Questions concerned understanding of individual words or phrases, considering a context in which these words and phrases are expressed.

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1
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1answer
66 views

Why there is 份 in 身份?

What is the meaning of 份 in 身份? Is 份 used as a word pointing to a papers i.e. documents (passport and so on)? Or is it used as a 'division' so as to differentiate a man from man (身 body in our case)?
7
votes
3answers
364 views

也 和 并 与 及 跟 而 同 difference? [closed]

I have read about connectives 也 和 并 与 及 and asked some questions about them but still I'm somewhat not satisfied with my understanding. Let me summarize my knowledge: 1. 与 connects: nouns only ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

How many peaches in 桃是水果?

How do we know if there is only one peach or multiple peaches in the sentence 桃是水果? How do we know in general? With the use of measure words?
4
votes
4answers
120 views

砲響: were there cannons in ancient China?

After reading Romance of the Three Kingdoms, I was surprised to see a lot of references to 砲響 (the sound of cannonade). Here's a few examples: 嚴綱鼓譟吶喊,直取麴義,義軍見嚴綱兵來,都伏而不動;直到來得至近,一聲砲響,八百弓弩手一齊俱發。 ...
1
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4answers
553 views

What does 她是笨蛋的学生 mean?

I and my Chinese friend are discussing about the meaning of "她是笨蛋的学生” So, can u guys tell me which meaning is correct, or which meaning is popularly used: "She is a fool student", or "She is the ...
4
votes
3answers
187 views

Meaning of “不了” in “忘不了/喝不了/…”

I know that 了 after a verb means a completion or termination of a certain action, such as: 吃飽了 (I am) full. 開始了 (It) has started. 不動了 (It) is not moving anymore. But what about 了 ...
3
votes
3answers
86 views

Classical Chinese grammar help: 蓋將自其變者而觀之,則天地曾不能以一瞬

The second clause is translated as some version of: "If you look at it from the point of Change, then heaven and earth never stay the same for even a moment". Here's what I think I know: 不 negates a ...
0
votes
3answers
79 views

Connotations of different “to give”

Can natives and other knowledgeable people share their ideas on how to differentiate between many "to give" verbs? The list is not complete. Anyone is welcome to add their "gives" in it. 施 - ...
2
votes
5answers
206 views

What is the difference between 几乎 and 差点儿?

Recently I've studied these two words: 几乎 and 差点儿. My book says that they have different meanings and they are used in different contexts, however I don't quite grasp in what way they are different, ...
0
votes
2answers
103 views

Bare verbs meaning and 了

As I study usage of different aspects markers in Chinese I started to realize that my problems with those markers come from simple fact that: "I don't see any much in them." Reason for this is: ...
2
votes
4answers
133 views

The meaning of 拿 in this sentence

I have encountered the following sentence: 他就拿我没办法的信念 in the following paragraph: 抱着誓死不从,他就拿我没办法的信念,我只有拼命挣扎,但是我错了。 from the following text: http://health.sohu.com/20041120/n223089261.shtml I couldn't ...
0
votes
3answers
91 views

Similarities between connectives 就 and 而?

而 - is a connective like "and" in some situations. Etymologically this meaning comes from how hair in someone's beard are close together. 就 - is a connective in other situations. Etymology information ...
0
votes
4answers
162 views

Meaning and etymology of the expression “棒棒的!”

Someone wrote to me "两个月就写这么好,棒棒的!" I get the first part (though I don't think it's true - 哪里哪里 ;-)), but what exactly does that "appendix" stand for? I interpreted it as a kind of "clapping one's ...
1
vote
2answers
94 views

Best way to express a change of subjects in a succession of events

I'm trying to say that "she will go eat after playing tennis with her friends" but I want to know if there are better ways of saying this then the ones I'm about to show 她和朋友打了网球,她去吃饭。 or 她跟朋友打网球以后,...
2
votes
3answers
156 views

Can you explain the differences between the following sentences?

冬天:能穿多少穿多少;夏天:能穿多少穿多少。 剩女产生的原因有两个:一是谁都看不上;二是谁都看不上。 女孩给男朋友打电话:如果你到了,我还没到,你就等着吧;如果我到了,你还没到,你就等着吧。 单身的原因:原来是喜欢一个人,现在是喜欢一个人。 男人对一个女人有好感的原因:一是喜欢上这个女人;二是喜欢上这个女人。 男人约会迟到的原因:一是睡过了;二是睡过了。 Thanks.
0
votes
1answer
79 views

What is the meaning of 貪人之有者殘?

貪人之有者殘 is a phrase from 素書. I am not able to understand the grammatical structure of this sentence. For instance: 貪: does it mean greedy or make s.o. greedy, or consider s.o. greedy , or greed (...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

What is the meaning of 庸 in 利之而不庸?

