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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

6
votes
5answers
731 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
137 views

What is the difference between 阅读, 读, and 看?

What is the difference between the three read verbs, 阅读,读,and 看? A casual googling gets you some explanations but as I still can't get it correctly and it has not been posted here, I wish someone ...
8
votes
3answers
516 views

What is the difference between 一只狗 and 一条狗?

I've been told by native speakers that the former refers to little dogs while the latter is for bigger dogs. I also have been told that the latter has a negative connotation. I'm wondering: how ...
0
votes
2answers
70 views

Difference between 借 and 贷

Both can either mean "to borrow" or "to lend". I know you can combine both of them "借贷" to mean "debit and credit". But what are the differences in usage and semantics between those two words. They ...
0
votes
3answers
77 views

What is the difference between 钱 and 金钱 (and 款)?

金钱 is just 钱 with an added 金 but both mean "money". Are there any semantics or grammar differences between the two? Also, 款 seems to also mean money. I know 款 is usually used after 贷 but can it also ...
0
votes
3answers
131 views

Difference between 生活 and 生命

Both 生活 and 生命 mean "life". Both can be modified by "好" (好生活/好生命). Like any language, I don't believe two words ever mean the exact identical thing. If anybody could point me to the subtle (or not so ...
0
votes
3answers
207 views

Does this sentence sound awkward?

I recently tried to compose a sentence to some who told me they were translating a book from English to Chinese. I responded to them: 太好了!很不幸,我的中文知识不足够的,所以不可能帮你们。加油,我很兴奋的! As I am not a native ...
0
votes
3answers
114 views

“to slice or cut (a finger)” in Traditional Chinese / Spoken Cantonese?

Haven't managed to find a usage that speaks specifically to cut or slice open a body part. Also seeing contradictions (or perhaps information gaps) between CantoDict and Pleco. Some notes: ...
0
votes
2answers
137 views

Why does this phrase use 似的 instead of 似地?

在他脑海中幻灯似的循环浮现 I think that 循环浮现 is a verb-phrase, right? In which case I would expect to see 似地 instead of 似的. Can someone explain this and provide a sample translation for the example sentence? ...
3
votes
3answers
139 views

How to distinguish between 吧 and 嘛, 罢 and 嘛

At the end of a sentence in a conversation, how does one distinguish between 吧 and 嘛, 罢 and 嘛? Thanks.
1
vote
1answer
115 views

Verbs to indicate animals walking?

What are the various verbs that can be used to indicate walking for animals? Saying something like 老虎开始走向巴士 or 小猫在街上走着 sounds odd to me.
1
vote
4answers
209 views

Use of the word BOTH in Chinese.

I've always been wondering how you would say, "I went to china both for travel and to study Chinese." So if someone asked you, "你是去中国旅行的还是去学习汉语的?" (Did you go for travel or for study?), and you ...
0
votes
2answers
109 views

婴儿、儿童、少年、成年 and other words related to age

I'm looking for words to define grade levels from babies to adults. According to what I've found on Baidu, the basic division is: (童年) 婴儿 - 0 to 3 years old 幼儿 - 3 to 6 years old (少年) 启蒙 - 7 to 10 ...
1
vote
3answers
80 views

Recovery; difference between 恢复 and 康复

When referring to a human being recovering from some illness/condition, does 恢复 or 康复 imply that the person is still in the process of recovery? Does 恢复 or 康复 imply that the person has fully ...
1
vote
2answers
88 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
105 views

“like” and “to be like” in Mandarin

I've been struggling with how to say "like" or "to be like" in mandarin. Other languages I know can do this quite tersely and basically all in the same way. Of course they're all Indo-European, and 3 ...
0
votes
2answers
116 views

How to express “I think” (not I feel)

I'm wanting to say, "I think China is the world's second biggest country." As, in, "I'm pretty sure this is the fact." I would have originally used 觉得. But apparently this is only for opinions? As ...
3
votes
3answers
316 views

What is the difference between 起码 and 至少?

nciku.com states that 起码 is an adjective meaning "minimum" and 至少 is an adverb meaning at least; but the examples seem to use both words interchangeably. Is one more colloquial than the other? Or is ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

Using 当然 as an exclamation?

