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I was reading the story behind the idiom "愚公移山" and I came across these 2 lines specifically which sort of confused me with their grammar. They are:

1."看到愚公一家人正在挖土,云石,就嘲笑愚公说"

and

  1. "智叟听后,惭愧不已"

In sentence one shouldn't the bolded 嘲笑 have a 着 following it as he is going to say something after it?

My final question is in the second sentence, because I'm not really sure of the bolded 4 characters and why it doesn't say maybe "智叟听到后,感觉很惭愧" or something like that.

I appreciate any help.

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  • 1. “就嘲笑愚公说”, “(he/she) laughed at 愚公, saying...” 2. "不已" is an ancient chinese usage
    – Shaw
    Jan 20 at 2:39
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in sentence one shouldn't the bolded 嘲笑 have a 着 following it as he is going to say something after it?

[verb 1] + 着 + [verb 2] means [verb 1] and [verb 2] happen at the same time continuously (verb 2 while verb 1).

[verb 1] + [verb 2] means both actions happen one immediately after the other or simultaneously, but not in a continuous state

Examples:

跳着大喊 (yell while jumping)

跳起来大喊 (jump up and yell)

why it doesn't say maybe "智叟听到后,感觉很惭愧" or something like that.

  • 感觉很惭愧 = feel very ashamed (惭愧 here is an adjective for 'ashamed')

  • 惭愧不已 = be ashamed greatly (惭愧 here is a verb for 'be ashamed')

  • 不已 (can't stop) is an adverb function the same as 'very' or 'greatly'.

You can use 十分 or 不已 as the adverb for a verb, but not at the same time, saying 十分惭愧不已 is like saying "be very ashamed greatly" in English

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  • 已means to stop. 不已 means not to stop. 慚愧不已 means not (being able) to stop feeling ashamed. I have heard of 十分慚愧 and 慚愧不已 but never 十分慚愧不已. Too wordy. I think.
    – joehua
    Dec 20 '20 at 22:19
  • So what is the issue here? "be very ashamed greatly" in English is unacceptable neither
    – Tang Ho
    Dec 20 '20 at 22:49

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