5

你使过的东西别乱放,还放回原处。

My translation : Don't letting the stuff(on the ground?)which you've used in disordered manner. Return them to corresponding original places.

So what is the meaning of 还 here ?? "as early as possible"?

ADD

Since my first language is not Chinese, for now at least I can't determine the best answer here. I may guess that Tang Ho or PdotWang is/are correct .

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  • 2
    The expression 使过 suggests some nonstandard dialect (possibly Shandong). The equivalent in the standard dialect is 用过.
    – L. F.
    Commented May 30, 2023 at 17:29
  • 1
    Where did you actually see this sentence? You said in another comment that it’s from a book, but what kind of book? As @L.F. says, the whole thing looks unusual for Standard Mandarin. Commented May 30, 2023 at 21:19
  • @JanusBahsJacquet The book is of vocab book for hsk4. BTW the sentences inside the book include many vocabs which are not required for hsk4 X0
    – TG24
    Commented May 30, 2023 at 23:02
  • I think the word here is a verb that means return. Commented May 31, 2023 at 1:35
  • 2
    I feel a deep sense of responsibility to inform non-native Chinese speakers that the original phrase is not commonly used in Chinese. the simple version is just 'put it back once you finished using it', The meaning can be conveyed effectively through the phrase '请在使用完毕之后物归原处' for written communication such as a posted note or bulletin board. For oral communication, if you are in a different location, you could say '用完了之后别忘了放回去', and if you are near the item, you could say '用完了之后别忘了放回来'.
    – http8086
    Commented May 31, 2023 at 10:02

11 Answers 11

-2

还放(return) here is a single verb 放还(put back) in reverse order

  • 放 = place/ put

  • 还 = return/ back

  • 放还 = put back

  • 放还 = 还放 (put back and return = return and put back)

There are many reversible compound words in Chinese, for example

打击 --> 击打

集结 --> 结集

乘搭 --> 搭乘

返回 --> 回返

Some words are reversible when the two characters contain a similar meaning in the compound word or do not involve cause and effect

你使过的东西别乱放,还放回原处。

  • 要 is omitted

  • Either 还 or 回 is redundant

你使过的东西别乱放,(要)还放原处。

你使过的东西别乱放,(要)放回原处。

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  • 1
    Even characters are reversed in 放还 into 还放, is this term 还放 still pronounced huán fàng? Or the sounds change into hái fàng instead? Because the book which i have denotes hái fàng as the pronunciation of 还放 inside the sentence(exactly which i am quoting in my question-post). I guess that the book made the mistake.
    – TG24
    Commented May 30, 2023 at 1:42
  • The second character typically has the rising tone
    – Tang Ho
    Commented May 30, 2023 at 1:52
  • @TangHo If by “the second character”, you mean 还, then it always has the rising tone – but that doesn’t say anything about whether it should be pronounced huán or hái in this particular sentence. Given that you say it’s a reversal of 放还, it should presumably be huán in your view, but the answers seem to be split fairly evenly between the two. Commented May 30, 2023 at 10:08
  • 还 in 放还 is the second character; 放 in 还放 is the second character
    – Tang Ho
    Commented May 30, 2023 at 10:14
  • 2
    -1 as there is no such usage of 还放 as a verb. I'd love to see an example otherwise.
    – xiaomy
    Commented May 31, 2023 at 4:07
8

你使过的东西别乱放,放回原处。My understanding is that, after you use the things or tools, you cannot just leave them anywhere. You need to do more (你还要做的事情).

for example,

你搞完清洁以后,还要做饭。

3
  • 1
    right explanation
    – Kymo Wang
    Commented May 30, 2023 at 9:17
  • 1
    你使过的东西别乱放,还(要)放回原处 doesn't make sense without (要), so it can't be omitted; 你使过的东西别乱放,还(不)放回原处? does make sense
    – Tang Ho
    Commented May 30, 2023 at 10:10
  • @TangHo The omitted word is 是; 你使过的东西别乱放,还(是)放回原处。
    – xiaomy
    Commented May 31, 2023 at 4:15
3

I think PdotWang is right. 还 doesn't mean 'return' here, it means 'still' as in 'still need to' The 'need to' is left out. Such omission of words in a sentence is called ellipsis in English. It's a feature of many languages.

