Questions tagged [grammar]

Questions about the grammatical rules governing Chinese structure and composition.

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Can I use 是 with adjective (color)?

In my work book I saw the sentence: 现在这个咖啡的颜色好一点,不是很黑 My question is: if 黑 (in 不是很黑) is an adjective, why it is used with 是? should it be 不太黑?
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I want this translated to vertical chinese [closed]

Translate this into Chinese vertical font in correct grammar. Beauty fades easily Fireworks perish shortly Listening to the rain falling Hoping for the eternity
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Can a modal verb like 会 go with the aspect particle 过?

Any example I find of 会+过 is clearly using 会 to express probability and 过 as a verb: "一切都会过去的". Is there any situation in which 会 serves as a verb "to be able to/to know how to" ...
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4 answers
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Why does 是 not go with 会 when talking about the future?

The premise of my question is wrong, and was based on spending too many hours trying to explain the ins and outs of Chinese verb structure to a colleague. I'll leave the question here anyway, though, ...
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What is the subject of the verb 组成?

北京有各种规模的四合院。最简单的四合院只有一个院子,比较复杂的有两三个,而有钱人家的,通常是由好几座四合院并列组成的。 Hi all. I found this in the Standard Course Book of HSK5, chapter 14. What is the subject of the verb 组成? The abstract "it", as in ...
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What is function of 的 in 挺.......的?

I am understanding 挺。。。的 to mean "quite" I don't get the sense that the 的 is nominalizing an elided phrase particularly, or is this wrong? If yes/no, how/why? Additionally, why/when is it ...
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What is function of 了 in 太……了?

I am understanding 太……了 to mean "really/very/too/excessively" I don't get the sense 了 is either a completed-action or a sentence-end change-of-state - would this be right to assume? If yes/...
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Is "平房好像快坍到河里去了似的" a grammatically correct sentence?

When mining sentences for my flashcard deck, I like to shorten sentences that are unnecessarily long. I need to make the following sentence way shorter, and the word (in this case pronunciation) I am ...
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3 votes
6 answers
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What is the function of 了 in 我现在养了一只狗和一只猫?

Presumably the 了 cannot mean a "completed action" since this is cancelled out by the 现在? Additionally, if the meaning is I raised (completed action) a dog... and I still have it now (现在) - ...
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In my maths textbook, what is 和 doing in the question 两次所得的和相同吗?

This is a photo from my year-7 maths textbook (click to enlarge; alternative version): 两次所得的和相同吗?换几个加数再试一试. 从上述计算中,你能得出什么结论? I understand what it's saying: calculate 30+(-20) and (-20)+30 and check ...
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What does 批 mean here?

I came across this sentence in 天橋上的魔術師 by 呉明益. 「不是,我是魔術師。」男人自己這樣宣稱。有一天我問他東西是哪裡批來賣的時候,他說,「這些魔術都是真的。」 東西 here refers to magic tools the man who claims to be a magician is selling. What meaning does 批 ...
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Is it grammatically correct to omit 在 in prepositional phrases

In the sentence below, it seems like 在 has been omitted. 我们留学生楼两个人住一间。 (Two students live in a dormitory in our international student building.) I guess the original sentence was: 在我们留学生楼两个人住一间。 Is it ...
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2 votes
5 answers
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Is 孝文帝受她的影响很大 grammatical, and if so, what is the underlying grammar structure?

北魏孝文帝即位时才5岁,由祖母冯太后临朝听政。冯太后进行一系列改革,推动了鲜卑族汉化,促进了民族交融。孝文帝受她的影响很大。冯太后去世后,他继续推行改革。 My year-7 history textbook (image: large; alternative host) My 语感 is telling me the part in bold is not correct. Let's ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Is there a verb in the sentence 他说话的方式很奇怪?

I collect Chinese sentences which do not appear to have a verb, for comparison with other languages. (If you know a good source, or have some good examples, please let me know!) Does this sentence ...
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4 votes
8 answers
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Why is 我把一本书买来了 wrong?

This Facebook post says: The object behind “把” should be a specific person or thing. Example: “我把那本书买来了” cannot say “我把一本书买来了”. Judging from context "behind" here should be "after&...
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What is the function of 还 in 可知道师傅像你那点年纪,票戏还去杨宗保呢?

The sentence in its entirety goes as follows: 可知道师傅像你那点年纪,票戏还去杨宗保呢! English translation: When I was your age I could play the role of Yang Zongbao! I know translations are not a hundred percent, ...
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1 answer
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How does 给 change the verb meaning in 有一天国王把他的故事给一名作家看?

In the sentence 有一天国王把他的故事给一名作家看 , the intended meaning is, “One day the king showed his stories to a writer”. 看 by itself means to see or to look at. 给 is used as “to” but does this change the ...
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How does the “有“ affect the meaning of a sentence beginning 有一天 vs. 一天?