I'm wondering... To answer someone's question as to whether something is so or not, can you simply reply, "of course it is!" just as we do in English? Example: Can you swim? (你会游泳吗?) Of course I ...
1
vote
2answers
116 views

Starting a sentence with “actually…”

I'm wondering how to express a certain function of "actually" in Chinese. Up to now I've always used 其实。But I'm not sure this is right for what I want to express. How would you translate this: A: ...
0
votes
2answers
87 views

Neng [能] vs Ke yi [可以] [duplicate]

What is the main differences between 能,and 可以? They both mean "to be able to", or simply "can", correct?
0
votes
3answers
150 views

Why are there four ways of writing 黄?

My keyboard does not allow me to input them all but I have found four (similar) ways in total of writing the Chinese character for yellow (黄). Why is this and how have these four forms come to differ?
0
votes
3answers
168 views

How do I say “share with me” in Chinese?

I'd like to know how to form a sentence such as, "He shared this information with me," "She shared her recommendations with me." I believe the "with" here is not 跟,和 or 与, since the "sharing" action ...
0
votes
2answers
91 views

Opening a Mahjong business. Does 熬云 sound like a business name? Have no idea what a normal Chinese business name sounds like

I believe this violates rules (at least it does in StackOverflow), because it's a subjective question. But this is a really big decision so I just wanted to tap any resources I could before moving ...
0
votes
3answers
135 views

What's the Difference Between 吹风 and 刮风?

In both word choice, and use, what is the difference between 吹风 and 刮风? Can I say "今天刮风很大“ but not say ”今天吹风很大“?
1
vote
2answers
114 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?
1
vote
2answers
93 views

Best way to express a change of subjects in a succession of events

I'm trying to say that "she will go eat after playing tennis with her friends" but I want to know if there are better ways of saying this then the ones I'm about to show 她和朋友打了网球,她去吃饭。 or 她跟朋友打网球以后,...
0
votes
3answers
123 views

Would it be incorrect to not include 儿 here?

For example, what's the difference between 那边儿 and 那边? When writing in Chinese do I need the 儿 because I've heard people say both.
6
votes
5answers
928 views

What's the most usual way to say “hand sanitizer” in Chinese?

I'm finding in the non-touristy places in China where I'm spending my time in cheaper places etc that there's often no place to wash your hands, or it's dirty, or there's no soap. I've been ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

How to say “giving someone the benefit of the doubt” in Chinese?

This expression connotes that one is willing to not insist on accusing someone of a mistake despite most evidence pointing to that someone as being responsible. As in a legal proceeding where the jury ...
2
votes
2answers
127 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," ...
6
votes
2answers
90 views

When to use 手 and when to use 家 for a type of musician or other specialist

Is it true that 家("jia")denotes perhaps greater competence or prestige, while 手(“手”) is a slightly less professional specialist? How can one know when to use one rather than the other? Examples: 乐手-...
12
votes
4answers
321 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 difference,...
1
vote
2answers
128 views

Difference and usage of 听看,听见,听到?

What's the difference between 听看,听见,听到? I heard someone use 听看 in reference to a song they would listen to? Does 听看 have a similar meaning to 看看 in that it means to have a quick look/listen?
5
votes
3answers
664 views

Difference between 前面 and 面前

If I got that correctly 前面 is used for things like 本子在书的前面 or 本子在书前 and 面前 is used for living creatures (the ones with a face) like 报纸在我的面前. Could you please confirm if I'm correct here or missing ...
4
votes
5answers
191 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
107 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
168 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: 我舅舅是个无照画家,和别人不同的是,他总在忙些正事。有时他在作画;有时他卖画,并且因此蹲在派出所里。他作画时把房门锁上,再戴上个防震耳罩,...
0
votes
1answer
99 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 ...
3
votes
7answers
228 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
338 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
125 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
151 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
3k 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
52 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
245 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
168 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“ ?