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Questions tagged [grammar]

Questions about the rules that govern and structure the language, and the composition of clauses, sentences and expressions.

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Difference between “当…时”, “…的时候”, and “当…的时候”?

What is the difference between : “当…时” and “…的时候” and “当…的时候” when refer to "when" in Chinese? I have tried to look for an answer but I couldn't find a clear one. Thank you in advance ^_^
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4answers
58 views

Is ”一些队员一样太好“ correct?

Is this above sentence correct? My question is related to the existence of 太, which seems odd. If it's wrong, how would I say "Some players are equally very good"? Thanks!
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2answers
58 views

Could somebody explain the meaning of the sentence to me?

In my textbook there's an exercise where you're supposed to fill in the gaps: 今天的菜____________________到明天就没有人买了。 I'm a bit confused with it. What is meant here by "到明天就没有人买了"? P.S. The task is to ...
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2answers
56 views

Correct grammar? 她对待客人很友好。

In an Anki deck I downloaded, the Chinese translation of "Her treatment of the guests is very friendly." is given as "她对待客人很友好。" Shouldn't it be "她对待客人得很友好。"?
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2answers
711 views

Why 你在笑什么?, why not 你笑在什么?

In English, you say What are you laughing at? I'm laughing at this situation. Here, the preposition "at" refers to "this situation" and "what", respectively. In German it's more clear, since the ...
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3answers
456 views

Is 不 A 不 B a grammatical structure like 又 A 又 B?

I ran across 不知不觉 the other day. If I use MDBG to look up c:不*不* I see there are many idioms with that format. Can I use it with any verbs (?) or is it only part of fixed expressions?
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3answers
76 views

Help with the confusions around 了

So I am having a bit of a confusion with the use of 了. So the teacher gave me a sentence which is this: 我买了两个苹果。 She said that V+了+object requires the object to have specified quantity. After that ...
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1answer
44 views

What's the difference between 逼, 迫, and 逼迫? Do they all carry the same connotation of “to force?”

1) 逼, 迫, and 逼迫 all seem to mean "to force." Is there a difference? 2) If there's a difference, when should you use each one? 3) Which is the most common to use in speaking and writing? 4) Is there ...
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2answers
59 views

Difference between 忘 and 忘记

So is there any differences between 忘 and 忘记?They both mean to forget but do they have any other differences in terms of usage, location within a sentence, etc
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3answers
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How is【的、得、地】pronunced when talking about the difference in usages of 的·地·得?

When discussing the differences between 的·地·得 usage I've only know the following pronunciation: 的、地、得 die、di、de I can't find a lot to back this up. But, I did find one Tianya forum thread that ...
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3answers
87 views

Difference between 必 and 一定

Both words kinda mean “must, necessarily, certainly”. Can someone explain the differences between the 2?
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1answer
69 views

How to translate “and” to Chinese

I would like some clarification on translating 'and' into Chinese. I know 和 and 跟 can be used as 'and' with nouns, 也 can be used with verbs, and often 'and' isn't translated but a comma is used. But ...
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1answer
68 views

Meaning of 的 and 之 when both are used in the same sentence

I’m reading a text in which 的 and 之 are sometimes used in the same sentence, in seemingly equivalent or exchangeable function and position. But I’m sure the author had good reasons to choose the ...
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2answers
334 views

Understanding how to use 以後

This grammar article says 以後 must modify some time, action, or event. However, one of the examples is: 以后再也不来这里吃饭了,又贵又难吃. 1) In the above example, 以後 starts the sentence and modifies nothing. Why is ...
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2answers
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Why is 就 needed in 美國國務院稱華府仍未就卡舒吉案下定論? If it's needed, shouldn't it precede 仍未?

This news article contains the following title: 美國國務院稱華府仍未就卡舒吉案下定論 1) Why is the 就 needed? If it's needed, shouldn't it precede 仍未? 2) Is 仍 the literary version of 還? In other words, if you were to ...
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1answer
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“Everywhere” as 到处都 or 到处都是

From this Mandarin Corner video: https://youtu.be/2JttZXFJrNg?t=28 (Transcript provided on their website:) 00:00:24,000 –> 00:00:28,000 Dàjiē shàng hěnduō shù bèi guā dǎo le, 大街上很多树被刮倒了,...
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3answers
54 views

How to modify a two-character verb that has an object using 得?

