Questions about what word fits better in a certain context or situation.

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1
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4answers
143 views

What is the difference between 顾客 and 客户?

This is a relatively simple question, but until now I have not consistently heard or seen a dominant choice. Is there a difference? And if so what is the difference.
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: ...
0
votes
3answers
89 views

Translating “should” to express what is probable or expected

I've struggled with this for a while, and I haven't found a definitive answer. In English we can use 'should' to indicate an estimation or probability. Merriam-Websters 4th definition is that should ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

To add: which should I use 新增, 添加or增添?

I mostly hear 增添 in most contexts, but lately have come across 新增 and 添加. What are the differences in tone and register?
2
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
160 views

Is 熵 in any way part of the spoken language?

In my own language (Dutch) I can (jokingly) point at something that is decaying (or perhaps my tea getting cold, or my desk being disorderly) and utter the single word: ‘entropy’. Or I can, out of the ...
3
votes
7answers
213 views

和 or 或? When to use “and”s and “or”s

A very short, isolated question: No hopes or dreams In English, it's very clear that this is "neither hopes nor dreams" i.e. there are no hopes, and also no dreams. In Chinese, which word, 和 or ...
6
votes
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
108 views

Would you use 为 or 给 (or neither) as a dedication?

I'm wondering how to write a dedication (in a book or on a memorial, for example). In English I would inscribe "For my friend." I like the somewhat ambiguous and all-encompassing meaning of this ...
0
votes
3answers
135 views

What is the difference between 响,声,and 音

What is the difference between 响,声,and 音. When I check the English translation, it says 响: echo, sound, noise, make a sound, to sound, to ring, loud, classifier for noises 声: sound, voice, tone, ...
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, ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

What is the difference (and english translation) between 风浪 and 涌浪?

As far as I can tell, 风浪 is waves created by wind, and 涌浪 would be waves created by tidal movements or surge waves. However, this is a very bulky way to describe them. What is the English for this ...
3
votes
1answer
229 views

How to say when a university was established

Chinese universities can use 建立于1926年 or 创立于1926年 or 创办于1926年to say "established in 1926." Are there significant differences between these? Also, is there any standard short form comparable to the ...
4
votes
2answers
146 views

How to translate “I hope I didn't embarrass you”?

"I hope I didn't embarrass you" 怎么翻译? 是不是:”希望我没让你没脸“ ?
15
votes
8answers
436 views

Why is 两 used for quantities of two rather than 二?

I understand that 两 is used instead of 二 when dealing with quantities of two. However, my question is - why? What are the historical reasons behind this? I looked at Wikitionary but it only had ...
2
votes
4answers
114 views

Difference between 沒轍, 莫可奈何,沒辦法

Can anyone help me with any differences between those words? C-E dictionaries say "there's no way out" or "nothing can be done" for all of them, C-C dictionaries say about the same. However, I was ...
4
votes
5answers
234 views

Is 起 too formal to use in day to day writing?

I read recently in a piece of poetry the sentence ”从明天起, 我会做一个幸福的人“ - what is the difference between this and, say, "从明天开始?“. Is 起 significantly more formal? Could I use it in day to day writing? ...
1
vote
3answers
168 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: ...
2
votes
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
117 views

Why is 的 used with 是 sometimes to answer in the affirmative? As in 是的

I've seen 是的 used multiple times as a "yes" answer to a question. As in the following interaction: A: 这只猫是你的吗? B: 是的。 How is it different than just 是 by itself? Thanks!
0
votes
3answers
53 views

Does this translation of a sentence accurately capture the information and grammar of the original sentence?

Background I am currently trying to translate this sentence, which comes out of an informational flyer. “那就一定不要错过[北京留学生友会]即浖联会为新老同学们免费举办的[汽车知识讲座]”。 Attempt My attempt at a translation is this. ...
1
vote
2answers
154 views

What is the difference between 随手 and 顺便?

These two have the same meaning which is "conveniently" but I'm not sure if there is any difference in using these two.
10
votes
4answers
266 views

What's the difference between 帐户 and 账户?

To my understanding, both mean "account", as in a bank account or online account. 账户 also appears to be the more common (100M search results) compared to 帐户 (about 50M results). What is the ...
1
vote
1answer
128 views

When to use 勿忘我 vs 不忘我 vs 别忘我

Is there any reason why 勿忘我 seems to be used more? are there specific scenarios or reasons why you would say 不忘我 or 别忘我 instead?
5
votes
4answers
629 views

What's the difference between 江 and 河?

