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16

There are so many subtle differences and I don't think one can summarise these differences in a set of simple rules. When referring to food in general, 食物 (edit: or 食品) can be used. Note that 食物 is a compound word, which literally means "something (物) to eat (食)". Examples: 食物安全 "food safety", 红十字会正为地震灾民分发食物 "Red Cross is now distributing food to the ...


11

In my experience, when referring to a single subject, I have never seen 他 used as a female pronoun. 她 is used for females, and 它 used for non-gendered or non-human subjects. Do note that 他 has meanings outside pronouns; it can have the meaning of "other". In these cases, 他 is used and never 她. Examples include 他人 (other people), 他乡 (a place far away from ...


10

I am Taiwanese, and I have even had this "餅乾" once. Generally, we can refer to almost every snack that is made with flour and "cracks" in your mouth as 餅乾. So when you say you want some 餅乾, people will not only give you crackers, but also cookies, potato chips, wafer cookies, wafer rolls, mille feuille, etc. These things have their own specific names, of ...


10

There are some differences between these two words. > “着急” Used as an adjective: 1. Something emergent happens (in other words, something horrible or fatal is very likely going to happen), and you feel upset. For example, when you lost your kids or you're going to be late for your work. Example 一位母亲因为找不到她的孩子而非常着急。(Can't use "担心") A ...


9

“坏” is a very general word meaning something "useless", but what makes the thing "坏了" has many reasons, and “破了” is one of them, so when something's state is “破了”, you can also say something is “坏了”;However “破” means something is broken or has cracks. So when you describe something that is useless because of inner reasons such as quality, but it still looks ...


8

由于 means "due to" or "because of". 因为 means "because". There are also some differences in usage too, 由于 is usually placed at the beginning of a sentence 由于天气恶劣,飞机被迫折返梳邦机场降落。 Due to the bad weather, the plane is forced to turn back to land at Subang Airport. 因为 can be used where the cause is stated following the effect 我不需要上学,因为今天是公共假日。 I don't ...


7

The 坊 in 金马碧鸡坊 refers to 牌坊. There is a 金马牌坊 and a 碧鸡牌坊 as mentioned in the Wikipedia article. In the olden days, an arch known as 牌坊 is used to mark the entrance to a city subdivision. From Wikipedia: The largest division within a city in ancient China was a fang (坊), equivalent to current day precinct. Each fang was enclosed by walls or fences, ...


7

I am a Chinese. 新 means new and 生 means unfamiliar. In your daily study, a word you first see could be either 新词 (new word) or 生词 (unfamiliar word) to you. However, in public articles, 新词 usually stand for newly made word (ABSOLUTELY NEW TO EVERYONE), and 生词 stand for unfamiliar word (RELATIVELY NEW TO SOMEONE). Hope this helps.


6

The counterpart of 老太太 could be 老先生. It has a sense of showing respect. You can also say 老奶奶 (female) and 老爷爷 (male), which is more neutral. Personally I feel 老头 is impolite, especially when combined with "一个" as in "一个老头". I'd rather use 老人 to say 我今天看到一个老人在喂鸽子, of course, this doesn't imply the gender of the old person. 老头子 is more commonly found in how ...


6

That looks like onomatopoeia (象声词) so it means exactly what it sounds like: jiyi. In this case though, the 咿 (yi) and the dash (—) are meant to extend the "i" sound, so it's just "jiiiii--" altogether. 嘰/叽 is usually used for small birds chirping, as in the second definition:  2. 象聲詞:小鳥~~叫。 If you look at this list of Chinese onomatopoeia, you may ...


6

I'm pretty sure it doesn't have any meaning in Mandarin itself, given that "words" in Mandarin end with either a vowel, "n", or "ng" (as per the pinyin romanization). It could be another word from English but I doubt it (given that I can't think of any other words with similar spelling/pronunciation in common usage). Moreover, in my experience, most people ...


6

上 here means about(相关). Try to understand it like this: 那个是我工作相关的东西 If you omit 上, it'd be understand as the item used for work rather than about. 那个是我工作的东西 sounds a bit like 那个是我工作用的东西. Anyway, both are rarely spoken for native Mandarin speakers. You'd better provide more context.


5

Yes, 觉得 expresses more of what someone thinks based on feeling. 认为 expresses more of a person's opinion based on considerations and beliefs. As such, 认为 is always stronger than 觉得 when communicating thoughts. There are cases where the two words are not interchangeable: When expressing a strong belief: 在过去,人们认为喜欢抛头露面的妇女是不守妇道的。 In the past, people ...


5

I found the same situation, living in China for quite some time, and unlike some other people who have answered, I understand exactly what you're asking. It was quite annoying to try to learn new words when the native speaker just tells you the meaning of 3 characters together and doesn't know or can't explain each character's meaning. I think the answer is ...


5

I personally believe that every character has its function in the sentence, but not all characters have a "translatable" meaning. Many characters, when they are added to the sentence, don't change the literal meaning of the sentence, but may create an emphasis or introduce a certain emotion, and there is no English equivalent to this phenomenon. Maybe that's ...


