Questions concerning the types of words and phrases which are grouped and ordered meaningfully to express a statement, question, or another type of sentence

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19
votes
1answer
479 views

What is the difference in use between 以及, 和 and 与?

I have a book with the following lesson titles: 中文以及中国 聚会和饮食 交通与环境 Why are these terms connected with 以及 / 和 / 与, why not always use 和 for example? Are there any rules for proper use of these ...
10
votes
6answers
624 views

What is the difference in use between 完 and 了?

If I understood correctly, both 完 and 了 can be used to indicate a completed action, so what is the difference in use? How do we properly use 完 in a sentence? Which contexts would be valid?
10
votes
2answers
268 views

Why is it possible to replace 都 with 也 in 什么都没有?

I know 也 only as "also", but I see it now and then used in ways difficult to understand, especially in some negative statements. Why is this so? Does 也 also have some meaning not mentioned in ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the meaning of the sentence 字了一?

I ve found this sentence between two other sentences in an article about the scholar wang li: 中国语言学家、诗人。字了一。广西壮族自治区博白县人 I understand both sentences before and after 字了一, but i am clueless what this ...
9
votes
2answers
757 views

Using 的 at the end of a sentence

I'm looking for confirmation of the way I'm parsing a sentence with 的 at the end, and I'd appreciate some background or other examples of this usage. I found this sentence on tatoeba.org: ...
8
votes
3answers
847 views

Is there a significant difference in meaning between “欢迎你到中国来” and “欢迎你来到中国”?

I've asked quite a lot of native speakers about this and the general consensus seems to be that there is no significant difference in meaning between "欢迎你到中国来" and "欢迎你来到中国" (and similar sentences), ...
8
votes
2answers
189 views

Is 再过[时间] the most common way of expressing “in [amount of time], something will happen”?

I ask after encountering the following sentence in Tatoeba: 再过两、三个月,你就能说得一口流利的英语了。
8
votes
3answers
331 views

我也住在這裡 or 我也住這裡

I'm quite confused with using 在 in a sentence. I learned that it usually indicates a place or a location. I'm trying to say "I also live here". I thought that since I'm referring to a place, maybe I ...
7
votes
4answers
550 views

What is 人 doing in 你现在人在哪里?

I got this sentence in my "daily exercise" newsletter, and I really don't understand what's 人 doing there? Doesn't it mean the same when 人 is removed? Could this simply be a typo?
7
votes
3answers
420 views

What is an idiomatic way to say “This is not good” in Mandarin?

The title mostly covers the question, but some elaboration might help. In English, there is a common construction of ideas whereby the speaker makes a statement about an action or event, and follows ...
6
votes
5answers
621 views

Could you explain the structure of this sentence?

The sentence 我吃饭的时候看了一本书。 apparently has two verbs (吃 and 看), but I can’t see how the two actions are correlated. Could anyone explain that?
6
votes
4answers
213 views

How to indicate plurality/singularity

I'm aware that basic Chinese grammar tends to lack distinction between the plural and singular forms of many nouns. For example, 我的朋友是中国人 could either mean "my friend is Chinese" (singular) or "my ...
6
votes
1answer
271 views

Connotation of 吗 questions vs. affirmative/negative questions

Is there any difference in connotation/region/modernity/etc. between questions ending in 吗 and affirmative/negative questions? For example, does: 你很累吗? connote something different than: 你累不累? And ...
5
votes
5answers
367 views

which do I use , 喜欢不喜欢 or 喜不喜欢?

I know that 喜不喜欢 and 喜欢不喜欢 have the same meaning, but in a sentence, which would look more appealing or make more sense in the sentence? In other words, which one is grammatically correct?
5
votes
5answers
323 views

What is 和 used for in this sentence?

I know how to use 和 to link one or more nouns or noun phrases, but in this sentence I don't understand what purpose does it serve at the beginning of the sentence? 和西方人过圣诞节差不多,这是一个全家团聚的节日。 (This ...
5
votes
4answers
195 views

What is the subject in this sentence part 有时间到我家去

there is this sentence in a dialog: 好 , 我走了 , 有时间到我家去 . 再见 ! (from my beginner text book) I do understand the translation. Well, I'm going, if you have time, come to my home. Goodbye. However, ...
5
votes
3answers
488 views

Sentence structure “I'm [doing something] because [reason]”?

