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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
2answers
111 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?
2
votes
3answers
159 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. ...
2
votes
3answers
420 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

Asking Someone How Their Chinese Studies Are Going

I have a friend who has started learning Mandarin, and I want to ask them how their Mandarin studies are going. The first phrase that comes to mind is this: 你中文学习得怎么样? I'm not sure, however, if 怎么样 ...
2
votes
1answer
90 views

How to interpret '开始起步' in this sentence

In this sentence, IT企业的电子商务也在1999年开始起步。how would you translate '开始起步'?
2
votes
1answer
161 views

有钱能使鬼推磨, is this verb serialization?

So there is a Chinese saying, 有钱能使鬼推磨。 If you have money, you can make the devil push the millstone for you. Right after the verb 有,the other verb 能+使 comes. Is that also considered verb ...
2
votes
1answer
205 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?
2
votes
1answer
157 views

What are the rules for nested sentences?

A simple sentence in Chinese looks syntactially like this: S t p V O. S(ubject),V(erb),O(bject),t(imephrase),p(lacephrase). How do i put a further sentence in another sentence?
2
votes
1answer
95 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
1answer
532 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?
2
votes
2answers
79 views

他很慢地走: why there is 地 if the adjective is monosyllabic?

I can't use 地 after the adjective if the adjective is monosyllabic (他慢地走 isn't acceptable. Then why in this sentence is there 地 after a monosyllabic adjective? 他很慢地走 Is it because I can use 地 if ...
1
vote
4answers
253 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!
1
vote
5answers
330 views

Do people use 但愿 nowadays?

Quick question: I heard my teacher recently use the term 但愿 - which apparently means to "Wish that they had/something happened". The example give was " 他们但愿我也是从湘西来的” Is this normally used in ...
1
vote
3answers
256 views

How does 平均 differ from 均匀?

I already knew that 平均 means "average", 均匀 means "even" or "evenly distributed". But how to distiguish these two phrases? Can you give me some examples? Thanks a lot!
1
vote
6answers
446 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
1
vote
2answers
186 views

What is this 远 in this sentence?

The subject is ‘跨国公司进入一个新的市场’ 第三是企业的标准化阶段,与全球远作相结合的阶段。 I think '相‘ is '互相‘ My guess is 远 works with 作:远作 = ‘remotely do' The third stage is company standardization stage, mutually(互相) combining ...
1
vote
3answers
98 views

Possessive and plural: usage of 们 and 的

This is a very basic question about a simple topic that is not really clear to me (curiously, my book doesn't address it, or, more probably, I don't get it). There are rules to: to pluralize ...
1
vote
9answers
303 views

Why “校车来了“, not ”校车来着“ and ”校车正来"?

My question is as the title. The sentence "school bus is coming" is translated as "校车来了". I understand this translation because "了" here indicates a new situation. But why are "校车来着" or "校车正来" WRONG? ...
1
vote
4answers
61 views

Why did they write a comma here?

I think I understand this sentence correctly, but the 4th comma puzzles me. Is it necessary?? 在当当网,“创新”是全方位,而俞渝就像心脏一样,源源不断地把创新的血液,输送到企业每一个环节。 I think this is: ...
1
vote
2answers
103 views

Can I use 的 between the name and 他们

I had this sentence which was a bit difficult for me to understand at first because of the name + 他们. I understand it now. 郭高林他们决心用实际行动证明自己。 My questions is, can I write it like this: 郭高林 的 ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

does 并未 have to go with a pairing of words?

So, I recently learned that 并未 is a formal way of saying 并没有. However, whenever I see it in writing it is always paired with a two word set. (i.e. 并未解决, 并未提出, 等。 ) Is this a hard and fast rule? I've ...
1
vote
3answers
233 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
4answers
184 views

很 and 最 - Questions of The Context

很 means very. 最 means truly, really. I was wondering in which context they would be most appropriate. 我最喜欢去组约。- I'd really like to go to New York. So 最 can be used as a descriptor in this ...
1
vote
2answers
201 views

What is meaning of the sentence 「夫非盡人之子與」?

夫非盡人之子與 I only understand this sentence from classical Chinese to a very low degree. 夫 could be some kind of sentence particle or simply mean "man". 非 and 與 often belong together, 非 negates ...
1
vote
3answers
99 views

In “会很 <adj.> 的”, is 很 meaningless?

