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

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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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1answer
80 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? ...
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471 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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115 views

How do I say “The things I do”

I've been working a bit on writing lately, and I'm trying to figure out how best to translate the classic english statement "The things I do". For example, I would like to say "Sometimes the things I ...
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222 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. ...
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134 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 ...
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1answer
139 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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51 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 ...
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129 views

could you give a semantically explanation of the phrase 聊斋志异?

聊斋志异 is the title of a famous collection of short stories dealing with the supernatural. what actually do the words the title is made of verbatim mean, what is the cultural significance of those ...
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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 ...
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257 views

How to say “in my opinion” in chinese?

For example, "In my opinion, this music is very good". The translation indicated by Google, 在我看来, seems rather dodgy to me.
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42 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'?
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186 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 ...
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1answer
106 views

Even though x still y sentence pattern

I am aware of 雖然 being used as although, however, I am not sure if it is appropriate for the following example situations. English examples: Even though he wore a helmet, he still suffered a serious ...
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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: ...
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159 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 ...
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1answer
33 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 ...
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46 views

Beyond 习惯 a general “framework” desired for 得's uses in “主语”“动词” 得是什么?, “主语” “动词” 得是鸟语,“主语” “动词” 得 “名词,” et cetera

Concerning the use of 得, which in my text below is to always be pronounced using the pinyin romanization “de,” after a verb I am familiar with the structures A: “Subject verb 得 (adjective transformed ...
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101 views

How do I use “一般” in this context?

比如, 一般上,这个生词是这样用的:。。。 “一般来说,early/low 等于 20-23, mid 等于 24-26, high/upper 等于 27-29, 可是这不是固定的” (see here) 这些用法都对吗?
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87 views

Do people say “使用 。。 表达” or ”通过。。。 表达“》

I'm Trying to figure out what is the proper was to say "Use something in order to express something else" Is it 通过。。。 表达。。 or 使用。。。。 表达。。。 If it is actually a third option let me know! ...
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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 ...
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2answers
105 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?
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1answer
182 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 ...
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109 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!
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3answers
165 views

Could somebody help fill in these blanks [closed]

这个汤_______么_______么酸啊? 我可喝不_______? There is no context for these fill in the blanks. I do have a few more, but this was the hardest question because my initial guess is that its the grammar pattern ...
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1answer
154 views

Why is 真都不错 used here instead of 都真不错?

中国的风景都真不错。 A native speaker told me that the above sentence was wrong, so the corrected version should be: 中国的风景真(的)都不错。 Is the first sentence's grammar wrong or it just sounds unnatural? ...
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50 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 ...
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94 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 ...
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1answer
109 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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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 ...
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1answer
75 views

What is the function of 乃 in 子甫至乃去乎 ?

i understand: 子甫至 - you just arrived a moment ago. 去 - go. 乎 - character that makes the sentence a question. What is the role of 乃 in this sentence?
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87 views
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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?“ ...
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86 views

How to say a “strong flavor”

I know that currently people in Chinese would say "很重的味道“。 But I'm wondering if there are any other ways of saying it. Could I say "很大的味道 “ or ”很浓的味道“ if I'm referring to something like a hot sauce? ...
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108 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 ...
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1answer
181 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?
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1answer
61 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 ...
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203 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?
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52 views

What can be put between the both parts of a separable verb?

I only know, that a verb which is made up of a verb and object, can be separated and further structures can be put between. For instance: 发愁 , wherein 发 is the verb and 愁 is the object, can be ...
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47 views

Resource for Mandarin Chinese grammar [duplicate]

Does anyone know where I can find a comprehensive description of Mandarin Chinese grammar? Like for instance, certain books I could read, or websites I could visit? Suggestions much appreciated! :)
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111 views

How do I say “She's changed a lot”

Is there a colloquial way to say "A person has changed a lot"? For example, I'd like to say "I know she has changed over the past couple of years because of doing stand-up comedy" Would it be ...
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77 views

what is the verbatim and implied meaning of 路过?

路过 means to pass through. If one searches for images related to this word, one finds pictures of funny or strange situations carrying this word on them.
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72 views

what is difference using of “地” and “得” [duplicate]

I have been learning Mandarin since 6 months ago, but i have problem with my title, could you guys make me clear about the difference between them? if i have example of sentences like below is ...
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156 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") ...
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202 views

Why is “這麼些” at the end of the sentence, “開會的人來了這麼些” ? Is it a quantity complement?

I got it from a textbook awhile reading about demonstrative pronouns. The textbook translate the sentence as "So many people have come to attend the meeting." Can someone explain why "這麼些" isn't at ...
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105 views

Is there a serial verb construction in classical Chinese?

Serial verb constructions are several verbs in sequence constituting one single predicate to describe a whole event. Example from Wikipedia: 我(I) 坐(sit) 飞机(aircraft) 从(depart) 上海(Shanghai) 到(arrive) ...
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40 views

What are common adverbs in classical Chinese?

As far as i know, adverbs in classical chinese are put right in front of the verb, whereas in English their position is quiet freely. for instance: 並食 = to eat sitting next to each other 尽食 = to ...
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60 views

What is the meaning and usage of 于之 and its contraction 焉 in classical Chinese?

I've read 于 was a preposition, but there were many unrelated translations for it. 之 is as far as I know an object pronoun, like for instance him, her, them but can also mean somthing different. How ...
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74 views

could you explain all the grammar which is included in the sentence: 君子務本,本立而道生?

i would like to understand how one could with respect to grammar analyse this phrase, for instance by a syntax tree or naming the unique features of wenyan grammar included in this example.
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100 views

How do you say “representative” as in Student Council Representative

I"m trying to figure out the best way to translate "representative" as in a "representative in government". In Taiwan people say 班代, but that doesn't seem like it would translate into other student ...