How does the “有“ affect the meaning of sentence? ‎What is the difference between 有一天国王把他的故事给一名作家 and 一天国王把他的故事给一名作家.
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3 votes
3 answers
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Difference between using bare verb and "tensed" verb?

The bare verb in Chinese can communicate many different things, depending on context: A habitual action: 在他家发生的事情,我没法了解 = I cannot understand the things that happen at his house. An ongoing action: ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Purpose of 的 in 谁说的?

What's the purpose of 的 in the following sentences? 谁说的? 他们来喝茶,喝的是一家人一起吃饭的快乐。 中文的不是买的。(What does this sentence actually mean?) 我会玩的开心。(What does this sentence actually mean?)
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2 votes
4 answers
337 views

Meaning of "如果不是因為"

I am reading a graded reader and came across a sentence that I find a bit confusing: 如果不是因為這個面試,我都不知道... My understanding of the (partial) sentence above is "If it weren't for the interview, I ...
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3 votes
5 answers
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What is the difference between using "去 + place," versus using "要去 + place"?

For example, 我们去森林里探险。Translations for this will be pretty much the same as, "我们要去森林里探险。 I understand the difference may be subtle, but I'm curious as to the nuance of the difference. Thanks so ...
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1 vote
4 answers
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How is 目前世界上除了多媒体形式的书以外,还有用纸印刷的书 illogical?

This is a 语病 ("faulty wording") sentence under the section 逻辑不通 (illogical): 目前世界上除了多媒体形式的书以外,还有用纸印刷的书。 刘云, 新汉语水平考试,HSK6级攻略,阅读, 2011, p.17. (image; alternative) It seems intended to mean ...
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5 votes
8 answers
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Why is the 所有 misplaced in 今年所有发生的事情?

This is a 语病 ("faulty wording") sentence: 今年所有发生的事情,将深深留在每一个中国人的心里。 刘云, 新汉语水平考试,HSK6级攻略,阅读, 2011, p.6. (alternative image host) The explanation is that the placement of 所有 is wrong, and ...
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2 votes
6 answers
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What is wrong with 他把椅子站在上面?

Yesterday I was practicing with an iTalki teacher, and in describing the above comic I said: 他把椅子站在上面。 I meant "he stood on the chair". The tutor said that's not correct, and I should say ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Is 了 optional in the following sentence: 我上午八点前起床了 and 我三十分钟前起床了?

Is 了 optional in the following sentences: 我上午八点前起床了 and 我三十分钟前起床了? I know that 了 is for completed actions, but in the case of getting up, it's obvious that I already woke up. I got the same thoughts ...
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2 votes
5 answers
80 views

Is 在 optional in 你们明天在咖啡馆见面?

I found this two examples at the same Chinese lesson text, but it is not explained why 在 is omitted in one of them: 你们明天在咖啡馆见面 你们明天咖啡馆见面 Is 在 optional?
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Is 地 missing in 学校希望每个学生都能自由发展?

In this sentence "学校希望每个学生都能自由发展", 自由 is an adjective and 发展 is a verb. Why isn't "地" used as "自由地发展"? Thank you!
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3 votes
3 answers
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difference in connotation between intensifier + adjective and 是 + adjective + 的

What is the difference in connotation between intensifier + adjective and 是 + adjective + 的? For instance, what would the difference be between 他非常高 and 他是非常高的 I'm aware that there are similar ...
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10 votes
8 answers
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Can 您 to be used in plural form?

Can 您 be used as a plural form? For example, if a child tries to address to both parents at the same time: 请您放心.
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2 votes
2 answers
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Meaning of 我在医院工作

I'm getting confused about whether 我在医院工作 means: I work in a hospital or I'm working in a hospital at the moment. To clarify, in the first option I mean that hospital is my day-to-day place to go, I'...
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3 votes
3 answers
543 views

What is the difference between “悲傷” and “傷悲”?

What is the difference between “悲傷” and “傷悲”? Because I saw it on the dictionary, they both have the same meaning which is "sad". Is there a special context in Chinese grammar where we need ...
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4 votes
1 answer
264 views

How to grammatically analyze 三国之一 in 大都不过三国之一?

It's from 《左传 郑伯克段于焉》. The meaning of the sentence is clear: (the measure of) the wall of big cities cannot exceed one third of (the wall of) the capital. My question lies in the grammatical structure ...
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2 answers
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How should I understand the grammar surrounding 适合 in 阳春面的面汤是……一年四季都适合吃,老人和儿童都适合吃?

