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.


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)


"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
  • 1
    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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