1
  • 真的吗?i will search about it later.
    – TG24
    Commented May 30, 2023 at 5:32
2

As a native Chinese speaker, I never seen a pattern in daily use like “还放”. "你使过的东西别乱放,把它放回原处。" is more natural sentence. If we must have a translation on '还' at that position, it should be 'return'.

1

还(hai2) usually emphasizes the consistency of some states:

还在下雨: it is still raining.

so here, because of this 还, it explicitly emphasizes it was raining before. So the states of raining is not changing.

so in my understanding. "还放回原处" gives out a sense that not only you need to put it back to where it was, you need to put it back exactly as it was before. For example, if it is a mug on the table, not only you need to put it back to where it was on the table, you need to keep the mug upside-down if it was upside-down.

1
  • Yes. It means 还要 need to do more.
    – PdotWang
    Commented May 29, 2023 at 18:22
1

Quote:- "Since my first language is not Chinese, for now at least I can't determine the best answer"

I think your problems are:

  1. You are attempting a word for word translation of a complex sentence,

  2. and seeking a singular definition of a single word in isolation, in this case “还”, that fits snugly into the complex sentence.

The word “还” in this sentence should not be read in isolation, because it contains multiple meanings / definitions some of which do not fit into the sentence in question, hence your "problem", and the many versions you find in the answers given.

In my view, the word “还” in the sentence is part of a compound phrase, namely, "还放回" All three words should be taken and read as a whole, that is, as a compound phrase.

You will encounter many such compound phrases in your studies, and you just have to get use to them, and eventually be able to recognize them when you see them. Takes time and lots of reading of course.

Thus "还放回" here simply means, in plain English, "return to" or "put back to", as simple as that. There is no need to hunt down every possible meanings / definitions of "还" and see which one fits, because without taking in the other two words, 放回, and read all three together as one compound phrase, you will be going round in circles, because of the multiple connotations attached to "还", and at your level bound to be understandably confused.

So, the material part of the sentence, 还放回原处, simply means, "return (them) to / put (them) back to their original places"

In conclusion, the word 还 in this context means "return", and since Chinese do not have "to", it needs 放回 to "complete" the "action" of returning.

1

I come from China, I rarely see expressions like “还放”

You can use "还" directly to mean return, like:

可以还我你借的书吗? Could you return the book you borrowed?

Another word contains “还” which means return is “归还”. This phrase is rarely used in verbal context.

1

还 here is interchangeable with 仍旧, i.e. 你用过的东西别乱放,仍旧放回原处。

仍旧 can be translated as “as it was before; still”

Therefore, I would not prefer to say that this 还 means “have something left to do”. Though in English this sense can be translated as “still” too.

We may look at a few examples.

The first 还, which is our case:

我出去的时候你就在看电视,怎么我都回来了你还在看电视?

这次的作业还是交给课代表,由课代表发给大家自行交换批阅。

The second 还, which is not our case:

我还有好多零食没吃完,送给你吧。

写了这篇论文还得复习明天的口译,烦死了。

By the way, personally I don't think 还 here suggest an exact same place as before either, but it's true that it suggest some similarity with the status before.

Given that there is already a word 别, the sense of command/suggestion is already obvious, so it is also quite possible that nothing such as 要 has been omitted.

And of course this is not huán “return”.

0

还 [huán] - return

放 = 置(place/leave; put)

你使过的东西别乱,还回原处 - Do not place things randomly after use, return and put them in the original places.

0

Essentially "你使过的东西别乱放,还放回原处。" should mean something along the lines of you should put the stuff you tried back in its place.

This phrase when translated piece-by-piece should be: "你(ni - you)使(shi - try)过(guo - past particle so try -> tried)的(de - the)东西(dong xi - things in this context)" - stuff you tried;

"别(bie - don't)乱(luan - messily/randomly)放(fang - put)" - don't put away randomly;

"还(hai - still)放回(fang hui - return)原(yuan - origin)处(chu - place)" - this part does not make much sense with my experience, I feel like it's missing 得要(de yao - have to) so the full sentence fragment should be "还(hai - still)得要(de yao - have to)放回(fang hui - return)原(yuan - origin)处(chu - place)" - still have to return what you tried to its original place.

0

I'm from China. And you should see "还放" here as a whole. These two characters makes up one word that just means return. Though "还" also means "still", but in this example, it's not the case.

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