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

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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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167 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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92 views

Chinese use of abstract “saw?”

I'm trying to accurately translate an abstract use of "saw." Example: the Korean War saw fighting between America and the PRC. 朝鲜战争看到了美国与中华人民共和国之间的战斗。 Now, I have no idea if that sentence is ...
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4answers
68 views

The difference between 执著 and 固执

I had this sentence: 麦当劳一直执著地坚持着浓浓的美式风格。 I would translate '执著地坚持着‘ as 'stubbornly persist in' I was told, '执着‘ has a positive sense, whereas '固执‘ has more of a negative sense of 'persisting even ...
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199 views

Why is the 了 here after 错 not after 投?

The agent says the customer should insure all risks, he wants normal insurance. Agent: 万一货物出了问题,就有可能因为投错了险而无法得到赔偿,那麻烦就大了。 I imagine '投了险' is short for '投保了保险' and I thought '错‘ is an adjective for ...
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207 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!
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109 views

What is the difference between 省 and 省份?

Two sentences "他也算是我省的名人" and "他也算是我省份的名人", is the second sentence wrong? If it is wrong, why?
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78 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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55 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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125 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
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?
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1answer
192 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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112 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
176 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
157 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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44 views

Why did the writer use 支 here?

I know it is not easy to say why which 量词 should be used when, but this one seems strange to me. Why did the author choose ‘支’? 开发出中国第一支儿童营养液,。。。 支 is normally for 'pens,guns, army divisions, songs ...
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85 views

What is the meaning of 这是给谁的礼物?

Yet another sentence where I know all the words but can't work out the correct meaning! In one of my textbooks I have a series of phrases: 给我礼物 给谁的礼物 这是给谁的礼物? Would I be correct in translating ...
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36 views

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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77 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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91 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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110 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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173 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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293 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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68 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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135 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. ...
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209 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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104 views

The word order of co-existing adverbs in a sentence

I am wondering whether there is a commonly accepted rule about the word order of co-existing adverbs in a sentence. For example, in the following sentences, 果然,昨天,直接,从学校 are adverbs. Which of the ...
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155 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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80 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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91 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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218 views

What is the function of in this 为 sentence?

实行24 小时工作制。车队利用夜间进行运输,及时为卡车卸货,保证在18个小时内完成整个运输过程。 I think it must be ‘把’
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168 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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209 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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115 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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50 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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79 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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77 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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108 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 ...
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517 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 ...
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151 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.
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183 views

“Learn” vs. “Study”

I've read the thread on 學 vs. 學習, and I have a slightly related question. In English, the words "learn" and "study" are somewhat interchangeable, but also fairly distinct, in that there is a ...
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68 views

What is the order for 雖然 and 當…的時候 when used in the same sentence?

Example sentence: 雖然當我們在一起的時候有時候我不常常說話、而且我可能正顏厲色、我要讓妳知道我很開心。 Intended meaning: Although when we are together sometimes I don't talk very much, and also my face may be solemn, I want to let you know I ...
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72 views

What is the right word order?

I am prepairing to my Chinese exam and have a doubt in using of 有 in describing of things in loction. Could you please correct my word order and explain 有-Usage rules? The task for me is to translate ...
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46 views

How to interpret 家居家装 in this sentence

Happy New Year to all on this beautiful sunny day in Nanjing! 从商品类别来看,网购用户指出主要集中在服装配饰、护理美容、消费电子及家居家装这四大领域的产品上。 How to interpret '家居家装'? What does it actually mean or include?
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49 views

What should one pay attention to when translating english sentences containing adverbials into chinese?

What advice for translation could you give in this context, how would you translate the following sentences containing adverbials: I will go to military-school soon. I will go to military-school ...
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112 views

Could you give an example of a sentence in classical chinese wherein 爽 is used?

I have some real problem understanding the semantics behind this word, I would be glad to see how this word was used in classical Chinese in order to get an idea of its original usage.
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118 views

What different grammatical uses exist for 而 in classical chinese?

The question itself is already sufficient in description. Whose brilliant brain had the idea to coerce this nonsensical additional commentary text on us?