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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 ...


15

Very good question. 还是 is usually used in asking questions. For example: 你想去北京还是上海呢? = Did you want to go to Beijing or Shanghai? 这是橙子还是橘子? = Is this orange or mandarin? 或者 is usually used in declarative sentence. For example: 我想去北京或者上海. = I wanted to go to Beijing or Shanghai. 你可以叫我小王或者老王. = You can call me Xiao Wang or Lao Wang.


13

Just as @Flake said: In general, "小X" should be used to a person who is younger than you while "老X" to an older person. And here is some additional usages: Generally speaking, 老X is often used to address a male, and 小X can be used for both male & female. 老X can be used to a person who is an acquaintance to you(usually both of you have almost the ...


13

人家 has many different meanings. Regarding the meaning in question, The literal meaning is "that person" or "someone", indirectly referring to oneself like "guess who" in English. This might be the reason you find something passive about it. It's used by young girls/ladies to address themselves in a cute, innocent or flirtatious tone. It is informal and ...


11

“而已” is always used at the end of a sentence and with words like “仅仅”,"只","不过". A similar word in Chinese is "罢了"(actually, this word comes from 满语). You use the structure "......(part A),不过......(part B)而已" to emphasize the expression that A is just limited within B. You could only use "不过", also, and "而已“ weakens your mood and sometimes expresses that you ...


10

There are a few differences between those three words: "以及" can only connect phrases,not words. The phrases after "以及" is commonly considered to secondary. "与" and "和" are used to express the relationship. "与" is more elegant than "和". such as "老人与海". "和" is mostly used in oral form. In some cases,"和" and "与" are somewhat interchangeable, such as ...


10

Uncles of mother's side are called 舅舅, while uncles of father's side if he's older than your father you have to call him 伯, and 叔 for younger ones. If you have more than one 舅 or 叔 or 伯. You need to add some prefix to specified them, like 大舅 for the oldest brother of you mother, the following are 二舅, 三舅... For 叔叔 伯伯 they apply the same, except there is no ...


10

A reasonable translation of "你说的" is: "That which you spoke". 的 turns 你说 (a verbal phrase) into 你说的 (a noun). 你说是什么 doesn't make any sense grammatically - it means "You said is what?" You can say, "你说什么" - which is literally, "You said what?" or in proper English, "What did you say?" 你说的是什么, however, means "That which you said is what?" or properly, "What ...


10

The gender neutral form of the term 先生 is an antiquated Chinese title used for addressing a knowledgeable person who is your senior. This person could be a teacher, a principal, a scholar, a professor or a doctor. This term, which literally means "born (生) before (先)", has been in use for a very long time. Somebody who is born before you would be your ...


10

Can this be used for people hold onto broken items/trash? Yes. This is the most common usage and safe to use. Can this be used for getting over failed relationships? Yes but don't use it if there is still chance for the relationship to be fixed or if the other party is also your friend. Because 旧的 (old thing) is more or less derogatory. Can this be ...


9

I think it could be close to the fact to say "曾经(once)“ is used in the past tense, while "已经(already)" is used in the perfect(past, present, or future, it doesn't matter) tense, that's why ”了" is often used with it.. So when you are using the present perfect tense or future perfect tense, only 已经 can be used. For example(where 曾经 can't be used): ...


9

There are multiple uses for both 了 and 过, so it's good you are just asking about usage to express past action or events. 了, as you probably know, is often used to express a change of state. Perhaps somewhat relatedly, 了 can be used to express a past action that is still ongoing. But 过 cannot: when 过 is used to refer to a past event, that past event must ...


9

I am pretty sure that you have the second to last character wrong. It makes much more sense as 件 (item). Also, 折 should be read as zhé in this context. The character has a large number of meanings, but in this context it means discount (and the single digit numbers preceding it count by 10%; this is a common idiomatic construction for expressing ...


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

可以 means I can do it, but may I? For example 我可以开车吗? May I drive? (Have the implication of I want to drive) 我可以开车 I can drive (have the implication of I can, but I don't want to (unwilling to do so)) 会 means I am able to, or I know how to do it For example 你会开车吗? Can you drive? (Are you able to drive? Do you know how to drive? Or even Do ...


8

As pointed out by xiaohouzi79, 晨 actually carries the meaning of sunrise, hence implying early morning. However this indication is weak, especially when you contrast 早晨 and 早上。 However 早上 would cover the entire morning, say, from 6am to 11:59am. Therefore in a way, it is less specific. If we want to refer to extremely early morning, before dawn, say 3am to ...


8

As far as I know the people of Beijing and Hebei province often use 瞧,for example: 瞧病(go to hospital) 瞧您说的 In fact,In most north parts of China use 瞧,such as 让我瞧瞧(Let me see) is often heard in Shanxi Province. It is more often to hear such word in dialect than in mandarin.