In the case of one-character verb, I know that you just duplicate the verb, once for the object and once for the complement: 吃饭吃得很快。 But in the case of a two-character verb do I do the same thing? ...
2
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1answer
54 views

Pronunciation and the usage of 啊

So what does the word 啊 actually use for? I have seen it being use for some sentence but don’t really know when to use it Also my teacher said to me that depending on the word 啊 goes with it will ...
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1answer
42 views

Grammar for 看來妳忘了發一個訊息。還是妳有用一些避忌的說話所以中國政府阻擋的

This message was not understood by a friend: 看來妳忘了發一個訊息。還是妳有用一些避忌的說話所以中國政府阻擋的。 The goal was to say this: It looks like you forgot to send a message. Or else you used some taboo words blocked by the ...
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2answers
121 views

What does 是 in these sentences mean?

I'm a beginner in Chinese and I'd like to ask you something about these sentences below : 虽然有些人吃素是因为宗教的关系,但小林不一样。 and ...。小林不太喜欢吃肉食,是因为有些肉食有很多骨头,让他麻烦死了。 What does 是 in those sentences mean/...
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3answers
77 views

Difference between words that tell time

What are the difference between 时间 and 时候. They both means time as far as I know Also, what are the difference between 点 and 小时 which both means hour And can you give some examples?
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1answer
60 views

Best translation for “confused”: 迷惑,困惑,弄混,搞亂,搞混?

This page lists multiple entries for confused: https://www.yellowbridge.com/chinese/dictionary.php What's the best translation for confused in these contexts: 1) English: "What you just said ...
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2answers
67 views

Differences in “surprise” translations: 驚奇, 吃驚, 驚喜

This page lists multiple entries for surprise: https://www.yellowbridge.com/chinese/dictionary.php 1) What's the difference among 驚奇, 吃驚, and 驚喜? 2) Are the meaning and uses the same for Cantonese?
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1answer
72 views

Mandarin equivalent of 同 when the meaning is “for, on behalf of”

As the dictionary entry below lists, 同 in Cantonese means for, on behalf of. http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/characters/215/ In Cantonese, you might say something like this (slightly ...
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4answers
67 views

Difference between 持续 and 继续

There is a particular sentence that has raised some questions among my private tutors. 不管你是快乐还是难过,生活总要___下去。 You're asked to determine whether 持续 or 继续 is correct, or that both are correct. The ...
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1answer
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can someone help me edit this essay about u.s. vs. china: college admissions

美国和中国的大学入˛取最重要地部分之一是标准化考试。尽管标准化考试在美国非常重要,但在中国更多。美国有两个标准化的测试选项。你可以选择采取任何你喜欢的考试。这两个考试遵循不同的规则,并基于不同的主题。对于那些喜欢英语和阅读的人来说,S.A.T.更好。对于那些喜欢数学和科学的人,他们会更喜欢A.C.T.。一些大学是可选的测试,所以学生甚至可能不需要参加考试。这个测试的学习时间平均为一年。...
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3answers
102 views

Grammar: verb + 的 + verb

What is the meaning of this form? Example: 因为商纣王已失尽人心,军队也多不愿为他送命,于是逃的逃、降的降,起义的起义,朝歌很快就被攻克。纣王自杀,商朝就此灭亡。 I found many articles about simple reduplication of verbs in Chinese, like verb + verb or ...
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2answers
95 views

What is the function of 便 here? And what does the sentence mean?

This is a sample sentence for 八九不离十, from 现代汉语规范词典: 不猜便罢, 若猜便猜它个八九不离十。 It uses an interesting idiom 八九不离十 which I just learnt thanks to duchinese.net. http://www.duchinese.net/lessons/E269-eight-...
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1answer
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What role does 很 play in A和B很像?

A和B很像。 It sounds natural. But if we delete 很 in the sentence, it looks like: A和B像。 Which sounds very unnatural. So what role does 很 play in the original sentence?
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1answer
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What phrase do you use to express “don’t use sth”

So 用 means use and 不用 means don’t need to. So what phrase do you use to express don’t use For example: I don’t use mobile phone
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2answers
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Difference between 偏見,偏私,and 偏心?

偏見,偏私,and 偏心 all seem to mean biased in some form or another. Is there a difference among the three, or are they interchangeable?
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How do I say “the school was sold to that big company”?

My question is related to the position of 给. Do I say: 学校被卖给那个公司了。 or 学校给那个公司被卖了。 Thanks!
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3answers
139 views

Can any noun be duplicated like 人人 and 天天?

