A phrase is a group of words that form a single unit in the syntax of a sentence.

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1answer
54 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". ...
0
votes
5answers
97 views

Could saying “慢慢吃” to a stranger cause offence?

I learned that the equivalent to "bon appetit" in Chinese is "慢慢吃" (perhaps also "请慢用"). This is a polite thing to do in English. But since it literally means "eat slowly", I'm wondering if some ...
3
votes
3answers
113 views

How to say “see you this weekend?”

My Mandarin teacher told us “星期四见” to say "see you on Thursday." How would I say "see you this weekend"? “这个周末见” or “末见这个周”? Or something else entirely? This is being used to end a letter, so I don't ...
3
votes
3answers
95 views

洗尘: why is a welcome banquet “washing dust”?

洗尘 refers to the traditional Chinese custom of holding a banquet to welcome visitors from afar. However, the literal translation is "to wash dust", which has nothing to do with eating, and I'm also ...
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vote
4answers
69 views

Correct/natural way to say “在我的咖啡可以加糖吗?”

I'm wodering about the correct, or natural, way to say "could you please add some sugar to my coffee?" My unnatural-sounding way would be 在我的咖啡可以加糖吗, but I feel like a Chinese speaker is unlikely to ...
3
votes
2answers
98 views

How to say “That looks delicious”

In company, or at someone's house, how might I say "That dish looks delicious?" or "That looks good"? My inclination is to say 那看起来好吃, or maybe 那看地好吃, but both seem like too much of a direct ...
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vote
4answers
90 views

phrase for “It happened just as you finished talking about it”

I was pointing at a thundercloud and saying that lightning may strike, and my Chinese friend said a 4-syllable phrase that meant that it happened just as I finished talking about it. Do you know this ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Are there any Chinese phrases that have embarrassing meanings if their tones are mispronounced? [closed]

For example: "问(wèn) ask" and "吻(wěn) kiss" 我可以问你吗? wǒ kěyǐ wèn nǐ ma? It means "Can I ask you?" 我可以吻你吗? wǒ kěyǐ wěn nǐ ma? It means "Can I kiss you?" Could you please give me more examples?
4
votes
3answers
143 views

Meaning of 所 in “有所…”

As far as I know, 所 has the following meanings: a place, as in 派出所 (police office). a counter, as in 一所科學中心 (a science center). a passive voice indicator that pairs up with 被(為), as in 被(為)愛所糾纏 ...
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votes
2answers
75 views

What is a proper explanation of “working knowledge” in Chinese?

Though I myself am a native Chinese speaker, up to now I still have not yet figured out an appropriate explanation of the phrase "working knowledge" to any one that is not highly educated. The ...
4
votes
4answers
123 views

The slang(?) phrase “乾掉了”

As I remember, the phrase was used in response to a certain scenario. Unfortunately, as I tried to look it up on Google, all I find is drying out, which is certainly not the meaning I am looking for. ...
4
votes
1answer
113 views

What does “蕊屁” mean?

At https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyNNvgW1dSg&lc=z13jt1khfxr4zzw0k225sjfzzyn1hhebs04, someone wrote: 看完電影後整晚都在蕊屁OST Another person wrote in reply: +1 瘋狂蕊批 What does "蕊屁" mean?
2
votes
2answers
176 views

Why “保重” means “take care”?

As far as I have learnt, for each Chinese word with more than one character, its meaning is formed from that of each character which it comprises. However, I cannot understand how the meaning of 保重 is ...
2
votes
4answers
372 views

What is the meaning of “拜了个拜”?

I heard this phrase from some Chinese-speaking stranger. I assume it's related to farewell since the stranger was waving hand to someone else, but what does it mean exactly? Is there a certain context ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

What is an idiom that describes aiming for high achievement or success but not forgetting one's roots?

What is an idiom/phrase/saying that describes aiming for high achievement or success but not forgetting one's roots? Something like 展翅高飞 and 饮水思源 combined
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Can someone translate “capital stacks” to Chinese?

This is a financial term, and I'm hoping for the most professionally used term. Capital Stacks: A description of the totality of capital invested in a project, including pure debt, hybrid debt, ...
4
votes
2answers
86 views

Origin: of the phrase 不让[能]踩门槛

Looking for something authoritative. What is the origin of the 不让[能]踩门槛 phrase? Earliest usage?
2
votes
1answer
120 views

What does 唐乐乐 mean?

