1

"我找到了我一直渴望的东西"

"I have found what I've been longing for" "I have found who I've been longing for"

Which translation would be appropriate? Can 东西 refer to a person instead of thing in this sentence?

4

don't use 東西 for a person, it is for angry only and negative assessment. 他也不是個什么好東西。(he is not a good man). when you translate such statement into Chinese, you can just make sure appending a '的' at end. In Chinese '的' following a verb can be used for 'what xxx (a pronoun) yyyy (a verb)'. so 我找到了梦寐以求的。

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  • Can you gives more example of usage of "的" at the end of sentence? That one is quite confusing to me. What does 的 do to the sentence? – pbeta Jul 31 '17 at 8:41
  • You can say 吃的 for food and 喝的 for drink, but you can not say 梦寐以求的 without an object.You must say 我找到了梦寐以求的人 or 我找到了梦寐以求的她. – 賈可 Jacky Jul 31 '17 at 11:27
  • 吃的 = what we eat, 想要的 = what I expect. – Daniel Yang Aug 1 '17 at 0:51
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yes, sometimes we will say : 你真不是个东西。 means you are really bad guy

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the first one is correct "I have found what I've been longing for" . It can not be interpreted as a person in the sentence.

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  • some clarification here, "东西" could refer to a person like others answered already. However, in the sentence "我找到了我一直渴望的东西", "东西" has no way to be interpreted as a person. – dan Jul 31 '17 at 13:55
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Yeah ,you can refer somebody as 东西, but only in negative or question. That means that one has surpassed the levels of 普通人 and 好人, however not yet reached 混蛋 and 垃圾.

1.

张三: 他经常背后说我坏话.

李四: 真不是东西.

2.

张三: 你是个什么东西, 敢在背后说我坏话.

王五: 对, 我没素质, 我不是东西, 那又怎么样?

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