Questions about verbs, their characteristics and their specific use.

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26
votes
7answers
1k views

Why is 有 (yǒu) the only verb that requires 没 while other verbs can use 不?

To negate something, we use 不 (bù) before the verb, such as in this short dialogue: A: 你是老师吗?= Are you a teacher? B: 不是。= I'm not. However, the verb 有 (yǒu) is the only one that requires 没 ...
12
votes
5answers
311 views

Why isn't 到 (dào) used in this sentence?

Earlier while chatting, I wrote a sentence and a native speaker told me it was correct. The sentence was: 某天我去北京。= Someday I'll go to Beijing. (mǒu tiān wǒ qù Běi jīng) I noticed that no ...
12
votes
6answers
843 views

What's the difference between 学 and 学习?

I know both mean "to study" and I also know that while 学 (xué) is transitive, 学习 (xué xí) can be both intransitive and transitive, for example: 我学中文。 (I study «what?» Chinese) = transitive; 我在大学学习。 ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Are these two form of “I live in…” both correct?

While studying I came across a useful expression to say "I live in..." which is "...在...住" such as in this sentence: 我在意大利住。= I live in Italy. Wǒ zài Yìdàlì zhù. But then I saw a different one ...
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
5answers
1k views

Stative verbs in Chinese: only for adjectives?

I've recently discovered that in Chinese, adjectives can function as verbs. An answer on this site stated that "all adjectives in Chinese can function as verbs". This was obviously an interesting ...
7
votes
5answers
316 views

When can 把 be used?

I know it switches the order of the verb and object and can be used to place emphasis on the object. 我把东西放在椅子上 And 把 should be used to indicate some kind of change is happening to the object. In ...
6
votes
1answer
119 views

How can I express 'having' in an intimate sense?

In English, given a conversation between P1 and P2, it's possible to say: P1: My wife died. Now I feel like I've got nothing. I'm so sad. P2: Don't say that. You've still got your son. You have ...
5
votes
2answers
728 views

Answering yes/no questions

I was a bit surprised at first when I discovered that Chinese doesn't have single words or expressions for "yes" or "no", and that instead we must use the verb from the question to either confirm or ...
3
votes
3answers
253 views

Is it 說 /说 / shuō or 講 / 讲 / jiǎng for “to speak a language”?

I've realized that I still don't know the way to talk about "speaking a language", for instance the Chinese equivalents to sentences like these: Do you speak English? I can speak a little Chinese. ...
3
votes
4answers
292 views

Tonal difference between 浪费 and 糟蹋

Both 浪费 and 糟蹋 mean "to waste." (I'm not really concerned with the other uses of 糟蹋 right now.) I've seen the collocations 糟蹋粮食 and 糟蹋人才, and 浪费 is very common in phrases like 浪费时间 and 浪费水. Are ...
3
votes
1answer
124 views

How is 住 used as a suffix in a verb phrase

What meaning does 住 have when used as part of a verb phrase? 她把花盆送到他面前。 哈利愣住了,大家都看着他。 It's clear from the meaning of 愣 that Harry didn't know what to do with the flower pot and was staring off ...
3
votes
1answer
77 views

verb. “to shoot” (weapon)…射击,开枪, 击中, 射中 difference

the veb shoot appears often in chinese international news. But I am unclear about the differnt words for it. 射击 and 开枪 seem to be the firing of the gun and 击中,射中 the hit with the weapon? Can anyone ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Various ways of saying OK?

I mean OK as in said in agreement with what someone has suggested. A: We should go to the park. B: OK. If someone used the verb 不 verb structure I would think you should use the same verb in ...
2
votes
2answers
150 views

Why does the `请` take two duplicate words on its verb occasionally (e.g. `请洗洗你的袜子`)

I've read these sentences in my Rosetta Stone courses: 请洗洗你的袜子 请洗一下楼梯 However, why does the first sentence use two 洗 consecutively before taking the object? Also, how can I tell when to use one ...
2
votes
1answer
348 views

Poetic two-character words of the form: Verb + Natural Noun?

I was looking for examples in Mandarin of poetic two-character words. What words have the following form... Verb + Noun ...where the noun is something that occurs in nature? The first examples ...
2
votes
3answers
101 views

When to use 住在 and when to use just 住?

I have encountered the following sentences: 以前人们住这样的房子 现在人们住这样的房子 Why do these sentences NOT use 住在? I have learned that 住 takes 在 in order to take the location noun after that. Or maybe ...
2
votes
2answers
106 views

Subjunctives in Chinese

I'm trying to render a song in Chinese from Spanish, precisely this one – lyrics here –, but I'm not sure how to translate the subjunctives at the start. The beginning reads: May the infinite become ...
2
votes
1answer
138 views

Are there transitive/及物动词 or intransitive/不及物动词 verbs in Chinese?

Problem: Lately I started to get concerned if there are pure transitive or intransitive verbs in Chinese. At first look, there are many verbs that do not require an immediate object/宾语 like 睡觉 or 吃饭. ...
2
votes
4answers
125 views

Can you combine sentence structures to denote an extremely short duration?

So I learned recently that you can do two things in Chinese repeat the verb (such as in 看看) append 一下 to the verb to denote a shorter duration (in this case, look for a moment). I was just ...
1
vote
4answers
153 views

How to say lived vs. have been living somewhere?

I want to say 1) "I lived in Beijing for six months." As in, I was there last year for six months but I am not living there anymore. Furthermore, how can I distinguish it from 2) "I have ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Verbs of two words

In 你想走的时候就走吧。 it seems 的就 is supposed to be taken as the verb. At my current knowledge level, I wouldn't know how to match those two together and recognize 时候 as modifying the verb. How can I learn ...
1
vote
2answers
58 views

What is the meaning of 背会?

I have encountered the following sentences in my textbook, which use 背会. 我还没背会这篇文章。 今天不背会这篇课文就不回家。 But what does 背会 mean? The textbook seems to say it means memorize, but of all the ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

What is the difference between 穿 and 穿上?

I found the following sentence: 我正在穿上毛衣。 In this sentence, can you rephrase it as the following?: 我正在穿毛衣。 If you can rephrase it as such, is there any difference between 穿 and 穿上? I also ...
1
vote
1answer
210 views

Is there a comprehensive list of separable verbs/离合动词 anywhere?

Problem: I need to find and compile a list of separable verbs/离合词. Searching the internet I have managed to collect a list of 65 verbs which of course is not enough. Separable verbs/离合词 are: ...