Questions that concern the use of expressions, parts of speech, words, verbs, etc.

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What is the difference between 诡异 and 奇诡?

According to Google Translate it is "Strange" and "Strangeness" But I saw a native speaker post "好诡异", which would be "how strangeness?" When would you use one or the other?
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3answers
142 views

Usage: Spaces in Chinese

I asked a similar question about Japanese here. Chinese names are sometimes stylized last name + space + first name. Here the author's name 马骥 is stylized, last name + space + first name: 马 ...
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2answers
217 views

“She” (她) for inanimate objects in Chinese(?)

She in English (as this is the main language of the site) sometimes has the following function: Used in place of it to refer to certain inanimate things, such as ships and nations, ...
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3answers
88 views

不比 vs 没有 comparison usage

If my understanding is correct, then: 他没有我高。= he's not as tall as me, i.e. he is shorter. 他不比我高。= he's either as tall as me or shorter, i.e. he's at most as tall as me. Is that correct? If so, in ...
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2answers
120 views

Chinese Speaker

What's the best way to say "Chinese speaker" in Chinese? There are the terms 母语者 and 非母语者; there are 华语学者 and 中国通 and 能说中文的人. None of these terms seems to encapsulate the simple "Chinese speaker," ...
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4answers
305 views

表达 vs. 表现 vs. 表示 vs. 显示

These four words all express (get it, because they all mean express ha ha ha) similar meanings: to express/show/display/manifest/demonstrate/convey/indicate etc. I'm sure there are subtle differences ...
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1answer
107 views

What is the difference between 比如 and 例如

I know both can mean "for example/such as/for instance". They are most likely synonyms but even synonyms have slight subtle differences in precise meaning and usage. I know that 例 can be used alone: ...
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1answer
93 views

Km/liter or liter/100km in China? 公里/公升? 公升/100公里?

In America we describe the fuel consumption of a car with miles/gallon. I know in some countries people use liters/100 km. Some countries use km/liter. Which format do Chinese people use, L/100 km or ...
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3answers
142 views

Differences between 凉 and 冷,冻 and 冰

I was wondering whether anyone could tell me if these words are completely interchangable all situations. If not, how am I to discern which to use?
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1answer
80 views

Usage: analogically simplified (类推简体) vs. original characters

Are there any (style(?)) guidelines as to using analogically simplified versus its original (traditional(?)) character? Any rules as to using analogically simplified Chinese characters?
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2answers
96 views

Can 丢 refer to people?

I'm looking for the right word to use in the situation where you are looking after a child and they wander off. In English I would say "I lost my child!" Is 丢 the proper word? Google wants to say ...
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71 views

钻法律的空子和钻法律的漏洞有差?

我上课时遇到了这两个词, 但我还不太理解这两个有没有差别? 我知道它们在英文里指的都是”loophole“ I'm still not clear on what the difference is between these two! If you could give an example of how to use either, that would be really ...
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3answers
516 views

Difference Between 学校 and 学堂

What's the difference between 学校 and 学堂? I've heard that 学堂 has more classical usage, is that correct? I know that 学校 is more commonly used these days.
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3answers
213 views

What is the difference between 只要 and 如果?

What is the difference between these two sentences? 只要明天不下雨,我们就去爬山。 如果明天不下雨,我们就去爬山。 They seem very close in meaning.
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1answer
95 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 ...
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2answers
79 views

What are the flavors of all those “systems”:系统,体系,制度

All those "systems": 系统, 体系 制度 体制 装置 How one should differentiate between them? I think that 系统 has something to do with unite, gather, tangle flavor. So this word is a bit abstract. Should be ...
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6answers
220 views

Can I say 没 to negate future events?

I saw this sentence in a book: 明年这个时候你还没有毕业呢 I thought the sentence was wrong at first, but it says the sentence is grammatically correct and that there's nothing wrong with it. As you know, ...
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4answers
129 views

Are 总是, 平常, 通常, and 经常 all interchangeable?

I've recently started using Glossika to learn Chinese and have noticed that these words are defined differently in their sentences. 总是 - always 经常 - usually 通常 - often From what I understand, they ...
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5answers
162 views

What is the difference between “比照” and “比较”?

I started learning Chinese not too long ago but have come across these expressions (比照 and 比较) when comparing things. I am confused as to whether I'm using it correctly. Would anyone be able to help ...
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1answer
115 views

Difference between 不得不, 不免 and 必然?

All of these words mean must or inevitable, but is there a difference between them?
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136 views

What is the Mandarin term for great godparents?

What does my child call my godparents? Do my godparents become "great godparents" now that I have a child, similar to my parents becoming grandparents?
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2answers
118 views

In Cantonese, what is a less “childish” way to call one's own parents?

I know the standard ways of calling one's parents—"媽媽/母親" or "爸爸/父親", mother and father respectively, the former more familiar and the latter more formal; or the more familiar/childish way—"媽咪" or ...
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5answers
149 views

Is 多早晚 wrong or right

In that site it says 多早晚 means "When". I asked a friend from Singapore, she told me that no one uses that, and it's a mistake. I would like to know if you use it, and in which context. ...
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4answers
200 views

Do I have to include 是 in 你的生日(是)什么时候?

I would like to know if the verb 是 (shi) is optional? 你的生日是什么时候? (Ni de shengri shi shen me shi hou?) 你的生日什么时候? (Ni de shengri shen me shi hou?) Which of those two sentence used more?
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122 views

How to use 可爱,properly?

My understanding of the word is "lovable or cute". Can someone give me the context when it might be appropriate to use this term? For example, lots of folks find kittens lovable or cute. A sample ...
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2answers
185 views

What is the function of 是 in this sentence: 你是怎么学习英语的?

