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What's the right grammar to translate, "You flew such a long distance for such a short visit."

你飛那麼遠為了那麼短的探訪 feels quite wrong, pretty much like English grammar crammed poorly into Mandarin. :)

In general, are there any guidelines for breaking up long English phrases like this? Prepositional phrases (e.g., for this, for such, during the trip) seem to cause the most trouble.

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The preferred order of elements in Chinese grammar is often reverse of the English grammar.

"you flew such a long distance for such a short visit" is an example of placing the comment before the topic is common in English.

"you flew such a long distance for such a short visit" (common English grammar)

  • "you flew such a long distance" (你飛這麼長的距離) is the comment.

  • "for such a short visit" (為了這麼短的探訪) is the topic

However, it is more common to place the topic before the comment in Chinese grammar

"為了這麼短的訪問, 你飛這麼長的距離" (common Chinese grammar)

  • "為了這麼短的探訪" (for such a short visit)- topic first

  • "你飛這麼長的距離" (you flew such a long distance) comment follows

Of course, the order of comment and topic in both English and Chinese can be reversed with some modification

you can write "For such a short visit, you flew such a long distance" in English (which break the sentence in two) or "你飛這麼長的距離為了這麼短的探訪" (you need a conjunction to connect the two phrases. In this case, you can use '就'(merely)

Note:

"Long distance" can be translated as "長的距離" , "長途" or "遠"

"你飛這麼長的距離' can be rephrased as "你飛這麼長途" or "你飛這麼"

  • 不必客氣... However it is '你' not '妳'. Look at my icon, I am clearly a man – Tang Ho Feb 19 '18 at 2:04
  • 哈哈哈對不起 。。。很多時候會搞亂!真失禮了!對不起。 – Crashalot Feb 19 '18 at 3:14
  • so 訪問 is a better way to say “visit” than 探訪?「訪問」比「探訪」好嗎? 我以為「訪問」比較文章,只是用來描述 interviews 和 diplomatic visits? – Crashalot Feb 19 '18 at 20:36
  • 探訪 is more personal, 訪問 is more official, There are minor difference between them, just check the dictionary – Tang Ho Feb 19 '18 at 20:58
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    You can 訪問 someone you may or may not know, you can also 訪問 some place (diplomatic visit) ; when you 探訪 a person, you usually know that person; when you 探訪 a place, you usually do it for personal reason like touring or exploring – Tang Ho Feb 19 '18 at 22:07

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