In the context of "唐乐乐睁开眼睛,看着头上陌生的天花板。" What would be the meaning of the phrase "唐乐乐"? While I understand the rest of the sentence perfectly, this bit makes no sense to me. Thanks for any help!
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1answer
83 views

What's the different between 不好意思 and 对不起? [duplicate]

What's the different between 不好意思 and 对不起? Where should I use which?
3
votes
2answers
102 views

What is the Correct Sense of 隔空喊话 in English?

Baidu defines it literally as "not directly engaging with [someone/thing] when talking, rather talking with no person in mind." I'm curious whether it can be close to how we say in English, "[two ...
6
votes
5answers
164 views

What is the verbatim translation for “都什么时候了” ?

"什么时候" means verbatim "what time" But, when i add 都 (adverb meaning "all") and 了(particle indicating either change of state or completion), i can not grasp what meaning is conveyed by this phrase. ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

What is the order of different prepositional phrases?

Chinese Syntax is: S V O there are different prepositional phrases, for instance: p.p. that express a place, time, objective, mean ... How do i know the proper order of the different prepositional ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

What is the difference between 听 and 听力|?

Hellom I'm learning Chinese and I would like to know when I have to use only 听 and when 听力? Thanks for the answer. :)
2
votes
1answer
104 views

“振聾發聵” in English?

This question is about possible translations of "振聾發聵" in English. Figuratively, this phrase is used to describe someone's article is penetrating and insightful. I know this. Nevertheless, I am ...
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2answers
87 views

“做學問” in English?

This question is about the translation of "做學問" in English. If I am asked to translate "做學問", then I would say "doing research". But somehow I feel that such translation of mine is insufficient to ...
3
votes
2answers
137 views

Is the phrase “on a scale of 1 to 10” used often if at all?

Just wondering since it does seem to me like a more western phrase, in Google translate it comes out as 上规模的1到10, I'm just wondering if there is a more common way to ask someone to rate a particular ...
3
votes
5answers
398 views

Explanation for the meaning of 八竿子打不着?

The modern colloquial phrase "八竿子打不着" is used as an adjective to describe "very distant, unrelated". Example: 这是八竿子打不着的事情,怎么能联系上呢? It literally means "couldn't hit with even eight poles". I can ...
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vote
3answers
99 views

How to express this idea in a better way?

I'd like to say something like "...but my heart belongs to Hong Kong" as a possible response to "where do you live?" So the full context might be "I live in X but my heart belongs to Hong Kong". ...
2
votes
1answer
344 views

What does 狗吃连帮 mean?

I heard people say this phrase once or twice, in derogatory tone. It sounds like 狗吃连帮 or 狗吃粮帮. Internet search gives no result, but it didn't sound like some local dialect to me. I heard people say ...
5
votes
5answers
496 views

The meaning of 废柴码农

Someone called me a 废柴码农 after I made a silly mistake. I suppose it must be something negative but what does it actually means?
3
votes
2answers
154 views

Phrases with most popular characters?

I found a table of characters (about 3000) in which most popular characters go first. Here are first 20: 我的 高的 是的 目的 的确 不 不是 人 在 有 他 这 中 大 来 上 国 自个 到 说 道 子 为 和 and I would like ...
5
votes
6answers
739 views

犬子: who's the dog?

犬子 (literally, dog + son) is an archaic, self-depreciatory term to refer to your son (occasionally it's used to insult other people's sons). This answer raises a question though; who is the dog ...
2
votes
3answers
158 views

Chinese: Old Wives Tales

A long time ago I heard someone say: "玩火会尿床" Which I instantly recognized is very similar to some 'old wives tales' in English. In English there are things like: from Wikipedia: Cracking ...
3
votes
2answers
290 views

Chinese Metaphor 八字沒見一撇

Simple Words I recently came across this phrase: 八字沒見一撇 I understand each character but the meaning was still lost on me. So I asked someone about this and they informed me that it is somewhat ...
3
votes
1answer
220 views

大风绝尘而去 in idiomatic English

"大风绝尘而去" In a weather report document, such as http://news.163.com/14/0528/18/9TBR0KOI00014Q4P.html, does this phrase mean that the gale is going to 'stay away and leave' ? or 'A large storm will ...
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votes
3answers
200 views

Explanation of why 棋 is included in 琴棋书画?

