I am a Caucasian American with English as my native language. I want to improve my knowledge of the Mandarin Chinese language. I found the following question in Modern Chinese Beginner's Course 3, Second Edition (初级汉语课本, 第三版）by 原北京语言学院来华留学生三系:
I suppose that the more complete question might read as "你是从哪儿来的这么多书？", with the 是....的 meant to emphasize what would be between 是 and 的 and 从 meaning “from.” For me now I think the most challenging part of the question is translating 来 into something in the English language and finding that translation of 来 in a simplified-Chinese-character-to-English-language dictionary. For example my Chinese friend translated the above question as “Where” or “How did you get so many book?” which I changed to “Where” or “How did you get so many books?” So that Chinese friend's translation of 来 in this question is “get.”
Similarly on this Web page, I found the translation “Wherever did you get that idea?” for “你哪儿来的那个主意?” showing that someone else translated 来 as “get” in a question including the same structure of 哪儿来的. But my Chinese dictionary does not include the meaning of “get” for 来. The only possible definition there which might fit this situation is as a substitute for another verb. For example, I have heard something like 我来, which according to the situation in which that pair of words is used seems to be intended to mean something like “I'll do it” or “Let me do it.” So how do I reconcile dictionary definitions with 来 in the above question?
Have some more words or characters been omitted in the original sentence? For example should the more complete question read as
On this Web page I found “Where do you come up with that stuff, Ma?” for “你哪儿来的这种想法, 妈?” If I follow that example to translate "你是从哪儿来的这么多书？", I arrive at “From where did you come up with so many books?” But “come up with” seems vastly different than “come” with respect to both meaning and use. Checking an English-to-Chinese dictionary I found 产生 and 找到 as translations for “come up with.” Note that neither of these Chinese translations includes 来 within it. So to translate 来 in 你哪儿来的....？as “come up with” looks like quite a “stretch” to me, but may indicate how hard someone may have been trying to find something in the English language that includes the word “come” as a translation for 来 in 你哪儿来的...?. Perhaps trying to translate 来 in 你哪儿来的....？ might have been hard for someone else besides myself!
From a page on 百度知道, I found “你哪儿来这么大火？”there translated as “Where did your anger come from?” This translation uses the standard translation of “come” for 来. Following this example for 你是从哪儿来的这么多书？ I come up with “From where did your so many books come?, which is certainly not a very comfortable way we Americans would phrase such a question.
I also found 来源 meaning “source.” But I have a hard time making any sense with 来源 in 你是从哪儿来源的这么多书？. I can make sense of 你是从哪个来源的带来了这么多书？as meaning “From what source did you bring so many books?”. But to make that sense I had to add the verb 带来了 and some other things to the original question.
I think my basic question concerning 你哪儿来的这么多书? is: How may I reconcile 来 in 你哪儿来的这么多书? with some definition in a Chinese-to-English dictionary? For example, should I take the meaning of a substitute for another verb and have 来 mean “get” in 你哪儿来的这么多书? ? Or is that dictionary definition and use of 来 as a substitute for another verb only intended for things like 我来 in which 来 means “do” in some form? If so, do I conclude that some dictionaries just don't include an appropriate meaning like "get" in the English language for 来 in "你哪儿来的这么多书?"