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

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8
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3answers
350 views

Quotation Marks (“”) and Angle Quotation Marks (《》)

Based on my recent observation, most people use "" to enclose a quote and use 《》 to enclose the name of a book (or a movie?). However, since I began my Chinese study, I have been learning to use 「」 as ...
3
votes
4answers
299 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
101 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?
2
votes
3answers
139 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
817 views

Subway door announcement mystery

I think probably every metro system around the world has to have an audio announcement warning passengers to stay away from the train's doors as they're closing. Here in New York, a pre-recorded voice ...
2
votes
2answers
216 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, ...
3
votes
5answers
815 views

When to use “他的太太” and when “他太太”?

I've read the two different sentences, of which one uses "他的太太" and the other uses "他太太". How can I tell the difference between the two? For example, in the following sentence: 现在他想他的太太。 现在他想他太太。 ...
2
votes
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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
118 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," ...
0
votes
3answers
135 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?
10
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7answers
497 views

Differentiating between 收 and 受

I've noticed a lot of people have trouble differentiating between 收 and 受. Both their pronunciations and meanings are similar. How to differentiate between the two? What tricks and tips are there ...
3
votes
1answer
105 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: ...
1
vote
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 ...
2
votes
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?
2
votes
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?
1
vote
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.
5
votes
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.
0
votes
2answers
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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
94 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 ...
3
votes
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, ...
2
votes
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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
2
votes
4answers
199 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?
0
votes
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?
0
votes
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?
2
votes
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 ...
2
votes
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. ...
2
votes
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 ...
0
votes
3answers
156 views

What's the difference between 礼仪,惯例,规矩?

In a section of my textbook I recently covered, I came across 3 vocabulary words that are very similar and I'm not sure how and when to use each. From what I understand: 礼仪: protocol/etiquette. The ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

What's the difference between 舅舅 and 叔叔?

My favorite short story in modern Mandarin, 2015 by 王小波, is basically a long, humorous digression about the author's 舅舅: ...
1
vote
2answers
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 ...
7
votes
7answers
1k views

Is it correct to say “在手机”?

Would it be correct to use the phrase "在手机”/“在手机上” etc. to express that I am doing something on my phone? For example, could I say 我听音乐在我的手机上。 Or can 在 only be used for my actual physical ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

A Complex Chinese Character

I randomly saw this character on the blog a while ago and saved a image of it as shown below. Is this even a character? If so, what does it mean? When is it used? What was the origin of it? How do ...
6
votes
3answers
438 views

What's the difference between 了, 著 and 到 when used as verb complements?

I need help with sorting out the difference between 了, 著 and 到 when used as verb complements. I have learnt most of my Chinese in Taiwan and in my experience, Taiwanese people don't use 著 as a verb ...
4
votes
3answers
83 views

Do people say 有能力 <do something> or 有 <do something> 的能力

I've always been a bit confused about the order of using 有能力 and I'm hoping someone can clarify. Do people say "有能力 do something" or "有 do something 的能力"? For example, could I say "他没有能力写代码?”
5
votes
2answers
460 views

In what contexts would I use 由?

I know that 由 means through/via or from but I'm not sure exactly what contexts to use this in. For example the dictionary has this example sentence: 运输问题由他们解决。 I understand this but I would have ...
1
vote
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? ...
6
votes
2answers
248 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
174 views

Can you use "非常非常‘ to emphasize how much you think of something?

I'm trying to figure out if a common English usage such as the one below is used in Chinese. I really really <verb> something Could I say something like this? 我非常非常喜欢这首歌 Could I use ...
4
votes
4answers
226 views

Difference between 生气 and 愤怒

I can't find the difference between 生气 and 愤怒. Oxford Dictionary says angry means 生气, but I found 愤怒 in the online dictionary. Both have more than 20 million hits on Google, both have pictures of ...
1
vote
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
vote
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 ...
8
votes
7answers
422 views

早已 and 早就: what's the difference?

To my understanding, both hold the meaning of "already happened long ago". What are the nuances though? Are they interchangeable? Examples: 他早已打定主意了。 (He made up his mind long ago.) 他早就搬走了。 (He ...
4
votes
6answers
316 views

Difference between 资料库 and 数据库

Recently, I've come upon two words to say "database" - 资料库 and 数据库. What is the main difference between two? Which one is used in the context of programming? Thanks for the help!
1
vote
1answer
235 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
272 views

What's the difference between 快 and 快要?

I started to learn Chinese like one month ago and I'm facing a first misunderstanding. In my book it says that 快 can be used to say "soon" but 快要 is also used to express the same thing. Is there a ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the Difference Between 方法 and 办法?

Both have comparable definitions of "method", "manner", "means", etc. and describe or define a way of doing something. The phrase 没(有)办法 is often used to deflect responsibility by claiming ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

In what instances can use you use 干嘛 over 干吗 (and vice versa)?

I noticed that 干嘛 appears used in various forms of media, such as newspapers, magazines, and movie subtitles. From a pronunciation standpoint, 嘛 and 吗 are different (neutral tone vs. second tone, ...