I'm familiar with duplication of nouns to mean "all" or "every", such as 打扫卫生人人有责。 Everyone is responsible for cleaning up. 好好学习天天向上。 If you study well you will improve every day. Can ...
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4answers
764 views

How to express: a narrator is narrating an event in the past, and wants to describe an event 2 years before that

In English this is very easy to express, but I'm struggling to express it in Chinese. I've asked multiple natives and they are all struggling with this (much to everyone's surprise). Basically, you ...
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1answer
30 views

Single-worded verbs being repeated when use in a sentence

So in Mandarin there are verbs like 数 means count and 试 means try but I usually them being doubled when use in a sentence (I.e: 请数数 = Please count). Can somebody explains for me?
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2answers
46 views

The use of 部 as a classifier in Mandarin

So I’ve read that 部 is used for machines, films and literature. So does that mean I can use 部 for words like 书,词典, etc even though they usually go with 本?
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1answer
36 views

Differences between 读 and 阅读? [duplicate]

If I am not wrong then both of them means read. So what are the difference between them?
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2answers
52 views

来 vs 去 usage for the speakers movement towards a place

So I know that 来 is used for actions that is moving towards the speaker and 去 is away from the speaker but I don’t know if I am moving towards a place I would use 来 or 去 For example: I go to Paris ...
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3answers
92 views

Can someone explain the meaning of 都 in 我都說?

I'm studying this video, and the speaker starting around 0:38 uses 我都 a number of times (我都覺得,我都說。。。) I don't really understand this use of 都. Can someone clarify what is going on here and what this ...
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1answer
81 views

Past 了 used with a simple object

I've read in many grammars and have seen in many places that, when we have a verb-了, its object has to be a complex one (taking a number, an attribute, etc.), for example: 我吃了一个苹果。 我吃了那个红苹果。 ...
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2answers
69 views

Difference between 可能 and 能

I’ve always wonder what is the difference between the word 可能 and 能. I know it both means can, possible but is there any difference between them?
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2answers
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Using the word 为止 (with a time phrase)

我没知道存有椰子火锅到他吃为止。 他吃椰子时(到)我没知道此存有为止。 I am trying to formalize my grammar. Are either sentences acceptable. Would someone know what I am saying? I am not sure if I have to include the Time Phrase first ...
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2answers
109 views

Understanding 了: difference between 她上个月去了北京 and 上个月我去台湾了?

This grammar page tries to explain when to use 了 after a verb and when to use 了 after an object. It claims when the time is specified, it's acceptable to use 了 after a verb and before the object as ...
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1answer
44 views

Difference between 儘量 and 盡量?

Both 儘量 and 盡量 seem to mean, "try your best," according to these dictionary entries: https://www.yellowbridge.com/chinese/sentsearch.php?word=%E7%9B%A1%E9%87%8F https://www.yellowbridge.com/chinese/...
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2answers
51 views

Is 看怎麼理解? a generalized expression for “it depends” in Mandarin? How about for Cantonese?

A movie used the phrase 看怎麼理解 to mean, "it depends." The context was character A asking character B if something is good or bad. Character B responded with 看怎麼理解. 1) Is 看怎麼理解 a generalized phrase ...
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3answers
47 views

Difference between 學識 and 知識?

According to these dictionary links, both 學識 and 知識 mean knowledge. http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/6078/ http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/6078/ 1) What's the ...
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2answers
64 views

Mandarin vs. Cantonese: 令 vs 讓 for making something happen

In Cantonese, it's common to hear someone say 令 when referring to making something happen. Example: 妳咁做令我開心 (You make me happy when you do this.) Some friends claimed Mandarin doesn't use 令 this way ...
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5answers
569 views

How to say “I wouldn't go so far as to say…” in Mandarin

I'm searching for a common way to say "I wouldn't go so far as to say that" in Mandarin. The only translation of this expression, that I found in a dictionary, is : It's good, but I wouldn't go so ...
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2answers
81 views

Placement of 在 in the sentence

Why is 在 usually placed before the verb but in other cases can come at the end of the sentence? For example, what is the difference between: (1) 她在北京出生。 (2) 他出生在北京。
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1answer
858 views

Place of 了 particle for the past tense?

Ok, I saw explanation that: 我去了商店。(means: I have gone to the shop already) 我去商店了。(means: I am going to the shop now) So I expected to meet 了 for the past tense only right after the verb: 昨天我去了商店。 ...