9
votes
3answers
318 views

Origin of -的干活?

There is a facetious phrase for asking someone what they do, using "的干活", most commonly in the fragment "什么的干活", or in this example exchange: A: 你的,什么的干活? (Who are you?) B: 我的,农民的干活. (I am a ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

What does this calligraphy say? who is it by? [closed]

I can't seem to find it anywhere, I was told it was by a famous Beijing lecturer (?). Thanks! http://i59.tinypic.com/2ptxmqx.png
1
vote
2answers
67 views

Is there any Simplified Chinese Thesaurus/Lexicon of cities. forenames and surnames, and commonwords?

I am working on a research project. I'd like to know if there's any lexicon or thesaurus or maybe a dataset (as complete as possible) with cities, forenames, surnames,placeNames, common words, all ...
3
votes
7answers
1k views

Can we call someone X太太 or not?

Can we call someone X太太 ? or is it the calling of husband to his wife? In my textbook everybody calls one women 錢太太. But my teacher said it is unsuitable. Which one is correct?
6
votes
6answers
592 views

Usage of 无 compared with 没有

I just stumbled across a new phrase 无消息。 This is the first time I've encountered 无. How it is used, and how it is different from 没有,as in 没有消息?
1
vote
2answers
149 views

Learn Chinese Step 1: Sounds (Pinyins). How different is it to English sounds and are there any good tips to learn? [closed]

Many Mandarin Chinese teachers claim that the step 1 for Learning Chinese is: Sounds (Pinyins). How different is it to English sounds and are there any good tips to learn?
7
votes
2answers
281 views
29
votes
10answers
8k views

的-地-得, when do you use which?

So the age old question of 的-地-得, when do you use which? When spoken, it all sounds the same, but on paper it depends on if it's a verb, noun, adjective. But I don't quite remember if that is all that ...
0
votes
1answer
132 views

Learn Chinese Step 2: Characters. Are there any good tips to learn the writing and make sense of these square characters? [closed]

Many Mandarin Chinese teachers claim that the step 2 for Learning Chinese is: Learning Characters, I know many learners skip this step and just focus on conversational skill, Q1: How different would ...
7
votes
6answers
408 views

“小王” 和 “老王” how to determine which to use?

This is something I still haven't mastered and still just go with the flow. If I wanted to call someone a nickname, say for Mr. Wang, which one should I choose? What defines whether I should call him ...
0
votes
1answer
238 views

Heisig's Learning the Hanzi books

Has anyone used the Heisig Remembering the Simplified/Traditional Hanzi? I've read that the traditional version is better. Any recommendations on whether it's better to use traditional book and then ...
2
votes
5answers
248 views

What is the difference between 听到、听过 and 听说?

There are 3 听 (hear or listen to), what is the difference between 听到、听过 and 听说?Thanks!
10
votes
4answers
789 views

Confusion about bian 邊 and miàn 面

I'm having a little trouble with learning directions and positions. It seems that most often the word bian is being used to indicate a position: front side 前邊, back side 後邊, etc. But then I see stuff ...
3
votes
1answer
191 views

What is the difference between 突然 and 忽然?

They both have sudden meaning, but what is subtle difference between 突然 and 忽然?Thanks!
2
votes
3answers
128 views

Chinese equivalent of “I'm stealing that joke”

Is there a Chinese equivalent of I'm stealing that joke? I just heard a hilarious joke, and I'd like to say "that's a great joke, I'm stealing it" (i.e. I will use it myself). Is there a Chinese ...
4
votes
1answer
164 views

What is the difference between 竟然 and 居然?

As I know, 竟然 and 居然 both mean "unexpectedly". Do they have any difference?
1
vote
2answers
91 views

Usage of the word 欠 and 了 in 那我一分钱也不欠你的了

I've been struggling to get my head around how to properly use the word 欠. The dictionary has to lack, as a meaning, but I can't find any example sentences with it used that way, only owe. ...
1
vote
1answer
199 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
188 views

What is the difference between 撒谎 and 说谎?

As far as I know, 撒谎 and 说谎 have the same meaning of "telling a lie". Is there a difference between them?
2
votes
3answers
155 views

What is the grammar behind 没四百下不来

Ok so I recently heard the phrase on a tv show 没四百下不来 I kind of intuitively understand in the context that it meant that not even 400元 could buy the flowers that they were discussing. ...
3
votes
3answers
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, ...
5
votes
5answers
312 views

What is the difference between 投诉 and 抱怨?

is there a difference between 投诉 and 抱怨? All I know is that they both mean "complain".
7
votes
7answers
1k views

Why do native speakers often say a character has “no meaning”?

Many times I will know all the characters in a name but one & I'll ask what that one character means. 9 times out of 10 the response is, "That character has no meaning". While it might be true ...
1
vote
3answers
258 views

What is the difference between 假如 and 例如?

What's the difference between 假如 and 例如? As far as I know, their usage is the same.
-2
votes
1answer
69 views

Found a grocery list - used it for handwriting reading practice. Corrections?

I'm sure the first one is wrong and definitely couldn't figure out the one with fish. Fairly certain of the ones with pork. 西乳柿, 小葱, 排骨, ?鱼, 龙骨, 山药, 豆子, 猪腰, 猪肺?
4
votes
2answers
107 views

Which “if” is appropriate for what situations

As a follow up to "What is the difference between 假如 and 例如?" I've become unclear on the use of the if statement in Chinese. For the most part I would use 如果 as an if statement when ever it's ...
9
votes
2answers
190 views

What is the difference between 有名,著名 and 闻名?

