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

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1answer
86 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
79 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 ...
2
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5answers
124 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. ...
1
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2answers
109 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
162 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 ...
0
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1answer
118 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
67 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? ...
6
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2answers
183 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
167 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
159 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
75 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
242 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 ...
1
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2answers
139 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, ...
0
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2answers
119 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!
8
votes
8answers
424 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
241 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
122 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 ...
1
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2answers
134 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
273 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
390 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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2answers
231 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 ...
2
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3answers
129 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
115 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
120 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
202 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
85 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
199 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
220 views

Meaning and usage of 得瑟(嘚瑟)

嘚瑟 [dè·se] (usually written 得瑟 in my limited observation) is apparently 东北方言. I've seen a couple dictionaries/explanations that say it means to "show off". I hear this word fairly frequently, but I ...
3
votes
4answers
159 views

Meaning of 嘛 in this context?

台灣都嘛是做小成本人文電影 I was wondering how 嘛 is used in this sentence. I think the sentence could be translated as something like "Taiwan only makes low-cost movies about the humanities."?
1
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6answers
109 views

How does 十分/不十分 work?

十分 is an adverb used just as 非常, but while 十分 can be negated (不十分), 非常 can't. (不非常 is unacceptable.) That's the explanation given by my book, which also gives me these sentences as examples: ...
2
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2answers
79 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 ...
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2answers
90 views

What is the difference between 油漆, 涂料 and 油彩 please?

I need some help with something. I am trying to find the word for oil paint. Artist oil paint, like the stuff Winsor & Newton makes. But I can not find the exact word. 油彩 is the closest I can ...
2
votes
4answers
110 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 ...
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2answers
109 views

What does this pattern (由 … 而) mean, exactly?

My book says that this structure is used to express the change of something, and it gives me this example: 他脸色由白而红 But I think I didn't understand this structure really well. When ...
3
votes
3answers
450 views

When to use 世界 and when to use 国际

These two terms are broadly speaking translations of "world" (世界), and "international" (国际). Recently, I've been reminded that "international" in English can be used to mean "many nations" rather than ...
4
votes
3answers
420 views

What's the difference between 只 and 才?

What's the difference between 只 and 才?When should I use 只 and when 才?Can you give me some example? Thank you
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5answers
212 views

Can you apply 男子汉 and 女汉子 to non-Chinese?

The term 汉奸 probably only works for Han Chinese traitors, but what about other '汉's?
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5answers
186 views

What's the difference between 之间 and 中间?

之间 means between (no more than 2), so these are acceptable: 我和他之间 我们之间 (between us two) Not acceptable: 学生们之间 中间 means among (more than 2), so this is acceptable: 学生们之间 And this isn't: ...
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2answers
228 views

Difference between 于是 and 所以

What's the difference between 于是 and 所以? How and when are they interchangeable?
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2answers
72 views

What's the difference between 许多 and 很多? [duplicate]

What's the difference between 许多 and 很多? I have learned that 许多 can't be used as predicate yet in this sentence it seems to have a predicative function 他觉得妻子虽然老了许多 但仍很美丽
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4answers
104 views

Can “未” modify descriptive adjectives?

Can “未” modify descriptive adjectives (in either classical or modern Chinese)? I've previously asked about the correctness of the phrase "未長未短", but I think 長 and 短 are used as verbs (instead of ...
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1answer
96 views

Is 未長未短 grammatically correct (in classical Chinese)?

Is 未長未短 grammatically correct (in classical Chinese)? The article http://www.hainan-today.com/2012/201201/web/201201_28.htm uses “未長未短”: ...
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4answers
308 views

What are the differences in usage and nuances between 现在,正在 and 还在?

I think it's pretty hard to tell the differences between these three words, and here's the dialogue: A: 你现在在干什么? B: 我正在做作业。 A: 你怎么还在做作业呀! Can you help me to understand and remember these words? ...
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3answers
177 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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5answers
196 views

Difference between 察覺 and 覺察

I often use the word 察覺, which, I believe, corresponds to 發現 in colloquial context, meaning "to realize". But I recently encountered the word 覺察 in a similar context as the following: ...
2
votes
3answers
168 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?
5
votes
1answer
494 views

The slang meaning of “Seven/七” in Cantonese

I have heard a few Hongkongers saying seven in a similar, likely identical, context. I assume they are addressing a person because when they say it, they make the L hand gesture. I could be wrong, but ...
4
votes
3answers
67 views

Formality of “悲哀” as opposed to “悲傷” and “哀傷”

From what I have learned, or I remember I have learned, 悲哀, 悲傷, and 哀傷 all mean sadness and are interchangeable. However, as I remember, I have read 悲傷 and 哀傷 in academic/professional writings, but ...