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

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2
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3answers
201 views

的 at the end of short responses

I've always been curious about this: What is the grammatical reason for 的 at the end of these short responses? Q: 這樣好嗎? A: 好的。 Q: 你是美國人嗎? A: 是的。 Q: 你會彈鋼琴嗎? A: 會的。 Can someone shed some light on it ...
2
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2answers
933 views

Resultative complement 到

Is using the resultative complement 到 generally equivalent to saying "at the time this action was finished"? Can 你走到车站的时候已经很晚了吗? be translated as "By the time you reached the station were you ...
2
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4answers
168 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?
2
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3answers
151 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 ...
2
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4answers
171 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”
2
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5answers
1k views

How to translate “In conclusion”?

I'm practicing writing short articles in Chinese, but I'm not sure how to say "To conclude" or "In conclusion". I can't seem to find an appropriate translation. What is recommended?
2
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2answers
411 views

How do you say “I do” as in when you are about to get married?

I'm trying to figure out what the chinese equivalent of "I do" would be. Is there a phrase that people say in Chinese that represents getting married? Or is there a direct translation for "I do"? ...
2
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4answers
263 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
439 views

Meaning of 之 in this sentence

Why is 之 used in this sentence? 忍耐是幸福之门的一把钥匙. Cant it just as easily be substituted with 的? Please help me understand. Thanks.
2
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3answers
140 views

Ways to say “more”

I know a few ways to say "more" or "in addition", and I'm wondering which to use when translating this sentence. I came across the following English sentence and its Chinese translation on tatoeba.org....
2
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5answers
149 views

出于考虑 vs。 基于考虑 。 Do Taiwanese say 基于?

Question for you all. Recently, I've been using a textbook from mainland China. In the textbook, I learned 出于Sth考虑, which means roughly "Out of consideration for ___" My teacher, who is Taiwanese, ...
2
votes
8answers
308 views

Why is 我找不到 correct and 我不能找 wrong? Which grammatical point am I missing?

I was recently corrected by a Chinese friend. He said it's incorrect to say: 我不能找 He said the right form is: 我找不到 Which sentence structure pattern is this following. Is it used with only ...
2
votes
4answers
167 views

How do you translate “if she had not helped her, they both would be dead now” ?

How do you express in Chinese a conditional set in the past that did not actually happened? Like for instance: if she had not helped her, they both would be dead now
2
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3answers
509 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
286 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
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2answers
229 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
votes
1answer
408 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?’ ...
2
votes
3answers
99 views

What is the grammatical analysis of 信得过?

信 = to believe. 得过 = ??? Is this construction a sentence, a phrase, a verbalphrase or maybe sth. different?
2
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3answers
223 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
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2answers
472 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
168 views

How do I say “right at that time”?

I'm trying to explain a situation I was in recently in written Chinese. How would I say "Luckily, right at that time Mark heard my voice" Would it simply be 幸亏, 她正好那时候听到我的声音,马上叫了起来“ Thanks for ...
2
votes
3answers
413 views

国家 vs. 国, when can 国 be used alone?

In the Chinese book for beginners by Bellassen, it is stated that 国 cannot be used alone: it doesn't have a meaning on its own, and thus the word country/fatherland is 国家 and not 国. However... I am ...
2
votes
4answers
288 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
207 views

What does 你要买点儿什么? mean exactly? (吗 question vs. Wh- question)

I already learned that Chinese wh- questions don't require a 吗 particle but I got stuck on this sentence: 你要买点儿什么? Which does the sentence mean, "what will you buy?" or "will you buy something/...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

What is the meaning of the phrase 铁血丹心 ?

This is the title of a famous wuxia-novel, whose full title is 射鵰英雄傳之鐵血丹心, it is also a the name of a Cantonese song. I have searched for an explanation of this phrase. I thought, maybe it is a ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

How to use correctly use 是否?

I'm not entirely sure what is suppose to follow 是否. For example, I'd like to say: I wasn't know (or wasn't sure) if you heard me clearly. I'm not sure if this is how it should be translated: ...
2
votes
3answers
130 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
84 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
92 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。
2
votes
2answers
195 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. 他一向说话算话,没有水过我,起码在这之前,他没有过,一定是他明白自己做的丑事——...
2
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2answers
83 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. ...
2
votes
2answers
236 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
187 views

How to translate “I have always been”

I have always struggled with this translation, but have never quite figured it out. How do I translate I have always been ... Some examples would be: I have always been an academic I have ...
2
votes
2answers
239 views

how do you say in 文言 “I became an eunuch because of the sex and drugs and tang-poems, not because i love the king and his rotten offspring”?

could you make some annotation with regard to the grammar needed to translate.
2
votes
2answers
324 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, "...
2
votes
5answers
217 views

Question about use of 不比

I have a question about making comparisons in Chinese. What's the difference between saying '我不比她差' and '我比她不差'? Thank you, Rachel
2
votes
3answers
259 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
325 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
votes
2answers
195 views

What is the difference between 写完 and 写得完 ?

According to my textbook 简明汉语语法 the parts after the verb 写 are so called complements, they are strictly differentiated from adverbs. both complements are called: complement of result 完 complement ...
2
votes
1answer
478 views

How do you say “mentor” in Chinese?

I've been trying to figure out if Chinese has a similar concept to the idea of "mentor" in english. I know 导师 and 良师 are both options that have been thrown out. But, I'm not sure if they imply the ...
2
votes
3answers
249 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
131 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
269 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
1answer
98 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
111 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
187 views

Questions on usage of 可

I have this sentence: 同学们,我的新家安电话的时侯还是几年前,可现在想起来可真是记忆犹新呀!不信?那我就讲给你听听,我可要出点丑了! Could you please explain? 1 可现在想起来可真是记忆犹新呀!why is there a second 可here? 2。我可要出点丑了!what is the meaning of 可here and what ...
2
votes
2answers
259 views

Is it possible to use the verb particle 过 for future events?

I know it's possible to the use perfective aspect particle 了 for future events, eg: 你家少爷长大了准能当个二流子。 I have yet to find example of similar occurrences with 过. Is it even possible to use it in ...
2
votes
1answer
108 views

How do you use - 我还是做一枚安静的N 吧

Question for you all. I've seen sentences that are like this 我还是做一枚安静的吃货好了 or 我还是做一枚安静的美少女 I understand that this is a funny expression (used primarily online) Can I replace the final word with ...
2
votes
2answers
139 views

Does this sentence follow the topic-comment pattern? 你家孩子真多

I think the following sentence has the topic-comment structure, but I'm not entirely sure if there is another grammar principle underlying it that I'm not seeing. The sentence is: 你家孩子真多! I ...