1
vote
1answer
169 views

What is the difference between qi3 and qi3 lai2?

In both situations my pen is now on a table. Speaking to another person, why do we say: 1) Qing3 na2 qi3 wo3 de5 bi3. 请拿起我的笔。 Not: 2) Qing3 na2 qi3 lai2 wo3 de5 bi3. 请拿起来我的笔。 How does the ...
6
votes
2answers
144 views

What is the proper word order when a sentence contains an adverb using 地 and a coverb phrase?

Can anyone provide some guidance on word order of a sentence if it has an adverb using 地 and coverb phrases. I thought 地 always came directly in front of the verb, but then I saw this site: ...
2
votes
7answers
223 views

How to say that the teacher has marked my homework?

How to translate this? Today I reviewed the homework my teacher had marked. Best I can do is 今天我复习了我老师会给我的作业 That's without saying the homework was assessed (and corrected). Can't seem to find ...
1
vote
4answers
141 views

What is the grammar of : 除非,你堅持躲在潮濕的甲殼裡更快樂。

I recently encountered: 除非,你堅持躲在潮濕的甲殼裡更快樂。in an email. The context is that the writer was telling me to cheer up. I can recognize some of these words. It seems to start off with "unless you ...
2
votes
4answers
462 views

How to say “I prefer x over y”?

For example: I prefer eating fried rice over fried chicken. How to say that in chinese? How about this? 我较喜欢吃炒饭比炸鸡 我炒饭比炸鸡较喜欢吃
1
vote
4answers
230 views

differentiation of 交女朋友 vs 找女朋友

For some reason i have these two muddled in my head. Presumably cause they sound similar. Is it possible to 找了女朋友? or does it have to be 交了女朋友 can it be 找着了女朋友? Can someone clear this up for me. ...
3
votes
3answers
282 views

What does 了 mean in this sentence 曾在新西兰Berger king 做过汉堡,当过收银员。这份工作让我认识到了团队合作的重要

Is it a verb? A past tense maker? Which is its function of 了 in this sentence 曾在新西兰Berger king 做过汉堡,当过收银员。这份工作让我认识到了团队合作的重要 ? Thanks!!
7
votes
5answers
869 views

Usage of 一定 vs 当然

I recently had a homework assignment to select the correct answer 我学了10年汉语了,含有水平 。。。 很高 I chose 一定,but the correct answer turned out to be 当然 Was my answer incorrect, why? How do these two ...
0
votes
4answers
206 views

Confusion when describing the location of something using A在B的location pattern?

For example, if I wanted to say the library is in front of the dorm, would it be: 图书馆在宿舍的前面 Or using the B的location是A pattern, would it be: 宿舍的前面是图书馆 I just get a little confused when using location ...
1
vote
2answers
113 views

DATE/PERIOD expression 2010年10-12 means year 2010 from October to December, or year 2010 October 12th?

I wanna know whether this date 2010年10-12 indicates a range or an specific date. Thanks for your help!
6
votes
3answers
542 views

Using 比 (bǐ) for comparison

I know how to use 比 in simple sentences like 哥哥比姐姐高 (my big brother is taller than my big sister) Would it be used for other sentences like You learn more words by listening than by ...
2
votes
3answers
339 views

How to use 如 to make comparisons or analogies

I see this come up sometimes in idioms, and I find it easy to understand but not easy to use(1) Is it used to spoken comparisons or analogies? Or is it only for literary, formal, fixed expression? If ...
0
votes
3answers
155 views

How to say 'moved to [place]' or 'enrolled at [place] [closed]

I want to either say last year I moved to Leeds or last year I started studying at Leeds University.
5
votes
3answers
151 views

Is 工作详细情况 similar to Work Experience?

I´m working with chinese resumes and I´ve found this expression "工作详细情况", I´d like to know if it could be translated as Work Experience. Is it the same? Could 工作详细情况 work as a work experience section ...
3
votes
4answers
281 views

How to say “red book”?

I'd like to know how to say "red book" in Mandarin. Can it be 红色 的 书 or 红书? I read a book to learn about color, it used 红色 的 before a noun but I heard in a song it used only 红 before noun. I feel ...
5
votes
4answers
422 views

Two “question words” in one sentence

One of my teachers asked us the example question: 你有什么安排吗? I asked her why there would be two "question words", 什么 and 吗, when I believed you should only have one question word (in this case, 吗 ...
4
votes
4answers
199 views

也 When expressing a series does 也 need to be before each object or just the last object

When expressing a series of object does 也 occur prior to each object or only prior to the last object to express the list Example: 我没有房子没有工作没有车也没有朋友。 我没有房子也没有工作也没有车也没有朋友。
3
votes
4answers
228 views

Is it possible to use 过 with specific time words?

This is somewhat similar to this question: When to use 了 and when to use 过 to express past actions or events. I understand that the 过 particle helps express the idea of having had the experience of ...
8
votes
7answers
376 views

Is 了 optional when a time word is present?

In sentences that already have a point in time word that indicates that the event happened in the past, is 了 optional? Or could there be some additional meaning with it present? For instance: ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

How to say “I'm finished”?

When we've finished doing something like I've finished (doing my homework) what we should say. Can we say 好了 "I'm finished"? (Hǎole) How about "are you finished"? Can we say "好了吗"?. (Hǎole ma)
3
votes
4answers
163 views

Possessives in Chinese

I used Google Translate for these sentences but I'm not sure they are correct: Mom 's white dog 妈妈的白狗 My mom's white dog 我妈妈的白狗 And it is possible if I say Mom 's white dog 妈妈的白色的狗 My mom's ...
4
votes
3answers
160 views

So technically, the correct usage of 得 for run very fast is 跑得很快 - why are there so many Baidu hits for 跑的很快 and 跑地很快?

Is there 的, 地 and 得 confusion among native speakers as well or am I missing some subtleties of the language?
8
votes
5answers
272 views

Are there sentences where 跟 and 和 are interchangeable?

For example: 我跟朋友去公园了。 我和朋友去公园了。 Are both of these sentences correct? Are there any subtle differences in the meaning conveyed? If they are not entirely interchangeable, how do we know which one ...
8
votes
9answers
787 views

What's the correct translation for 1.5 months? Is it “一个月半” or "一个半月“?

What's the correct translation for 1.5 months? Is it "一个月半" or "一个半月“?
6
votes
2answers
247 views

Questions on “的话”

What is the etymology behind "的话" in the common construct 如果...的话 or 要是...的话? In addition to wondering about it's meaning, what exactly is the 的 doing? Is it modifying the 如果? Is it modifying the ...
10
votes
6answers
608 views

What is the difference in use between 完 and 了?

If I understood correctly, both 完 and 了 can be used to indicate a completed action, so what is the difference in use? How do we properly use 完 in a sentence? Which contexts would be valid?
2
votes
2answers
138 views

Translation of “this much and no more”

I found this sentence and its English translation on tatoeba.org: 我知道的就這麼多了。 Beyond this I know nothing. Now I'm trying to parse the sentence structure, and I'd like some confirmation or a ...
5
votes
2answers
163 views

Measure Word of 中药 and 西药

my doubt is simple... the correct Measure Word of: 中药 西药 Appreciate your time!