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

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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 ...
2
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4answers
125 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
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1answer
142 views

Meaning of 莫逮 in Classical texts?

Some examples of 莫逮 found in Classical texts: 三國志.卷二十一.魏書.王粲傳:「昔伯牙絕絃於鍾期,仲尼覆醢于子路,痛知音之難遇,傷門人之莫逮也。」 《南齐书·周盘龙传》 形甚羸訥, 而臨軍勇果, 諸將莫逮。 《宋史•朱弁传》:“叹马角之未生,魂销雪窖;攀龙髯而莫逮,泪洒冰天。” 《荀子·尧问》 ...
2
votes
2answers
82 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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6answers
240 views

How to introduce “Husband” in social occasions?

Some common words are 先生 or 老公, Are there any other options that would be more socially appropriate?
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3answers
218 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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5answers
290 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 ...
1
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2answers
152 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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3answers
143 views

Meaning/Usage/Translation: 耳膜 vs. 鼓膜?

What's the difference between: 耳膜 and 鼓膜? Apparently they both check out to eardrum in English. 汉语大辞典, even, defines 耳膜 as 耳中鼓膜。 Can 鼓膜 be used in other places then?
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3answers
91 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 ...
1
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5answers
192 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
143 views

What does the measure word 一片 mean? and how to use it?

In the textbook, we learned that 一片 is the measure word for thin, flat objects such as leaves. But it seems to mean differently in 一片草地. What does the measure word 一片 mean? and how to use it? 
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3answers
73 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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6answers
112 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: ...
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2answers
93 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 ...
1
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1answer
182 views

Using variants of 那

When to use variations of 那? 那 (nà,nǎ, nèi, núo) has multiple pronunciations. Can someone explain when to use the different sounds? (images courtesy of www.zhongwen.com)
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2answers
128 views

How to say properly translate “circulation”?

I know that 通风 means to ventilate, but how does one say circulation? Two specific sentences I'm having trouble translating are: He wanted to save energy, so he turned on the circulation fan ...
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2answers
79 views

Getting my eyebrows done = 修眉 (xiū méi); how do I use this?

Getting your eyebrows done is different in China than in the West. In China, it involves shaving (rather than waxing or threading), trimming, and plucking. Consequently, I have been asking for 刮眉毛 ...
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2answers
123 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
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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2answers
151 views

What's the difference between 下巴 and 頷?

chin seems to be translated as both 下巴 and 頷. Is there absolutely no difference? Is one more common than the other? I find it strange that there are two translations for so many words in Chinese, ...
1
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1answer
51 views

How to properly say “World's fair”

I've read that there are a couple of different ways to say "World's fair" including "世界博览会" "世博会“ or “万博”。 Would anyone like to comment on common these terms actual are? Is saying 世纪博览会 in ...
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2answers
107 views

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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1answer
95 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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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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3answers
209 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
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 ...
1
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1answer
70 views

Appropriate way to reject an offer

I have three case scenarios here: 這是一點心意,請你收下。 Please accept this (gift/money as an) appreciation. 我請你吃飯吧! Let me treat you a meal! 加入我們的團隊吧! Join our team! As far as I know, in ...
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2answers
91 views

What would be the shortest translation for 'Home Delivery' on a restaurant flyer?

送饭上门 is what I have now, but for aesthetic reasons I would like to have a 2 character word. Is 送饭 enough on a restaurant flyer (that's the context I am working with) or do I need the whole four ...
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4answers
249 views

How do I use “一般” in this context?

比如, 一般上,这个生词是这样用的:。。。 “一般来说,early/low 等于 20-23, mid 等于 24-26, high/upper 等于 27-29, 可是这不是固定的” (see here) 这些用法都对吗?
1
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1answer
236 views

Can 只有 be used in this context?

My Chinese teacher recently introduced us to the character 只. Specifically, using it to mean "only". However, all of the examples that she gave were things, like: A:你有没有X和Y? B:没有Y,我只有X。 As in, to ...
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1answer
301 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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4answers
132 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
125 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 ...
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2answers
82 views

A question about use of 为止

辣椒对我们饮食的影响是否就到此为止呢? The use of "wei zhi" in this sentence puzzles me. In some contexts it means "until," but I think the sentence basically means, "Does the influence of hot peppers on our diet end ...
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1answer
80 views

Comparing “as A” and “as B”

While poking around the internet, I came across this sentence from a non-native speaker, which sounded off: 她是朋友比爱人更好。 Intended meaning: She is better as a friend than as a lover [for the ...
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1answer
157 views

(Cantonese) What's the right context in which to say, “三九唔識七”?

What's the right context in which to say, "三九唔識七"? Would like to know how to properly use this phrase.
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1answer
264 views

Chinese symbols on a Murakami painting? [closed]

Recently at an art gallery, I was introduced to some works of Takashi Murakami. On quite a few of his paintings were symbols which looked like Chinese, some sort of a seal perhaps. There was a ...
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0answers
53 views

Usage of 吗 vs 嘛 in Informal Questions [duplicate]

A friend wanted to know what I was doing so sent a message with this question: 你在干吗呢, then immediately corrected herself by typing: 你在干嘛呢. I found it interesting that Google translate seems to do a ...
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1answer
382 views

Describe or explaining the Engineering occupation [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How are the words “engineering” or “engineer” translated in Cantonese? I love what I do and my family has no idea what I really do. I can ...
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5answers
222 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: ...
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2answers
72 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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4answers
356 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
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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1answer
139 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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2answers
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!
0
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2answers
97 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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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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1answer
100 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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1answer
130 views

What is the difference between 不 and 没? [duplicate]

I know 不 is the negative prefix for a verb, such as 不是. However 没 is also a negative prefix, such as 没有, so what is the difference between 不 and 没? Thanks!