4

I struggle with how to translate (generally informal) sentences containing the word "get." It seems that sometimes you can use 拿, or even 带, but for some reason it feels wrong, or that this is not the best or most common usage.

How can I use the very generic English expression: "get" in the context of the following sentence, where it basically means "fetch."

"Hang on, I have to go get something from my apartment."

"Can you please go get it?"

"Could you please get the milk from the refrigerator for me?"

5

"Hang on, I have to go get something from my apartment."

等一下,我先回宿舍拿点东西。

"Can you please go get it?"

你能帮我拿一下么?

Could you please get the milk from the refrigerator for me?

你能帮我从冰箱拿包牛奶过来吗?

As a Chinese, in fact, we always say "拿", bring is 带.

  • Thank you for this great answer. Although I did not mention it in my question, one of my sources of confusion is between the words 拿 and 取. Are they equivalent? In that, could I just replace your 拿 with 取 in the above sentences and it would have the same meaning? – The_Anomaly Sep 4 '14 at 11:53
  • They are not equal and you can't replace them. and it's so strange to say 取 in the above sentences. generally, you'll see 拿 frequently, but not 取钱,夺取,领取 etc, and I think 取 is so formal, you can almost say 拿 all the time, and just remember the special cases. maybe you are just confused by the Chinese translation of 取(1.拿,2.得到,3选择).because the first meaning is 拿. but 拿 translate to 取 is so strange. so please don't pay much attention to this, If you just want the translation of get, 拿 always ok! – chang robben Sep 4 '14 at 14:44
1

取 is exactly fetch, if it means to go for and then bring back (someone or something).

  • This has always been a source of confusion for me. When do you use 取 vs. 拿? – The_Anomaly Sep 4 '14 at 11:50
  • When someone is holding, seizing something, or taking something for free, 拿 is definitely the one. 拿 originated from the action of the the hand, such as grasp, grip or hold. – George Chen Sep 4 '14 at 12:46
  • 1
    According to this site xh.5156edu.com/html3/3601.html, 取 originated from a hunting, war custom: cut off and collect the left ears of the games or enemies. Nowadays, 取 is mostly used for collect, fetch or make use of. – George Chen Sep 4 '14 at 12:56
  • 1
    That is an amazing etymology, wow I would not have guessed that for the world. – The_Anomaly Sep 4 '14 at 13:11
  • The origin goes too far back, 2000 years at least. Things have changed so much, nowadays, most of the time, these two are indistinguishable. – George Chen Sep 4 '14 at 13:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.