A random passage from Mencius is: 殺之而不怨,利之而不庸,民日遷善而不知為之者 The first two lines have the same structure V1 之而不 V2, wherein V1 is expressing someone doing something to another and V2 how this one ...
1
vote
3answers
109 views

What is the meaning of 庸 in the phrase 毋庸置疑?

毋庸置疑 is a chengyu. Its meaning is "beyound any doubt", but what is its verbatim meaning in literary Chinese? 毋 is like "don't" 置 is "to place, to put" 疑 is "doubt" 庸 I am not sure of the correct ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

How did 东西 come to mean “something” in the expression “吃东西”?

I was chatting with a Chinese penpal recently and when I asked "what are you doing?", I received the following answer: 吃东西,你呢? Now, "东西" means "east and west" and so "吃东西" literally means "eat/...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

Homonyms in the context of humor or satire

Because my study of Chinese is mostly based on intermediate videos I think I am missing something. Now that I have a sense of the large number of homophones in Chinese, the potential for double-...
2
votes
2answers
177 views

How to express sarcasm?

As far as I know sarcasm is not commonly used in Chinese. In English and many other languages, sarcasm is a matter of pragmatics and usually expressed by applying different intonation or stressing ...
1
vote
3answers
210 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
128 views

产业 vs 企业 vs 商业. What's the difference?

产业 vs 企业 vs 商业. I think the 3 of them means enterprise. What's the difference between them?
0
votes
1answer
78 views

Making sense of '推魏大肚'

《锦城旧事》 在这灌县城中得此三者之利的,当推魏大肚。 What does 推魏大肚 refer to?
1
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3answers
98 views

谁 as relative pronoun?

至少今天她都不想再见到聂离了,谁让聂离骗了她。这是对聂离的惩罚! Can 谁 here be translated as the relative pronoun who? My literal translation would be: At least for today she, who has let Nieli to deceive her, doesn't want ...
4
votes
4answers
105 views

Meaning of 则是 in this sentence

My vocabulary state that 则是 means: "then is", However I don't understand how to translate the following sentence 而段剑则是神情严肃地站在聂离的身边。 I can translate it perfectly fine by omitting 则是, so not sure ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

What does 低喝了一声 mean?

低喝了一声 I could not see how 喝 here means drink, so I tried to look further in my dictionary and it says: The same as 嗬, which is an onomatopoeia Which kind of makes sense since I also found a ...
0
votes
1answer
106 views

Something I came across in a movie 你说它真它就真说它假

I came across this in a Chinese television show, which I would like some help to translate. 你说它真它就真,说它假它就假,它是真真假假假假真真谁也弄不明白. The first part I do understand. It means: "If you say it is real then it ...
3
votes
2answers
750 views

What is the correct Chinese expression for “Only child”?

I noticed lot of compound words using "只" for "only", but what is the correct way to say "only child" (a child with no brothers, nor sisters)? Thanks!
9
votes
8answers
510 views

Is “不會” a correct response to “謝謝”?

I live in Taiwan.There are occasions where I need to thank people, and sometimes they use "不會" to reply my "謝謝". Is this correct and what does "不會" in this occasion mean?
1
vote
2answers
181 views

Why did 人艰不拆 get banned?

人艰不拆 百度百科 人艰不拆(读音rén jiān bù chāi),网络语,意思是“人生已经如此的艰难,有些事情就不要拆穿”。该词语出自林宥嘉歌曲《说谎》,“别说我说谎 人生已经如此的艰难,有些事情就不要拆穿”后常被网友在回帖中引用,楼主直接说出了一个事情的真相,只是让人一时无法直接面对的意思。“人艰不拆”已经在国家新闻出版广电总局今2014年11月27日发出的通知中被明令禁止使用。 ...
0
votes
3answers
198 views

Why in some contexts does 走 mean “walk”, but in others “go”?

I was practicing the usage of prepositions and made the sentence 我走通过城市。 This sentence was intended to translate back to "I walk through the city.", which it did. However, adding the word 怕 with the ...
1
vote
3answers
69 views

Is the phrase 南狩之志,乃大得也 ironically ?

A random phrase from 周易 is 南狩之志,乃大得也. I tried to translate it using the following thoughts. 乃 is probably a conjunction and renders to "in fact, actually" to stress something not as expected. 大得 ...
0
votes
2answers
41 views

What is translation for 或作譈懟,亦書作憞 ?

In the sentence from the Kang-Xi Dictionary 或作譈懟,亦書作憞, I looked up the characters 譈,懟,憞 all are pronounced dui4 and all are translated as to hate. I am confused and do not know how to deal with ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

What is the meaning behind 华胄 ?