I am familiar with the sentence structure "因为。。。所以。。。," but what is the correct way to say "I am [doing something] because [reason]"? For example, "I am asking this question because I am clueless." ...
5
votes
3answers
232 views

Clarification on 得 usage

My understanding of 的-地-得 is the same as what's here: 的-地-得, when do you use which? -- which is summarised as: “地” usually appears before the verb while “得” appears after the verb. However, I found a ...
5
votes
2answers
292 views

Errors and Unnatural Language in a Translation Challenge

I was recently challenged to translate the following sentence from English into Chinese: You should stay away from that bar. A friend of mine went there before, and he ended up in the hospital after ...
5
votes
3answers
290 views

How to explain the structure of “将在外,军令有所不受。”

In my own opinion, this sentence should be "将在外,军令不受". I can hardly imagine any use of "有" and "所" here. Could someone explain the structure of this sentence?
5
votes
1answer
110 views

Role of 在 in this sentence

I was using a text editor in Chinese, when I tried to exit without saving the currently opened file it showed me this sentence: 您要在关闭文件前保存吗? What is the role of 在 here? Is it related to the ...
4
votes
4answers
242 views

How to use 仿佛 properly?

To give context, this is the sentence: 永远不能忘记的是北京,因为我在那里住的太久了,仿佛树生了根一样。 I am not sure how to render the last bit. I'm guessing it's saying: As if I am a tree, the roots are the same as my ...
3
votes
7answers
462 views

Should Chinese text be grid aligned in game dialogs?

Title says it all, should I have my text using a variable width font, or fixed width. I didn't know if it is easier to read if its aligned on a grid? So here is my dialog with fixed width, one issue ...
3
votes
3answers
359 views

Is this sentence ambiguous out of context?

My newsletter says this sentence 我五分钟后就回来。 is translated as "I'll be back in 5 minutes". I am curious to know whether this sentence could be translated as "I came back 5 minutes ago", or does ...
3
votes
6answers
302 views

Usage of 了 and 以后

For the sentence 'I watched a movie after I had food', are the following translations equivalent? Additionally, is the 3rd translation incorrect (is the ...了...以后... usage valid)? 我吃了饭看电影。 我吃饭以后看电影。 ...
3
votes
2answers
264 views

What does the phrase “足矣” mean?

I saw this phrase recently in a post online. The whole sentence is 人生得一知己足矣. I think 人生得一知己 means "getting a BFF(?) in one's life". (The only meaning of the word 知己 that I know of is BFF, but please ...
3
votes
6answers
96 views

上的 — How is it functioning in this sentence

In the following sentence, what does 上的 mean? 中国历史学上的夏、商、周属于考古学上的青铜时代。 I translated it as "Archaeologists know the Xia, Shang and Zhou collectively as the Bronze Age." I think I have the gist of ...
3
votes
2answers
131 views

连。。。。都 structure

I've been studying Chinese for about 9 months now and I am a little confused as to how to rewrite this sentence using the 连。。。。都 structure. I've included what I've done but it just does not seem ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Forming sentences with resultative and directional complements

When studying Chinese, I've often found that there are different ways to say the same thing, for example using a verb with a directional complement rather than a verb with resultative complement or a ...
3
votes
3answers
151 views

Is There A Way To Say “Fro” (as in afro/fro) In Traditional Chinese?

Are there any kanji that could be used to say Afro and/or Fro in Traditional Chinese? If not, what about Simplified Chinese? What are the characters?
2
votes
3answers
230 views

What is 被 doing in sentence “这种病在三十年前就被根除了”?

I understand that the sentence means something like "This disease was eradicated 30 years ago", but I have no idea what role does 被 have in it? Is the sentence okay if we remove it? Does it convey ...
2
votes
2answers
140 views

Translation of “this much and no more”

I found this sentence and its English translation on tatoeba.org: 我知道的就這麼多了。 Beyond this I know nothing. Now I'm trying to parse the sentence structure, and I'd like some confirmation or a ...
2
votes
3answers
166 views

Should the temporal indicators be in a certain order?