Am I right to assume that the question is about the other person's personal method of studying English? And would omitting the 是 make the question more general? (Is this an example for the ...
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1answer
135 views

Why use 交货 in the sentence?

我们可不可以把有些数量提前到三月交货 Why do we use 交货 here? Can we do without it?
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3answers
72 views

How to use 主持 in composition

I know the basic meaning of 主持, which is "taking charge of". But I don't know how and on what occasion I can use this word. Can I just use this for all the things which someone is responsible for? ...
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2answers
251 views

Differences: 别的 vs 其他 vs 另外 (other)

Well, the question is in the title... I'd be very thankful for an explanation, but also: Could you give examples of cases where they are and are not interchangeable? Can I use them for "where are ...
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2answers
60 views

Difference between 新式 and 新型

I looked up a dictionary and 新式 and 新型 are all translated as "new type". but when I look up a Chinese-to-Chinese dictionary it said that 新式 is 新的样式 and 新型 is 新的类型. and both seem to be different but ...
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9answers
2k views

Is Sunday 星期天 or 星期日?

I am using the ChineseSkill app to learn Chinese and I learned that 'Sunday' in Chinese is 星期天 (xīngqītiān). However, sometimes on the internet I see 星期日 (xīngqīrì). Are both correct? Why is there ...
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3answers
200 views

Difference between 能 and verb + 得了(de liao3)

I remember once being told that there are differences in usage and meaning between 能 and verb + 得了. 他能来。 他不能来。 他来得了。 他来不了。 EDIT: Maybe my examples above weren't that good. Here are some new ones: ...
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2answers
161 views

What is the role of 没 here?

How can these sentences be translated into English? Are they questions or afirmative sentences? 1-洗没洗衣服 2-听没听音乐 3-复习没复习课文
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1answer
78 views

The usage of 醒来 vs. 睡醒, and a little bit about 睡觉。

I was asked to translate the phrase "I wanna wake up where you are". One of the options that came up was 我想在你的身边睡醒 which turned out to be not so pleasant to a native Chinese ear. A better ...
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1answer
251 views

What is the usage of 蔑 as a negation word in classical chinese?

I read someone mentioning 蔑 as a negation word in classical Chinese, but unfortunately without explaining how it works or an example sentence. So I looked it up in my dictionary and it only showed me ...
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2answers
150 views

Why do some overseas Chinese restaurants translate broccoli as “芥蘭”?

I have seen 芥蘭 listed in overseas Chinese restaurants several times as a translation of "broccoli". This has generally struck me as odd, as I have always referred to broccoli, at least in Cantonese, ...
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121 views

How is 还 used with adjectives?

I've seen cases of 还 being used with adjectives and verbs like in the following examples: 还好 还可以 What connotation does 还 give in these cases? Thanks!
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468 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?
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2answers
255 views

Confusion when words are combined

Hello I have been learning Mandarin for only a few weeks, although an issue has been bugging me. It concerns combining words together to make a sentence. For example I have heard that a correct ...
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4answers
130 views

Use of 如何 versus 怎麼樣

This is kind of a two-part question: 1) If you say "你如何喜歡你的菜?" are you asking, "how does the food taste to you" or "how do you prefer your food to be cooked"? To me it seems that if you are asking the ...
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2answers
138 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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5answers
289 views

many ways to say Today

I've seen "today" translated in several ways: "今日", "今天", "本日". Are they all official words? What's the difference among them? Are those words more or less interchangeable in common language? Are ...
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2answers
398 views

Address people using 生 (e.g. 唐生)

Sometimes I hear people from Southern China address other people using 生, e.g. 唐生 for 张国荣's lover 唐鹤德. I looked it up in the dictionaries and searched online but didn't found any explanation on the ...
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237 views

Is this a correct usage of “來日方長”?

I want to say: You still have a long way to go, wish you have a memorable secondary school career And here's my translation to Chinese: 來日方長, 希望你有個難忘的中學生涯 I'm wondering if it is correct to ...
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3answers
144 views

个 ge usage plus 每 mei

Anybody can explain me the reason why: -we don't say 每个年 but 每年? and, on the contrary, we must say 每个月 and not 每月? -Is there somethig to do with the fact that sometimes we must use 全 (全身)instead of 整个 ...
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3answers
119 views

Is it appropriate to use 喂 by text?

喂 is used to answer the phone, but is it accepted over text? If not, is there an alternative to 你好 that's in common use (informally, like "hi", "hey", or "yo" in English). Is 嗨 widely accepted in ...
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3answers
124 views

When is it appropriate to use 剩女?

For the average Chinese woman approaching the age of 27-30, getting married is a fairly high priority, and a large motivating factor to this is the cultural pressure of avoiding becoming a 剩女, or ...
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211 views

Does 青龙 not really mean Green Dragon?

People at the Hebei museum, and my friends, and Baidu http://baike.baidu.com/view/606163.htm all agree that 青龙白虎 means "Dragon and White Tiger." (I capitalize because these name specific folk ...
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2answers
96 views

What is the difference between 老X and X老 as a term of address?

Here is an exchange I saw in a WeChat group today: 李xx: 请大家为28号投票! A: 谢谢您,李老! 【抱拳】【抱拳】 B: 谢谢您,老李! 【偷笑】 A: “李老”是尊称,“老李”是称呼! C: 【强】 I'm fairly familiar with the usage 老X as a term of address. And I ...
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4answers
204 views

哪里 as an answer

I heard from a classmate of mine that 哪里 is not used much among Chinese nowadays like in following dialog: 你的汉语很好! 哪里, 哪里! Is it true that it's considered formal? Are there other ...