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

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148 views

Understanding “當地的頭腦”

What does "當地的頭腦" mean? I saw a shirt with that written on it. I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the earth and brain. Does "当地的头脑" mean the same thing? Even if it doesn't make sense, would ...
2
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2answers
108 views

Would you use 为 or 给 (or neither) as a dedication?

I'm wondering how to write a dedication (in a book or on a memorial, for example). In English I would inscribe "For my friend." I like the somewhat ambiguous and all-encompassing meaning of this ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the normal forms of valediction in Chinese?

For example, how do they normally sign off letters? We normally use 'Yours Faithfully' or 'Your Sincerely' but we might not be so formal in emails and instead just 'Regards'. What is standard ...
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2answers
135 views

Is it correct to say '较出色‘?

Is '做得较出色‘ good Chinese? Seems to me that it means that something is outstanding, remarkable, or it is not, in which case it is commonplace. I suppose this begs the question 'Where does remarkable ...
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7answers
12k views

Does 危机 really mean both crisis and opportunity?

A lot of people, mostly those who haven't studied Chinese, like to claim something along the lines of "In Chinese, the word for crisis 危机, also bears the meaning of opportunity." This is usually ...
2
votes
1answer
108 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". ...
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votes
5answers
112 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 ...
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3answers
10k views

What is the exact meaning of 吃豆腐, and where does the expression come from?

I'm not talking about eating tofu, but the expression that means something more like taking advantage of someone. What exactly does 吃豆腐 mean, and where does this expression come from?
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2answers
89 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?
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1answer
287 views

“母牛流产了“ - ”The cow cast her calf"? HSK Anki flash cards

I'm reviewing the HSK1-limited-part1 flash card deck on Anki, and I keep coming accross this one flash card. On the front, it says 母牛流产了 and for the definition, The cow cast her calf What ...
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5answers
508 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?
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1answer
66 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
156 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
3
votes
3answers
243 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
115 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
665 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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4answers
78 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 ...
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4answers
95 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 ...
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1answer
85 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?
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3answers
496 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 ...
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3answers
178 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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2answers
93 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 ...
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2answers
252 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
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4answers
391 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 ...
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4answers
134 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
121 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?
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1answer
121 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
92 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?
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2answers
122 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 ...
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5answers
194 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. ...
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1answer
63 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
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1answer
74 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. :)
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2answers
90 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
107 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 ...
3
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2answers
167 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
355 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
665 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?
3
votes
5answers
406 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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3answers
102 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". ...
3
votes
2answers
170 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 ...
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6answers
763 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 ...
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1answer
202 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 ...
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3answers
219 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 ...
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2answers
338 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
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1answer
225 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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3answers
207 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 = ...
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1answer
90 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 ...
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3answers
159 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
169 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"? ...
2
votes
2answers
361 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" ...