5

Generally speaking, it is always appropriate to use “先生” as it is a title used to show your respect for others, especially those elder than you. Because the title “先生” can be understood as "born before you", which implys that they deserve your respect. E.g. Mr. Green 格林先生 Mr. Tom 汤姆先生 Mr. Tom Green 格林·汤姆先生 Hello, mister. 您好,先生。 --- In ...


5

One of the meanings of 白 is, roughly "in vain": 没有成就的,没有效果的:~忙。~说 I think it's easier to imagine how white/plain become "without effect" than it is to imagine how it became "nonsense". P.S. 白话 means "plain speech" = vernacular, as far as i know.


5

I'm pretty sure that the " Bei Wu Long" is "摆乌龙". "乌龙" in Cantonese sounds like "own goal" in English. You know own goal is a big mistake, right? It is a long story. According to this website, is is original from a folk tale in Canton. Once upon a time, there was a drought. People prayed to the "青龙"(Green Dragon) because it can bring rain. However, at last ...


5

I think that this is more a product of the fact that 我饿了 is something we don't commonly explicitly express in English. We say "I am hungry" and let context and tone of voice determine whether this is some new information (I am hungry now) or merely the expression of a continuing state of affairs (I have been and continue to be hungry). I have become hungry ...


5

Literally 笨蛋 and 傻瓜 mean stupid and silly respectively. I would say, as a native speaker, 笨蛋 is used as a negative adjective for others while 傻瓜 is more teasing especially for the the speakers themselves. Also, it depends on the status of the speaker and listener, for example, we will call the kids 笨蛋, but call the wife 傻瓜 when they make the same mistake. ...


4

google told me "Mut zur Lücke" means "dare to venture into the unknown", and I can't find a Chinese phrase that have the same meaning xD. But there is a expression, 碰运气, which means to "push your luck". So in your example about the exam, you can say 碰一碰运气吧,这部分我不复习了(Let me push my luck and skip this part). P.S. In Chinese, 人品 means moral qualities. Chinese ...


4

In ancient Chinese, 太 means 'big', 'oldest/most senior', 'extreme'... The second meaning have largely fallen out of use today, but still survives in words such as 太郎 (the oldest son, mainly used in japanese),太子(the crown prince, usually the oldest son of the king),... Here 太狼 is an intentional pun of 太郎, making the name 灰太狼 sound like a Japanese name 'grey ...


4

Politeness in Mandarin is expressed by using different politeness elements, which include politeness characters, wording or manner of speaking. Usualy one element is enough in one sentence, because using 2+ elements in the same sentence may sound too polite, causing a feeling of distance. Would you please pour me some water? 请给我倒些水好吗? Note: it is ...


4

According to 现代汉语虚词词典: 根据 - (介词) 介绍得出某种论断的依据。介词短语可以修饰主谓短语。 按照 - (介词) 表示动作行为遵从莫一标准。 So, in actuality, the times when they are completely interchangeable (meaning not just that the sentence would make sense, but that it would also have the same meaning) would appear to be relatively rare, even though they translate to roughly the same thing in English. 按照 ...


4

酿 means lead to/result in in that sentence. As the original meaning of 酿 is "the process of making wine", the sentence A + 酿(成) + B is a metaphor for "A leads to B (in a gradual/long-term process)", 喻事情积渐而成. Issue of the causality Personally, I think the sentence 苹果 iPhone 5 酿致命意外。 Apple iPhone 5 leads to a fatal accident. is not rigorous ...


4

虚荣 is a noun as well, meaning vanity. Now it's easy to get what 爱慕虚荣 means -- pursuing superficial things. 爱慕虚荣 sounds more literary. When referring to the character of a person, it is fine to say both 她是一个爱慕虚荣的人 and 她是一个虚荣的人. Both are common. The choice of the word also depends on the actual construction of the sentence. If there are other two-character ...


4

The line without 是 is not a correct sentence because it doesn't have a verb. It's fine in spoken language but should be avoided in formal writing. In this sentence, it is fine to omit 的 in spoken language, too. To recap, 你的生日是几月几号? Grammatical, fine for both formal and informal usages. 你的生日几月几号?Not a complete sentence, only used in spoken ...


4

This is a typical example of Chinese English. 「四航」is the company or institution who built the ship. It has nothing to do with the ship's structure. I read 「四」 in 「四航」 as fourth. There might or might not be 「一航」 or 「二航」. Here's the official website for 「四航」. 「四航」 is short for 「第四航务工程局」, it's a company mainly engaged in construction of a variety of ...


4

Try a dictionary such as the excellent 汉典. 生 is both a common and ancient character, so it has many meanings (汉典 lists 20), although a lot of them are related. The definition you are after is this one, which means "unfamiliar":  11. 不熟悉的,不常见的:~疏。~客。~字。陌~。 This is subtly different from 新 which means "new".


4

Yes, they both have the "broken" meaning, with subtle differences. Unfortunately there are not many situations where you can simply replace one with the other - everyone will understand but you will still sound awkward if you use the wrong character. Plus there may be regional differences! I suppose if you had to generalise, 破 is used when the breakage is ...



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