会~的 explains the future event that will happen. 她肯定会很高兴的。 She will be (very) happy. Is that 的 a collaboration of 会~的?(很 does NOT mean 'very', like 我很好)or just associated with the adjective 高兴? (很 ...
1
vote
3answers
209 views

What is the difference: “和小猫一样可爱” and “像小猫一样可爱”

There are two sentences: 她的宝宝和小猫一样可爱 (I never ran into a sentence like the one until recently.) 她的宝宝像小猫一样可爱 Question: Are these two sentences exchangeable? Or, what is the difference between ...
1
vote
1answer
133 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? ...
1
vote
3answers
128 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
233 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. ...
1
vote
4answers
145 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
56 views

The correct usage of 大约 vs. 差不多

I am a bit confused by the appropriate use of 大约 and 差不多. I have learned to use 差不多 in many cases where I am talking about an approximate amount, value, extent, etc. of something, or speaking about ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

In which ways can I express “to make s.o. jump” ?

I would like to know if there are different ways in Mandarin or Cantonese to express the causative, examplified by the help of the sentence "to make s.o. jump".
1
vote
3answers
174 views

What does “上千” + [something] mean?

For example: 上千苹果 Does that mean exactly one thousand apples, or over a thousand apples, or roughly a thousand apples, or up to a thousand apples?
1
vote
4answers
127 views

Word order question. Describing a rabbit's eyes

Forgive me for the newbie question. I've just begun learning about proper word order in Chinese sentences, and I was lead to believe that the "How" of the main verb in the sentence should always come ...
1
vote
3answers
183 views

What is the meaning of 看在 and 分上?

看在孩子的分上,夫妇二人没有离婚。 In the phrase above, what do they mean? Neither is found in a dictionary. The sentence is said to translate to "The pair would not divorce because of the children".
1
vote
2answers
89 views

The grammar of 实事求是的石

I actually want a tongue twister for practice. But I want one that could be a Chinese sentence. Is the following at all acceptable as way to say "This is the 'seek truth through facts' rock"? ...
1
vote
3answers
169 views

Which is the right order 您好,大姐 or 大姐, 您好?

A while ago I ran into a friend of a friend on the street I said 您好,大姐. (She is two year older than me, 28). She gave me a strange look like she was taken back by what I said so I was wondering: ...
1
vote
3answers
138 views

How do you 'second best'?

To say something or someone is the best or most we use 最, but how about second, third, fourth best/most etc? For example: He's the second most expensive player in football history. He kept the third ...
1
vote
2answers
203 views

How do I make complex comparison structures with 比?

I'm trying to understand how a complex 比 structure would be like. Specially when it comes to comparing actions I get quite lost. Could anyone check if I got the patterns right? A 比 B + adjective ...
1
vote
2answers
141 views

When not to split up the VO verb?

虽然是坑爹了,但是认错态度很好。 (He got his father in trouble, but it's good for him to admit his bad attitude.) I see the verb 认错 a VO verb(verb-object). So shouldn't it be something like this as follow? ...
1
vote
3answers
147 views

How to say “After +Verb” in Chinese?

How to say "After +Verb" in daily conversation? For example: "After eating my candy, I will go there". "After he saw you were coming, he left". "After she found the book, she called me". etc. So ...
1
vote
3answers
124 views

Do I use “扔掉” or “倒掉” to expressing getting rid of 死水?

I know this is very specific, but I was looking for a translation for standing/stagnant water (context: mosquitoes), but found out it `死水`(if that's incorrect though, someone please kindly notify me). ...
1
vote
1answer
164 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. ...
1
vote
4answers
324 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
71 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
135 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
500 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.
1
vote
2answers
120 views

Would this sentence be grammatically correct?

I'm practicing with the words 以前 and 以后. Using the word 以前, I came up with this sentence: 我一分钟以前刚刚看到他! My English intention was to make this sentence: I just saw him a minute ago! I was ...
1
vote
2answers
62 views

What is the grammatical function of 到 in 这些的确是铁匠会用到的老式钉子 ?

How does 到 contribute to the meaning of the expression: 这些的确是铁匠会用到的老式钉子. Is there a difference between sentences with and without it: 这些的确是铁匠会用到的老式钉子 这些的确是铁匠会用的老式钉子
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Verbs of two words

In 你想走的时候就走吧。 it seems 的就 is supposed to be taken as the verb. At my current knowledge level, I wouldn't know how to match those two together and recognize 时候 as modifying the verb. How can I learn ...