I feel like this is a case of One of these things is not like the other. The Four Arts of the Chinese Scholar are 琴、棋、书、画 ... Therefore, 琴 : Musical instrument = great 书 : Calligraphy = ...
4
votes
1answer
87 views

荷兰猪、天竺鼠、豚鼠 ——What's the deal?

So these terms for Guinea Pig all seem to be fairly common and in use, at least as far as I know, but the question(s) are: where do the different terms come from? is there any actual difference ...
2
votes
3answers
160 views

What's the English expression that means 感叹词:“坏了”

In Chinese there is a 感叹词:"坏了", means something went unexpected wrong. Example: 坏了,下雨了 坏了,手机忘带了 坏了,迟到了 What are the common English expressions that can express that "astonishing strike"? ...
7
votes
3answers
470 views

How to translate “很不起眼儿” in English

What's the best (传神) translation of "很不起眼儿" in English? 例句: 不认识他的人觉得他很不起眼儿,认识他的人觉得他很优秀。 辨析: A more formal term that related to "很不起眼儿" is "其貌不扬", but "其貌不扬" will normally be "很不起眼儿", yet ...
4
votes
3answers
153 views

Any Phrases About Trees Growing From Peoples Graves?

I'm looking for any phrases (成语/俗语/谚语, 等) that talk about the meaning of tress growing out of graves/tombs/resting places (of the dead). Apparently having a tree growing out of someones grave is ...
6
votes
7answers
580 views

What's the difference between 对不起, 对不住 and 不好意思

When I was in China, I heard people using 不好意思 to apologize casually. I also heard the expression 对不住 in TV series and movies. Is there any differences?
2
votes
2answers
346 views

Are “好饱了” and “好包了” both correct?

"好饱了" and "好包了" both seem to be used to mean "I'm full". I'm pretty sure that "好饱了" is definitely correct but they both get lots of Google hits and if I combine the search with the English "full" ...
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4answers
195 views

Is “酷比” an actual used word in any Chinese-speaking location? (Including colloquial and slang)

I've been looking at some very cheap tablet computers made in China and one goes by the English brand name "Cube" or "Alldocube" or "cube51". Their Chinese brand name is "酷比魔方" (Kù bǐ mófāng). I see ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

“不客气” (bù kèqì) vs “谢谢你” (xièxiè nǐ)

At home in Australia my neighbouring shop owners are from Shanghai and taught me some Chinese. From them I learned two ways of responding to "谢谢" (xièxiè): "不客气" (bù kèqì) "谢谢你" (xièxiè nǐ) So I ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

Common (and good) ways to ask for hand in marriage

The popular song goes, "今天你要嫁给我好吗" but I feel something like "你愿意嫁给我吗" sounds more like a question, rather than just adding "好吗" at the end of a statement. Does anybody have any critiques or ...
3
votes
4answers
262 views

Is “我爱辣” (Wǒ ài là) a correct/understandable/idiomatic way of saying I like my food spicy?

When I'm buying food in China, especially in the street but sometimes also in restaurants, people often ask me if it want "là". I know that means "spicy" and I really enjoy spicy food. As there's not ...
2
votes
3answers
178 views

Is “可以来 (ke3 yi3 lai2) …” an idomatic way to say “please bring me …”?

The vocabulary flashcard website "Memrise" has in one of its Chinese menu learning modules as entry: Word: 可以来... Definition: please bring... (food or dish) But one of the comments says: I ...
7
votes
1answer
166 views

Are there some greetings or phrases particular to the Hui people?

I'm in Yunnan and have noticed lots of Chinese muslims and ate at one of their restaurants today. I was aware of Turkic-speaking muslim ethnic minorities in the far west of China but now I know those ...
5
votes
1answer
462 views

Usage of the phrase '不错用' in Taiwan Mandarin

I heard my Taiwanese friends use the Mandarin phrase 不错用 more than once, but didn't have a chance to ask them: Is it widely used in Taiwan, or is it used by a certain circle/type of person? What's ...
6
votes
2answers
232 views

Regional variations of “柴米油盐酱醋茶”

When I was very small, my grandparents mentioned there are regional variations of the phrase 柴米油盐酱醋茶 which is widely known to the local population (instead of made up by nobody and only used by a ...