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visits member for 2 years, 11 months
seen Jul 21 at 0:21

Jan
11
comment Why is 有 (yǒu) the only verb that requires 没 while other verbs can use 不?
Having trod on a number of toes, I think I've pinned down the problem. Questions that ask 'Why does Chinese...?' are usually not good questions. They either attract off-target (albeit often useful) explanations of usage, or vague speculation about language. StormShadow was right to say that 'you are asking a question that makes no sense in the context of the language itself'. Sometimes the only answer is: 'That's how it is. That's how Chinese is constructed'. My humble suggestion is that 'Why does Chinese...?' questions should always be rephrased in a way designed to elicit concrete answers.
Jan
11
comment Where is the correct place to use 您 when addressing others?
您 is very widely used in Beijing, to the extent that it strikes outsiders who come here for the first time.
Jan
11
answered When would 产生了 be used?
Jan
11
revised Why does the construction of 要是…的话 mean “if”?
Added rough translation
Jan
11
revised Correct terms for a roadside gutter and gutter on a roof
Added note on the occurrence of several alternative terms
Jan
11
answered Correct terms for a roadside gutter and gutter on a roof
Jan
11
answered Why does the construction of 要是…的话 mean “if”?
Jan
11
comment Are there standard dictionaries for Chinese?
现代汉语词典 may be 'standard', but it has problems, being too northern in emphasis and still rather '50s plebeian style' in its usage judgments. I don't think it can really be relied on as a standard authoritative dictionary; its attempts to delimit usage can be and are regularly ignored. It's also too small. As a trivial example, it doesn't list 溏鹅 for pelican, but if you tried to insist that 溏鹅 isn't a proper Chinese word because it's not in 现代汉语词典, you'd really have your priorities mixed up.
Jan
11
comment Why is 有 (yǒu) the only verb that requires 没 while other verbs can use 不?
StormShadow, your point about taboo characters is correct. Your point that grammatical rules are often arbitrary is also correct. What is questionable is the attempt to link the two together. At any rate, I don't particularly want to go around insulting people by trashing their speculations. What struck me was that naive, fairly unanswerable questions are being asked (a bit like asking 'Why does Chinese have four tones?') and points are being awarded for answers that aren't really accurate.
Jan
11
awarded  Commentator
Jan
11
comment Why is 有 (yǒu) the only verb that requires 没 while other verbs can use 不?
True, the other answers aren't much chop, either. This is not my website, but I'm wondering if this is really the kind of question that should be asked here. Like a lot of questions on stackexchange, it seems to arise from a sense of idle curiosity rather than a genuine desire to learn Chinese. (There is nothing wrong with being curious, but some of these questions seem to be just killing time.) Anyhow, as I said, this is not my site, so it's not really my call...
Jan
11
comment What is the difference between 做番 vs. 做返?
Sorry, it is probably more accurate to say that 普通话 is largely based on the northern colloquial (the more usual sense of 白话), which developed as a written language in early modern times.
Jan
11
comment What is the difference between 做番 vs. 做返?
Just thought you should know that Cantonese speakers in Mainland China often refer to the Cantonese dialect as 白话. This is not widely known to northerners or even to people in Hong Kong, but it's a very common usage in those parts. The official standard language is known as 普通话, which is largely based on the written form of the northern colloquial (which is the more usual sense of 白话).
Jan
11
comment Why is 有 (yǒu) the only verb that requires 没 while other verbs can use 不?
Perhaps 'modal auxiliary' is a slightly better explanation, but applying a label doesn't really explain much. To explain why they are defective verbs, you would probably have to go back to proto-Germanic or further. To explain 没 you would probably have to go back to early modern Chinese (since, AFAIK, 没 isn't used as a negative in Classical Chinese). To compare the usage of 没 to character taboos related to emperor's names is really just nonsense.
Jan
11
comment What does 糗大 (qiǔdà) mean?
I think that if someone wants to add pinyin that is fine. One big problem with Chinese (as opposed to, say, Japanese) is that there is no tradition of showing pronunciation, making Chinese highly inaccessible to non-speakers, and even hard for Chinese speakers at times. Characters are rather opaque when it comes to pronunciation (why not 糗 chòu, for instance?). Any help we can give should be given, not withheld 'on principle'. True, with Google Translate, etc., things are far easier than in pre-Internet days, but I can't see why we should make a point of not supplying pronunciation.
Jan
11
comment Why is 有 (yǒu) the only verb that requires 没 while other verbs can use 不?
I don't know why this would get an upvote. It is actually worse than baseless speculation; it makes the spurious claim that asking 'why' is gibberish in the context of a lot of Asian cultures. If I ask why you can say 'I didn't want to go' but not 'I didn't can go' in English, do you really think that pointing out that 'can' is a modal auxiliary is a 'logical explanation'? The fact that modal auxiliaries are 'defective verbs' is a fact of English, in the same way that 有 is negated with 没 is a fact of Chinese. To claim that one is logical and the other isn't just doesn't make sense.
Jan
10
revised Is any simplified character also a traditional character?
added 234 characters in body
Jan
9
comment Number two in chinese: 二 vs 两
In Mainland China, when reading out numbers, 幺(yāo) is almost always used. I think this may have a military origin. Taiwanese people apparently find it quite strange.
Jan
9
comment Is any simplified character also a traditional character?
Very well sought out!
Jan
9
revised Is any simplified character also a traditional character?
Fixed dumb error (it should have been 校门)