8

接受(accept) ≠ 接收(receive) 接受 means agreeing to something 接收 means getting something I have made some amendments to the six sentences (in brackets) for clearer understanding of the meaning: 我接受(了)邀请。I accepted the invitation. 他将接受口试。He will be (accepting) an oral test.* 他拒绝接受治疗。 He refused (to accept) treatment. 我接收了邀请(函)。I received the invitation ...


8

So who came up with those common name translations at first place? Those common name translations are known as 音译 or transcription. In Chinese, transcription is known as yīnyì (simplified Chinese: 音译; traditional Chinese: 音譯) or yìmíng (simplified Chinese: 译名; traditional Chinese: 譯名). While it is common to see foreign names left in their original forms ...


8

It's the transliteration of the French word salon. It is equivalent to the English word saloon or salon (alternative spellings). The French word probably is derived from the Italian word salone meaning a large living area in the house or more generally a place where people gather to socialize. In China, the hairdresser's is often an unofficial social ...


8

所...的 and ...的 are different. Function of ...的 As you have already known, ...的 can construct adjective clause. (我喜欢)+的+东西 (subject + verb) + 的 + noun = noun + which + subject + verb And in Chinese, the noun can be omitted in a clear context. In this case, ……的 constructs a noun clause. 我喜欢的(人)是你。 Who I like is you. (subject + verb) + 的 ...


7

You can use 完 and 了 together or separately. 了 is usually used to indicate the completion of an action. E.g. 你买了好多东西 (You purchased a lot of stuff). See the question "Tense and use of 了" to learn more. 完 is used to indicate the action of completing/finishing something. E.g. "說話沒完的人" (a motormouth, someone who talks to no end). Usually it's verb + 完. 完了 ...


7

I am a native speaker, and I'm no expert. But I do think you have some misunderstanding towards "什么" and "来着" in these examples. 大家都是朋友,你客气什么呢。 In this sentence, "什么" means "what ... for". The whole sentence means something like: "(Considering) we are friends, (I have to ask) what are you being 客气 for?" You can say it helped in expressing negation. ...


7

先生 is an address with long history. But it is important that this address is only for male during a very very long time. Here are part of them (may have relevance to this question): Original meaning is literal, first born. 《诗·大雅·生民》:诞弥厥月,先生如达。 朱熹 集传:“先生,首生也。 Later extended as father or elder brother. 《仪礼·有司》:其先生之脀,折胁一。 郑玄 注:先生,长兄弟。 Older and learned ...


7

Yes. It is an issue. But 姐 or 大姐 is not very appropriate sometimes. You can use 姐 or 大姐 to call a lady who is elder than you. But they'd better be not very young. To call a young lady, 美女 is popular now in cities, though maybe they are not really very beautiful. If there is some context, like to call a waitress, just use 服务员 or other address expressing ...


7

只 is more limited in grammatical scope: it can only function as an adverb, preceding the verb. 光 has a larger range of related uses, from being a pre-verbal adverb (also called a restrictive adverb) like 只, to a resultative complement used when a verb 'finishes' an associated noun (e.g. in 吃光了), as well its adjectival/adverbial meaning of 'empty' and ...


7

Part I - OP Usage To avoid confusion, Part I will stick to the usage OP is asking, and skip the other meaning of 只 and 光. The following two sentences are the same. 只剩下2毛钱 光剩下2毛钱 They both can be translated to either of the following. Only 2 cent left Just 2 cent left Both 只 and 光 mean(or translate to) only or just, in this case. In most cases, ...


7

不好意思 has two meanings which are quite similar but applied differently. Quoting from 汉典 (English translation mine): ①表示碍于情面而只能怎样或不便怎样。(to indicate a face-saving compromise) This is usually used as a form of acknowledgement and indirect acceptance of another person's kindness or generosity when none is expected. The person saying it usually has little ...


7

之 is the wenyan equivalent of Mandarin 的. Here are some examples from a Classical Chinese textbook: 鄰人之父 > 鄰居的老人 ‘an old man who lived next door’ 衛國之法 > 衛國的法律 ‘the laws of Wei’ 仁義 之 道 > 仁義的 道理 ‘the doctrine of benevolence and righteousness’ Because parts of speech in wenyan are quite flexible, using 之 to link two ...


6

This is used for both actions in progress and things that are happening in present tense, such as "she is wearing a dress". I sometimes equate this to the -ing suffix. Examples: 他穿着西装弹吉他 He (She) is wearing a suit and playing guitar 你帮我看着他 Help me look out for him (her) (at this moment) 你看他扛着那么大的一个东西 See him carrying such a big thing ...



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