……。有的用纯鸡汁,有的用小鱼油炸后加葱姜等各种调味料制成鲜汤,有的用肉骨汤,总之,阳春面的面汤是最有营养、最美味的,而且由于阳春面口味清淡,一年四季都适合吃,老人和儿童都适合吃。 发展汉语,高级阅读(I) (Developing Chinese, Advanced Reading Course (I)), photo: page 6; 7. Clearly the intended ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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Which one is the correct way to say "what I like most is to sing"?

Which is the correct way to say "what I like most is to sing"? Someone said no. 3. If it is, why we have to use 的 particle? 我最喜欢是唱歌 我最喜欢唱歌 我最喜欢的是唱歌
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3 votes
3 answers
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Sentences with double 了

What's the difference between these sentences? a) 我买衬衫了。 b) 我买了衬衫了。 In the first sentence, I know that 了 is the completion marker (了1) which can come after the object if the object is short and the ...
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4 votes
4 answers
206 views

Difference between "adj+一点儿" and "有点儿+adj" pattern

Is there a difference between these two patterns for saying "a little, a bit"? "adj+一点儿" and "有点儿+adj" For example, 晚一点儿,有点儿晚 Are they different? Also, what's the ...
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2 votes
6 answers
415 views

How should I understand the sentence structure in 你在这儿写了很多?

I went through similar questions but haven't seen something as simple as my question. In the online course I am following this example is given: 你在这儿写了很多。 Though, AFAIK the sentence structure is S+t+...
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2 votes
4 answers
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When using 多久, should I repeat the verb?

Change the sentence into a question with 多久。 1。 你看书。 Is it 你看书看多久? or 你看书多久? and are there any exceptions to this language pattern?
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1 vote
2 answers
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What does 片 mean in 右肩已经一片麻木?

This is the whole paragraph: 车已经开了快三个小时了,车窗外的天还是很阴沉,身边坐的姑娘还在睡,脑门儿很踏实地枕在他肩上,右肩已经一片麻木。 It cannon be a measure word, since 麻木 is an adjective, right? Also, the 一 yi means A/AN or ALL/WHOLE in this ...
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2 votes
1 answer
113 views

Is it possible to have two coordinated verbs before 得/不 + resultative?

Is it possible to have two coordinated verbs before 得/不 + resultative? Something like: 他改和写不下去 他吃和喝不下 他擦和洗不干净
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1 vote
2 answers
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In Mandarin Chinese how do we know that a verb is in passive voice

Since there is no verb conjugation in Mandarin Chinese, how should one know that a verb in a sentence is in passive voice? Here are some examples that I have come across during my study, which I guess ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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Difference between resultative complement and complement of state

In "New Practical Chinese Reader 2", it introduces two complements for Chinese verbs, in two different chapters. The first one being, complement of state, like 他跑得好。(He runs well) The second ...
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2 votes
4 answers
603 views

Why must we say 我可以从你那儿借钱吗? instead of just 我可以从你借钱吗?

我可以从你借钱吗? Can I borrow money from you? At some point in our language learning journey, we learn that 从[person] is considered a grammar error in Chinese (despite the equivalent not being a grammar ...
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1 vote
4 answers
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这段课文写对了没有? 请你们检查一下。谢谢

Please help me to check if my text for the video is correct. 大家好! 我是_, 我来自俄罗斯, 今年20岁。 目前还是一个_大学外国语学院的学生。 我是一个渴望知识的人, 学得很认真和努力。 我家不太富裕, 我从中学工作和帮助解决金钱问题。 从那时起,我试图了解金融和经济学是如何运作的, 觉得很有意思。 在我上学期间, ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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Structure for the phrase 尾班車開出前5分鐘

In this phrase: 尾班車開出前5分鐘, is meant to signify “5 minutes before the departure of the last train”. I find the structure a bit strange for me. In my mind, I would have thought of something like: ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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On what basis are word classes in Chinese defined?

Since Chinese words are non-inflecting, word classes in Chinese have to be defined based on syntactic behaviour: "verbs" are words that behave like verbs in a sentence (i.e., can fill the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is it possible to have 里 and 上 placed after anything else that a noun?

Is it possible to have 里 ('in') and 上 ('on') placed after anything else that a noun (for instance after a verb)? I can think about only: _这里, 那里, 哪里 (two determinants and one pronoun) _往上
, 向上, 
以上, 
...
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1 vote
2 answers
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meaning of the phrase 听你的 and purpose of 的

What does it mean to say 听你的 when someone tells you to do something. And what is the purpose of 的 in this structure?
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0 votes
2 answers
78 views

Are the words 心里, 街上, and 夜里 nouns or prepositional phrases?

Are the words 心里, 街上, and 夜里 nouns or prepositional phrases[1][2]? - I can not tell if 心里 means 'heart', or 'in my heart'. It is possible to have 心里 or 心 in front of a verb, giving the impression that ...
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