A tag for discussing the nuances of particles. Including 的, 了, 吗, 过, 吧, 个, 着, etc.

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10
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3answers
545 views

Do 之 and 的 come from the same word?

In modern Chinese 之 is thought of as the literary genitive particle and 的 as the colloquial. In most reconstructions of Old Chinese 之 looks very similar to the way 的 is pronounced now. For example in ...
8
votes
7answers
424 views

Is 了 optional when a time word is present?

In sentences that already have a point in time word that indicates that the event happened in the past, is 了 optional? Or could there be some additional meaning with it present? For instance: ...
8
votes
5answers
283 views

Why use 了 in saying I'm hungry?

Why do you use 了 after 我饿? I thought it was used to denote completion or the past tense of something, but isn't being hungry present tense?
8
votes
3answers
336 views

How to properly use 掉?

I am referring to the usage as defined on zdic.net 用在动词后表示动作完成:改~。戒~ Does 掉 often have the connotation of falling or missing? What is the difference between (verb)掉 and (verb)了 and(verb)掉了? ...
6
votes
3answers
450 views

What's the difference between 了, 著 and 到 when used as verb complements?

I need help with sorting out the difference between 了, 著 and 到 when used as verb complements. I have learnt most of my Chinese in Taiwan and in my experience, Taiwanese people don't use 著 as a verb ...
6
votes
3answers
158 views

What is the function of 了 in the sentence 我最怕去西单了?

Received this in a text from a Chinese friend. I want to say that "了" here is not part of the verb phrase but instead just an emphatic particle, same as if you said something like "我最怕蜘蛛了"。Then again, ...
6
votes
3answers
382 views

What does 了 mean in this sentence?

Is it a verb? A past tense maker? Which is its function of 了 in this sentence? 曾在新西兰Berger king 做过汉堡,当过收银员。这份工作让我认识到了团队合作的重要 Thanks!!
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Proper way to use sentence-final particles (like 啦 or 喽) in spoken Chinese

I know it's very common for Chinese speakers to add special particles to the end of their sentences to enhance the tone a little bit, such as adding 啊 to show excitement or 啦 to sound cute. Just to ...
5
votes
2answers
111 views

Proper use of 吧 in questions

I am trying to better understand the use of 吧 in a sentence where I am asking a question. For example, could the particle be used in the following way: 这是你的咖啡吧? My understanding is that the particle ...
5
votes
2answers
254 views

To 了 or not to 了

I'm Chinese learner and as everybody else I'm puzzled by the verbal aspect 了. My research into the subject gave such results: 了 belongs to a class of perfective aspect markers just as many other ...
4
votes
4answers
535 views

How does the particle word “呢” work?

My teacher said that a particle word in Chinese is a function word, but don't quite understand what is means. How does the particle word such as "呢" work? Also, are there any other Chinese particle ...
3
votes
5answers
828 views

When to use “他的太太” and when “他太太”?

I've read the two different sentences, of which one uses "他的太太" and the other uses "他太太". How can I tell the difference between the two? For example, in the following sentence: 现在他想他的太太。 现在他想他太太。 ...
3
votes
2answers
171 views

When should 之 be used as a particle?

When should 之 be used as a particle? There doesn't seem to be a straightforward answer on Nciku. On Wiktionary, the entry states: Indicates that the previous word has possession of the next one. ...
3
votes
4answers
181 views

Possessives in Chinese

I used Google Translate for these sentences but I'm not sure they are correct: Mom 's white dog 妈妈的白狗 My mom's white dog 我妈妈的白狗 And it is possible if I say Mom 's white dog 妈妈的白色的狗 My mom's ...
3
votes
4answers
314 views

Is it possible to use 过 with specific time words?

This is somewhat similar to this question: When to use 了 and when to use 过 to express past actions or events. I understand that the 过 particle helps express the idea of having had the experience of ...
3
votes
2answers
292 views

啊,诶,喔,哦:compare and contrast

The characters in the title are, FWIK, all exclamatory sentence-final particles, though I'm not too sure about ei. So I was wondering what the difference was between the three. Is there a difference ...
3
votes
2answers
265 views

How to use 了 as a modal particle?

I'm having a hard time understanding when to use 了 as a modal particle (instead of as an aspect particle). For example, what is the difference between the following two sentences. 现在几点? 现在几点了? ...
3
votes
3answers
196 views

好久不见+了=OK or wrong? What does the “le” add?

"Long time no see" is 好久不见 in Mandarin. I would be inclined towards adding a 了 at the end. Would that be all right? And in that case, what does the 了 add?
2
votes
3answers
209 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
119 views

了 as “perfect” aspect vs 了 as “actual” aspect theory

Couple of times in my research on Verb+了aspect, I've stumbled across really interesting nonstandard ideas about what this particle really means. Only one theory strikes some notes in my mind. Namely ...
2
votes
5answers
254 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
82 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
340 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
1answer
27 views

How to distinguish between 吧 and 嘛, 罢 and 嘛

At the end of a sentence in a conversation, how does one distinguish between 吧 and 嘛, 罢 and 嘛? Thanks.
1
vote
2answers
78 views

Looking for a legit place for Classical Chinese grammar rules

Here is an example of my problem. I came across final particle 乎 in a classical text by 孟子. I know from a short description in a unreliable resource that it is similar to 呢, 吗 and 吧。 The thing is, I ...
1
vote
1answer
146 views

What is the difference between 穿 and 穿上?

I found the following sentence: 我正在穿上毛衣。 In this sentence, can you rephrase it as the following?: 我正在穿毛衣。 If you can rephrase it as such, is there any difference between 穿 and 穿上? I also ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

Usage of 我的太太 or 我太太 [duplicate]

When I want to say "my wife" - is it just "我太太" or is it "我的太太"? I've read both and wonder what the difference is, if there is any. Or are both used equally?
0
votes
3answers
171 views

When to omit the modifying 的?

他给她买来了一个戒指。 He gives her a ring that he bought. I assume that this sentence should need 的 before "a ring that he bought" to be modifying, as below. 他给她买来了'的'一个戒指。 So I think 的 is somewhat ...