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

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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
169 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
458 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
124 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
260 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
221 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
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
121 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
59 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
229 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.
1
vote
1answer
156 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?
0
votes
1answer
128 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
121 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
193 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
82 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
136 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
750 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
149 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
78 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
566 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
226 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
178 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
133 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
212 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
226 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
217 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
286 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
423 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
213 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
118 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 ingredients....
2
votes
4answers
122 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
254 views

In novels, what would be a good english translation for “師祖”?

師祖 As in heads of martial schools, or masters of martial schools. I suppose "founder" can do, but it doesn't sound right. "Elders" is taken by another word, and "master" only seems to work for a ...
4
votes
3answers
254 views

What is the difference between 群 and 羣?

As titled. They seem to be made up of the same two components: 羊 and 君. As such, are they interchangeable? Or do they have different usage regardless?
2
votes
5answers
218 views

Can you apply 男子汉 and 女汉子 to non-Chinese?

The term 汉奸 probably only works for Han Chinese traitors, but what about other '汉's?
0
votes
5answers
235 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: 小偷覺察屋子裡有人,...
1
vote
5answers
394 views

English equivalent for 辛苦了 when the speaker is not the person being helped out

Per the answers to this question, it is clear that you can say 辛苦了 to express gratitude for someone else's help. But suppose you are working or studying, and somebody else (who is not related to the ...
3
votes
5answers
149 views

Are these correct headings for a spreadsheet?

The spreadsheet is related to food safety (processing, handling, storage, etc.) ID: 编号 (项目?) Process: 制程 Food category:食品类别 Standard: 标准 Frequency (as in how many times per day or every how many ...
2
votes
2answers
113 views

Why is 对…不置一词 used like this?

该声明对东盟一些成员国长期以来在南海的大规模填海造地和军事建设活动不置一词。 I am having trouble with 对...不置一词。 So apparently, the sentence translates to, "This statement is not saying anything to stuff the ASEAN member nations have been ...
10
votes
1answer
294 views

What does “老” in “老虎” and “老鼠” mean

As I remember, 虎 and 鼠 are standalone nouns, meaning tiger and mouse, respectively. However, it seems that 老虎 and 老鼠 are more commonly used. Why is 老 used as a prefix for 虎 and 鼠? Why do we use 獅子 ...
3
votes
4answers
360 views

What is the polite/proper way to address elderly whom I am not familiar with?

I was wondering what is the polite way to address elderlies I do not know. Take the following context for example. Perhaps I visit a store and there is an elderly woman running the register and I ...
1
vote
2answers
222 views

Is there a word to describe “more demand than offer”?

Is there a word which is used to describe the situation when demand for some goods are so high that sellers cannot satisfy it. It usually leads to rapid growth of prices and crowds in shops, even up ...
2
votes
4answers
432 views

What is the meaning of “拜了个拜”?

I heard this phrase from some Chinese-speaking stranger. I assume it's related to farewell since the stranger was waving hand to someone else, but what does it mean exactly? Is there a certain context ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

Why is 情结 used here?

然后该文作者笔锋一转,接着就指出了中国这种民族主义自豪情节的另一个方面. But then, the author of this article accurately points out another aspect of this Chinese nationalistic pride. I thought "自豪" alone is good enough, because it ...
3
votes
2answers
72 views

Help to understand this phrase?

作者首先提到了中国 媒体对于西方世界民主制度的一贯批判手法 The writer first mentions that the Chinese media have always been critical of one thing in the Western World’s democracies. I don't get "一贯批判手法." I suppose it means ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

What is the difference between 通常,经常,and 常常?

What is the difference between 通常,经常,and 常常? I hear them a lot in conversational Chinese, but I can't pick out the difference in meaning. The dictionaries I've checked don't seem to agree on their ...
7
votes
1answer
218 views

“惡” vs “噩” vs “厄”

I have seen these three characters forming the "same" words (I cannot think of a better way to phrase this), such as 惡夢 vs 噩夢 and 惡運 vs 噩運 vs 厄運 As I tried googling for the difference, I ...
4
votes
3answers
71 views

Formality of “悲哀” as opposed to “悲傷” and “哀傷”

From what I have learned, or I remember I have learned, 悲哀, 悲傷, and 哀傷 all mean sadness and are interchangeable. However, as I remember, I have read 悲傷 and 哀傷 in academic/professional writings, but ...
4
votes
7answers
364 views

不得不, 必须, 只好, 应该: what's the difference?

This is what I'm thinking: 不得不 pm. "cannot but, have to" this seems colloquial, and the fact that dictionaries think of this as a set phrase/fixed expression makes me think so. Also feels like ...