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visits member for 2 years, 6 months
seen Jul 21 at 0:21

Feb
1
comment How can I express 'having' in an intimate sense?
我拥有他们 sounds completely inappropriate, as though you possess them. 还有你的儿子和你的女儿 doesn't necessarily mean 'you have your son and your daughter'; it can also be understood as 'your son and daughter are there'. 有 doesn't have to have a possessive meaning.
Jan
31
comment Is there a comprehensive list of vocabulary differences between 台湾国语 and 大陆普通话?
The guy just asked for a list. This answer goes well beyond what the OP wanted; Derek has gone to the trouble of providing a list of reference tools, with links.
Jan
31
comment Is there a rule that tells what characters can be omitted?
I think it is strange to talk of omitting 'characters'. What you are talking about is omitting words. Even in Chinese I think it would sound strange to talk about omitting 'characters' in speech.
Jan
23
comment What's the difference between 星期X and 周X?
"Libai" is common in many parts of China. The curiousest thing I've noticed is that speakers of dialects where 礼拜 is common (such as Cantonese) tend to use 星期 when using Mandarin, presumably because 星期 is taught as the 'better' form.
Jan
23
comment What's the difference between 星期X and 周X?
OK, what about 周日 then?
Jan
20
comment Correct word to use for a suburban fence?
What is the normal word for the dividers that separate road traffic from the bicycle lane? I would have called them 栏杆.
Jan
18
comment What is the correct way to write 'niu bi', and how did it get its meaning in Chinese?
In front of a girl it's fine to just say 牛!
Jan
15
comment Using 的 at the end of a sentence
I don't have much to add to Huang's great answer. One thing is that 会 is quite normally associated with final 的. Second is that in writing (especially serious prose, not conversation), I think 的 is more likely to be omitted.
Jan
14
comment Position of 面熟 in this sentence
In fact, I find this sentence quite interesting because it embodies one aspect of Chinese that I've noticed but find hard to pin down, i.e., sentences that contain what might be called 'hybrid structures'. They make perfect sense but it's not clear how to analyse them cleanly. In this case, it's the overlapping of a simple concatenation of sentences (e.g., 常常看着一个人,他认识你,你不认识他) and the topic-comment structure (人面熟却叫不出名字来). Please don't ask me for other examples because I can't give you any, but this kind of phenomenon seems somehow very familiar in Chinese.
Jan
13
comment Stative verbs in Chinese: only for adjectives?
Claw, you give very good answers based in linguistics. One problem here is defining our terms. The OP is working from an a priori assumption that the distinction between verbs and adjectives is a given, presumably because it's found in Latin and Western grammar in general. Linguists, on the other hand, might try to argue that there is no fundamental distinction between adjectives and verbs in Chinese. I don't know which (if either) is correct, but the different starting points seem to be confusing the discussion somewhat.
Jan
13
comment Position of 面熟 in this sentence
I'm in two minds about the topic-comment analysis. The Wikipedia article gives only nominal topics, which can be seen as a result of 'topicalisation'. This seems rather different. Can the concept of topic be extended to an entire sentence (常常看着一个人)? (In English, this kind of meaning could be expressed colloquially as: 'You often see someone where you can remember the face but not the name'.) While the Chinese could be written 常常看着一个人,面熟却叫不出名字来, this obscures the fact that 人面熟 does form a natural unit in Chinese, precisely in the topic-comment construction that you mention.
Jan
13
comment Why is 有 (yǒu) the only verb that requires 没 while other verbs can use 不?
Jon, my hat off to you for finding a good article on the topic. There is, of course, a logic in linguistic structures; the problem comes when you ask 'why is xx language structured that way and not the same as our language?'. To fully answer Alennano's question, we still need to explain why 有 had the negative form 无 (無) in the Classical language. That is where the problem (special form of negation for one particular verb) seems to have started. And I still don't believe there is any other answer than 'that's how Classical Chinese was structured'.
Jan
12
comment When should you use 尽管 (jǐnguǎn) instead of 虽然 (suīrán)?
On a Mac, tones can be input using U.S. Extended keyboard (which should be made default English input method). Before typing the vowel over which the tone mark appears, type alt a for 1st tone (¯), alt e for second tone (´), alt v for third tone (ˇ), alt ` for fourth tone (`). It's not too cumbersome when you get used to it. Even works for ǚ (type alt v + v).
Jan
12
comment Is the difference between and saying 有时 and 会偶尔 very big?
My apologies. You should listen to Terry LiYifeng.
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
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
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.