We know 名 means name or famous, what is the subtle difference between 有名,著名 and 闻名? Thanks!
1
vote
2answers
136 views

What is the difference between 差别, 分别, and 区别?

All of them can mean difference. Are all of them interchangeable when used to mean 'difference?'
4
votes
1answer
341 views

What is the difference between 变成、变化、变得、改变、转变?

There are five 变 here, so what is the difference between 变成、变化、变得、改变、转变? Thanks!
5
votes
3answers
684 views

Is “biang” a phonologically possible syllable in Mandarin Chinese?

One of the local specialty favourite dishes in Shaanxi province where I am now is Biángbiáng miàn. Photo by hippietrail The hanzi character for "biáng" is usually the focus of discusssions of this ...
7
votes
1answer
229 views

What is the difference between 傻瓜 and 笨蛋?

May sound like a silly question, but is there a difference between 傻瓜 and 笨蛋?
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Chinese computer vocabulary, and most frequently encountered common computer terms

What are the most frequent words I'm likely to encounter when using a computer in Chinese. Stuff like file menu, cut, copy, paste, edit, properties, ok, cancel, back, refresh, save, print etc... ...
3
votes
3answers
236 views

Etymology of 三寸不烂之舌

三寸不烂之舌 is used to describe great eloquence, similar to the English phrase "silver tongue". How exactly did this phrase come about? What does "三寸" mean? What's the meaning of "烂" in this phrase? Some ...
0
votes
1answer
208 views

How to use 的 in Chinese? [closed]

I'm recently studying the most frequently used Chinese characters list, and 的 is the #1 in the list, which means it is the MOST USED character in Chinese! So my question is how to use 的 in Chinese? ...
0
votes
1answer
110 views

What is the difference between 不 and 没? [duplicate]

I know 不 is the negative prefix for a verb, such as 不是. However 没 is also a negative prefix, such as 没有, so what is the difference between 不 and 没? Thanks!
0
votes
1answer
73 views

How to use 了 in Chinese? [duplicate]

I know 了 is a indicator for past tense in Chinese. But it seems there are more usages for this character, so how to use 了 in Chinese? Thanks!
1
vote
3answers
216 views

What do you think about this introduction to answering Yes/No questions?

I have found a lot of information about asking questions but very little about answering them. I want to create a rule to help learners answer affirmative/negative questions in Chinese. Presently I ...
5
votes
6answers
236 views

How can I interpret 多 in this sentence?

It must be pretty easy, but what does 多 mean here? 我才来了三个多月
5
votes
2answers
438 views

Difference between 别 and 不

I know that a typical way to negate a verb is to stick 不 in front of it. But I learned some phrases that use 别 instead: 别担心, 别客气 and so on, all of them in short polite fixed phrases. I know that I ...
3
votes
2answers
502 views

What is the difference between 由于 and 因为?

What is the difference between "由于" and "因为"? For example, what is the difference between 由于今天是公共假期,我不需要上学。 and 因为今天是公共假期,我不需要上学。 Thanks.
1
vote
1answer
176 views

What is the difference between qi3 and qi3 lai2?

In both situations my pen is now on a table. Speaking to another person, why do we say: 1) Qing3 na2 qi3 wo3 de5 bi3. 请拿起我的笔。 Not: 2) Qing3 na2 qi3 lai2 wo3 de5 bi3. 请拿起来我的笔。 How does the ...
5
votes
4answers
590 views

Making sense of 去华山怎么走比较好?

The following dialogue is in NPCR 2, Lesson 23, listening exercise 7 in the exercise book, and my attempt in translating it. I'm unsure about the sentence marked in red. I have not learned the ...
1
vote
1answer
145 views

招财、招福, why cats?

I have heard the phrase "猫来穷, 狗来富" before but everywhere people have 招财猫s and 招福猫 ornaments, bracelets and the like. So what's the deal? What's the association between cats and good fortune and/or ...
4
votes
1answer
384 views

Is there a difference between 担心 (dānxīn) and 着急 (zháojí)?

They're both verbs, they both have meanings "to worry, to be anxious", they both seem to be able to be used as adjectives also. I just want to know if there's any difference: is one used more in ...
6
votes
2answers
150 views

Where can I find isogloss maps for Mandarin?

It seems that questions about resources are generally accepted on the site. If not, please let me know. I was wondering if anyone knew where to find maps with isoglosses for dialects of Mandarin. I ...
2
votes
2answers
243 views

Correct context for 大河向东流哇

As part of my immersion process I am studying Chinese lyrics of songs that I like. Many times I find Chinese phrases that I understand all of the words but none of the context. In this case 大河向东流哇 ...
6
votes
2answers
150 views

What is the proper word order when a sentence contains an adverb using 地 and a coverb phrase?

Can anyone provide some guidance on word order of a sentence if it has an adverb using 地 and coverb phrases. I thought 地 always came directly in front of the verb, but then I saw this site: ...
1
vote
1answer
301 views

What is the difference between 举行 and 举办?

What is the difference between "举行" and "举办"? Both of them have the meaning of 'holding / organizing an event", but do they have any difference? Thanks.
2
votes
3answers
139 views

Difference between 成员 and 会员?

Is there any difference between 成员 and 会员? Both mean member. I encountered this in a Level 2 Chinese workbook. Are they used in different contexts?
3
votes
7answers
533 views

Is 其他人 any different from 别的人?

I guess the question could also be, is 其他 any different from 别的? Is one any more formal, any more slang, any more rude, anything of the sort, than the other? Or are they essentially the same? ...

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