My daily newsletter contained the following sentence: 长江是中国最长的河。 According to the dictionary, 江 and 河 both mean "river", but they seem to be used differently. Am I right in assuming that 长河是中国最长的江 ...
0
votes
1answer
105 views

Difference between 'unfortunately': 不幸 可惜 遗憾

What is the difference between these three words to mean unfortunately? Also, which one is the most appropriate for this sentence: My distant relative: "what is your job?" Me: "Unfortunately, my ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Usage of 一定 vs 当然

I recently had to select the correct answer for a homework assignment: 我学了10年汉语了,含有水平 。。。 很高 I chose 一定,but the correct answer turned out to be 当然 Was my answer incorrect, why? How do these ...
0
votes
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 ...
1
vote
5answers
187 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: ...
1
vote
3answers
77 views

Email as noun and verb

Could you guys and gals clarify how you use Email as noun and verb please? My textbook uses 电子邮件 as a noun and 发电子邮件 as a verb (send an Email). I have also found 伊妹儿 in a dictionary, which looks like ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

Phrase to describe “wow” or “amazing” (sounds like 'pang')

There was a word a friend mentioned which meant something to the effect of "wow" or "amazing" or "impressive" and the english pronunciation was similar to "pang" but I cannot be 100% certain. Is ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Words for shopping for medicine for athlete's foot in mainland China?

In my travels I sometimes get athlete's foot and my medicine for it is now running out while I'm in Guangzhou. I see there are several Chinese terms for this condition. It's always difficult to know ...
8
votes
3answers
667 views

了解 vs 明白 vs 知道 - what is the difference, and when should I use each one?

了解, 明白, and 知道 seem to be fairly synonymous in Mandarin, but there does seem to be some subtle differences between them. What exactly is the difference? When should I use each one? Could you give me ...
1
vote
4answers
138 views

Why not include “的” in “传统音乐”?

I have found the following two sentences: 他们正在演奏传统音乐。 这是一个传统的玩具。 Why does the former not use 的 but the latter does? I know you can remove 的 if you express family's relation as stated in other ...
2
votes
3answers
75 views

How do you describe the “growth/improvement” of “rights" (i.e. 权利)?

How do we describe the growth of “rights” (or more colloquially in English the "extension of rights' (e.g. the extension of women's rights, etc.)? Is it 女性权利的: 发展? 增加? 提高? 扩大? Let me know what you ...
6
votes
4answers
549 views

When would one use 临时 versus 及时?

Recently I read the following dialogue: A: 今天有转校生要来吗? B: 听说是这样,好象是临时决定的,所以才没有及时通知我们。 As I was trying to make out what they were saying, I noticed that 临时 and 及时 have similar meanings. The ...
2
votes
1answer
206 views

Difference between 只,之, and 支?

I'm a native speaker but I don't know the first thing about writing Chinese, on Rosetta stone we were shown 一支笔 and 一只狗, whats the difference and where and when do you use each one?
4
votes
4answers
153 views

What is the difference between 好多 vs. 很多?

I'm an ABC and I find myself often using 好多. I was talking to my dad yesterday and I noticed that I said it, but something just didn't seem right. Is this correct or does it not make any sense? I'm ...
16
votes
12answers
2k views

Is there a difference between 愿意 and 肯?

Is there a difference between 愿意 and 肯 in the following sentence? "Are you willing to go to China for work?" being translated to one of the two? 你愿不愿意去中国工作? 你肯不肯去中国工作?
1
vote
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 ...
4
votes
6answers
192 views

Modern loanwords in Chinese

I've noticed that in modern Chinese there's a lot of loanwords that are translated in multiple ways: 激光 vs 雷射 互联网 vs 因特网 Generally one version will sound similar to the English ...
8
votes
1answer
208 views

What's the difference between 同样 and 一样

I'm so confused about this two phrases, I think they can be used interchangeably in most circumstances, but here's the examples: 他们两个长得一样。 Why can't we say 他们两个长得同样? 妈妈点了一杯咖啡,我也一样。 Why can't we ...
3
votes
3answers
205 views

How do you say “rock a baby to sleep” in Chinese?

当一个小儿子在哭泣而妈妈为了让他睡觉就拿他上来而用胳膊轻轻的动他,这用汉语叫什么? When a young child is crying and the mother in order to make him sleep takes him up and gently move him with her arms, what do you call that in Chinese? PS ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

When should I say 你多大 or 你几岁 when asking age? [duplicate]

When should I say 你多大 or 你几岁 when asking age? Is one more formal than the other? are there any other alternatives, too?
5
votes
2answers
218 views

What's the difference between 否则, 要不, 不然, and 要不然?

They all mean "otherwise", and beyond that 要不 is more colloquially used I'm not sure how they differ in usage or meaning.
2
votes
2answers
377 views

Differentiate 不错 and 没错 in these situations [duplicate]

I have been having problems knowing when to use either 不错 or 没错. I think 不错 means 'great'; and 没错 means no mistake. Which should be used to: (a) praise somebody's work? (b) indicate nothing wrong ...
4
votes
2answers
199 views

What is the nuance of 很好?

Beginning textbooks say 很好 means "very good," but soon add that 很 is usually just there to balance the phrase and does not really mean "very" in this context. S.Rhee's comment cites a much fuller ...
0
votes
3answers
112 views

”e.g.“ and “i.e.”

I'm working on a translation that requires an "e.g.". For an example: "The way we cook food (e.g. baking or frying techniques) leads to different health consequences despite using he same ...
2
votes
4answers
119 views

A noun version of “need”

I'm trying to write a sentence with the phrase "eliminates the need to do sth..." and have gotten as far as “消除作sth..的————”, any suggestions? I don't think 需要or必须are very good choices because they are ...