To translate “what did you eat today at lunch?” in Chinese, I have 午饭 to translate lunch, and 今天 for today. Do they have to be located at the beginning of the sentence? 今天午饭你吃了什么? or can I put ...
2
votes
2answers
126 views

“Topic-comment” structure

Can someone help me with these? I don't quite understand the topic-comment structure, and I have been trying to look it up but I can't find any good explanation with examples. I have to change the ...
2
votes
2answers
121 views

Can “ 天空一片蔚藍 ” also be “一片蔚藍天空”? And translation please?

Can " 天空一片蔚藍 " also be "一片蔚藍天空"? And what's the reason? Could "天空是一片蔚藍" be correct too? Also can someone give a good translation? I just translate it as "An azure blue sky". I might be over ...
2
votes
2answers
181 views

Sentence structure when talking about time

During my time learning Chinese, I've heard two distinct word orders when referencing the time at which something will occur. For example, I was taught to say 今天我想吃早饭 to talk about 今天, 明天, etc, but I ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

Can I use a verb+的 construction to imply an item/noun?

I'm often don't which noun to use, but I can think of a verb to describe it. I know that 吃的 (to eat + 的) means food, so I was wondering if I can use it with other verbs as well, like 洗澡的 (to bathe + ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

What's the grammatical structure of 这是你第一次来中国吗?

I am confused about the sentence 这是你第一次来中国吗? I think I know the correct translation: "Is this the first time you go to China?" However, I am confused about the grammatical structure of the sentence. ...
2
votes
1answer
144 views

Does chinese songs have a natural word order?

In English, it is hard to rhyme. So writers sometimes resort to rather awkward sentence structures, just to get the song to rhyme. Recent example from Maroon Five: I'm at a payphone trying to call ...
2
votes
4answers
92 views

What does this structure (有 … 才有 …) mean?

My book says the 有 … 才有 structure is the same as 只有 … 才, but it doesn't give me any examples. Are the following both equivalent and correct? 只有他才知道怎么解决这个问题 有他才有知道怎么解决这个问题 If not, how ...
2
votes
1answer
128 views

Translation of “想要买什么东西吗?”

According to tatoeba translation of "Is there anything you want to buy?" is "想要买什么东西吗?" Is there use of 什么 and 吗 in one sentence? If there is not how can I translate"Is there anything you want to ...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

What are the rules for nested sentences?

A simple sentence in Chinese looks syntactially like this: S t p V O. S(ubject),V(erb),O(bject),t(imephrase),p(lacephrase). How do i put a further sentence in another sentence?
1
vote
2answers
217 views

Is '明天你都六点起床不起床?' a correct question?

I want to ask: Will you wake at 6:00 tomorrow?
1
vote
2answers
110 views

Which one is correct?

这家餐馆菜都很好吃的 这家餐馆的菜都很好吃 What's the correct form to say "all the food of that restaurant it's delicious" ?
1
vote
3answers
216 views

What do you think about this introduction to answering Yes/No questions?

I have found a lot of information about asking questions but very little about answering them. I want to create a rule to help learners answer affirmative/negative questions in Chinese. Presently I ...
1
vote
3answers
131 views

How do you 'second best'?

To say something or someone is the best or most we use 最, but how about second, third, fourth best/most etc? For example: He's the second most expensive player in football history. He kept the third ...
1
vote
4answers
306 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
2answers
147 views

Why does the usual Verb-Object order seem to have been broken here (很高兴为您服务)?

The sentence 很高兴为您服务 (hen gaoxing wei nin fuwu) breaks down as: hen |gaoxing |wei |nin |fuwu very |glad |to |you |serve But the usual word order in chinese is Subject Verb Object, and here the ...
1
vote
1answer
199 views

Noun Placement in Grammar

I've recently come across this statement. 那你可以在宾馆洗. "Then you can wash them (clothes) at the hotel." I'd like to say, "Can you wash your clothes at the hotel?" But I can't figure out the ...
1
vote
1answer
48 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 ...