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
332 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
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2answers
177 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
211 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
397 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
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3answers
96 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
219 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
437 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
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3answers
135 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
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3answers
403 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
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4answers
279 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
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5answers
155 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
84 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
94 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
123 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
78 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
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1answer
82 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
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2answers
183 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. ...
2
votes
2answers
76 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
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2answers
170 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
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2answers
175 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 ...
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2answers
235 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
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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
3answers
224 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
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2answers
236 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
184 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
299 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
228 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
100 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
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2answers
206 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
91 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
106 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
2answers
254 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
2answers
128 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
108 views

What is the phrase for “sounds like” as in “it sounds like your dad is getting better”?

At first I thought I could use 听起来, but if I'm not mistaken this is only used for actual sound, not "you just told me your dad is back from the hospital, it sounds like he's getting better each day". ...
2
votes
4answers
119 views

A noun version of “need”

I'm trying to write a sentence with the phrase "eliminates the need to do sth..." and have gotten as far as “消除作sth..的————”, any suggestions? I don't think 需要or必须are very good choices because they are ...
2
votes
2answers
85 views

Does 道上的人物 represent anything special?

xxx 也是道上的人物... Does "道上" mean something like "a good and legal path" while "道下" (not sure if even this is a word) means "the illegal ways"?
2
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2answers
89 views

How much more is '翻一番‘

I think this means 'double the sales volume', but 翻 can mean 'turnover' as in 'sales volume' or 'double'. '一番‘ seems to mean 'twofold'. I'm a bit confused. 。。。在未来十年内实现销售额翻一番, 。。。maybe = ...double ...
2
votes
3answers
110 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
votes
1answer
156 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 + ...
2
votes
3answers
195 views

Is there a “better” translation for “你我还没完呢”? Why is it “你我” without a possible “和”? And please can anyone confirm the function of “呢” in this one?

I was watching an American TV show with Chinese subtitles on. There was a scene where a character said, "You haven't seen the last of me, Ms.Ellison.", and the Chinese subtitle for it was,"你我还没完呢 ...
2
votes
2answers
114 views

how can I change sentence not using 得?

my question is 大声回答 can be changed to 回答得大声 ? So if I can make other sentences using V+de (得)+Adj become Adj+V ?
2
votes
2answers
93 views

The position of 给

I‘ve notice that sometimes 给 changes its position in the sentece. Look at these examples: • 我发给你一个邮件 • 我给你发一个邮件 Both are correct but what different meaning/shadow do they express?
2
votes
1answer
156 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
3answers
245 views

Where to put the time phrase

Does an adverb of frequency usually occur after the verb? How should I say "how often do you play sports?" 你运动多久一次? OR 你多久运动一次?
2
votes
1answer
96 views

How is 着 pronounced here?

In Mo Yan's Red Sorghum there is a line saying: 曾外祖母做了好饭好菜,说着甜言蜜语, The meaning is clear, and could be translated either "Greatgrandmother made good foods and said honeyed words" or "Greatgrandmother ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

Fill in the Blanks/Grammar error

两个队的分数_都很_近. The spaces are where words/phrases are supposed to go. Are there such words that fit in these spaces? I've been going through google trying to find similar sentence structures but to no ...
2
votes
2answers
137 views

Is this Chinese sentence grammatical? I'm unsure about a few words and phrases

I've been trying to translate this sentence but there are a few points I'm puzzled on: 市场调查部就最近为针对Quest公司在市场策略上对'以客户为主以雇员为本'所作出的调整而拟定的方案发表了分内整和外扩的两个方面的建议,其目的为促使本公司在相应策略上能够与时并进,从而得到市场竞争力的提升. This is ...
2
votes
5answers
235 views

Is “之” usually used as a possessive pronoun (attributive) in Classical Chinese?

True or False Question: In classical Chinese, “之” is usually used as a possessive pronoun (attributive), “其” is usually used as a subject, and “彼” is usually used as an object. a. True b. ...
2
votes
2answers
132 views

What is important to consider while building an adverbial phrase?

As far as I know, in Chinese, the adverbial phrase is put right in front of the verb and its purpose is to describe the verb. Sentence pattern: S adverbialphrase V O What are the rules to put a ...
2
votes
1answer
138 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 ...