I found the sentence 他是华胄,所以气质不凡. It is been translated as "He is the offspring of a noble family, thus his character is not a common one". I also found for 华胄 the translation "offspring of the ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

What is the meaning of 豫兮 in 豫兮若冬涉川 ?

A random phrase from the 道德經 is 豫兮若冬涉川 . I understand the part 若冬涉川 as "like crossing a stream in the winter" where "in the winter is used" is used adverbially, so a more verbatim translation might ...
3
votes
3answers
84 views

What is the cultural meaning of the practice 歃 when taking an oath ?

I came across the character 歃 , namely in the sentence: 葵丘之會諸侯,束牲、載書而不歃血 it is glossed as "to smear one's mouth with the blood of a victim to take an oath". I have searched for further details ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

what is the translation for 或啁之曰 ?

A random phrase from Lun-Heng begins with 或啁之曰, as far as I understand its parts mean: 或 someone 啁 to chirp, to twitter 之 objectpronoun "it,him,her" as in "I like him, I talk about it" 曰 to say (...
0
votes
1answer
164 views

In how many ways can we say “go straight ahead”?

I have heard 一直走(Yīzhí) and 往前(wǎng qián)走, but it seems the online translators prefer 一直往前走(Yīzhí wǎng qián zǒu) or 一直向(xiàng)前走 (if we're going forward)... From the above which are the most ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Usage of word “sun”: 太阳 (tài yáng) vs 日 (rì)

What is the difference between 太阳 (tài yáng) and 日 (rì) for "sun"? Are they used in different contexts or are they interchangeable? Thanks!
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Usage of 一定 vs 当然

I recently had to select the correct answer for a homework assignment: 我学了10年汉语了,含有水平 。。。 很高 I chose 一定,but the correct answer turned out to be 当然 Was my answer incorrect, why? How do these ...
3
votes
2answers
424 views

Tree: 树 (shù) vs 木 (mù)

Is there any difference between 树 (shù) and 木 (mù), in the meaning of "tree", or they are interchangeable?
-3
votes
1answer
94 views

How should I translate 细心 here?

I have this sentence: 这些发明都要归功于他在实践中留心观察,细心发现。 I think 留心,细心 and 用心 all have much the same meaning of 'careful, attentive'. I understand 留心观察 as 'carefully observe', but I don't like 细心发现 as '...
-2
votes
1answer
116 views

How to translate 抓紧 here?

This text is talking about 甲型H1N1流感疫情。 女:那么我们应该作哪些准备? 男:抓紧疫苗研制是重中之重。然而,在没有有效的疫苗之前,提高大众的健康意识和公共卫生意识是最有效的 Edit: added a bit to make it clearer. Edit again: A friend told me to rewrite it thus: ...
4
votes
2answers
92 views

I need help with the translation of 长和能力

I'm working with Chinese resumes and I've found 长和能力 as a section title. I tried to translate it using the Google Translate and it says it means "Length and capacity". Is there any alternative ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

來鴻去燕 interpreting idioms

So I am studying idioms and in many cases I come across one whose words I understand but whose meaning must apparently lie in a deeper story. The Wise Talk app gives: 來鴻去燕 (lai2 hong2 qu4 yan4) ...
2
votes
2answers
151 views

meaning of 等 in this sentence

From the economic observer: 前两个背离可以理解为经济结构调整过程中,产业结构优化等优势逐步显现 As far as I know, 等 means either wait or it is either used to end a list of objects. This sentence is also quite technical itself, ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

What does “更生” in “自力更生” mean?

I've seen the phrase 自力更生 used to mean self-reliance, but am confused by what the function of the last 2 characters is.
0
votes
4answers
120 views

What are these 2 的s doing here?

I have 2 的s in my text which are confusing. "可以明确的是实习生与企业间不是劳动关系,。。。“ "我九月份进的这家公司,老板说前面几个月是作为实习期的。“ In 1. I think '的‘ nominalizes, but I'm not sure what it nominalizes. Maybe there is a ‘所’ ...
3
votes
2answers
179 views

How to understand “实” in this context? ”五侯九伯,女实征之“(《齐桓公伐楚盟屈完》)之“实”字何以训?

《齐桓公伐楚盟屈完》,出《左传》僖公四年,原文节此: ”昔召康公命我先君太公曰:‘五侯九伯,女实征之,以夹辅周室。’” 这个“实”字当何以训?“实”常见的释义里,大概只有“真正、真确”还强通文意。但看到《康熙字典》里“实”又有“具數”一义:“又具數也。《史記·始皇本紀》使黔首自實田。《註》謂令民自具頃畝實數也。”用来训此“实”,是否得当?有更好的解释吗?