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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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Why is 到 necessary here?

I think I have ever asked this question once but not in a detailed way. Sentence : 今天的考试要((用到))词典,请大家把词典也放在桌子上 I wonder why they put 到 after 用... I know 到 is used as a result complement BUTTT ...
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1answer
94 views

Is this a correct way to use 呢?

So, I am trying to figure out whether I can only say 你 呢?or whether I can add to that and say 你 爸爸 和 妈妈 呢?If the second option works, it would be nice to know!
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Which is “with” and which is “and” in 与,和,就,跟,同,并,及

In Chinese there are a lot of conjunctions: 与,和,就,跟,同,并,及,乃(廼迺),而,也,共,又,亦,且,兼 all of which are usually and lazily translated as English "and". Question: I wonder which of those glyphs is ...
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82 views

“I didn't buy that” without 了

Is 了 ever/sometimes/never omitted for past subjunctive? What if not subjunctive; i.e., positively something did happen. wohok.com gives for 没 two example sentences 我没买这个 我没有买这个 and translates both ...
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185 views

Chinese modern vocabulary 包饺子

What would be the correct translation for 包饺子 ? Is it a word of 3 hanzi, or just a sentence wrap... dumplings ? 包 is used as a verb or a name ? Many dictionaries give " to wrap meat dumpling ", and 包 ...
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48 views

How to formally say : “I am yyy calling from xxx company, how can I help you ?”

From a customer service standpoint , how to formally say : "I am yyy calling from xxx company, how can I help you ?". 1:“我是客服 yyy,从 xxx 公司 打过来的。请问有什么可以帮助您 ?” 2: “我叫 yyy , 从 xxx 公司给您打电话了。请问怎么能帮助您 ?” ...
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What tense is this sentence?

"你会不会怕我" example What tense is this sentence? It seems like future tense, but if you watch the video the person talking (the dad) is talking to his daughter. But, that makes me think it is current ...
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Difference in meaning based on position of modal verb

Here's a child's essay [1]: 今天是元宵节,妈妈说,在滨江公园有猜灯谜的活动。她还说,看花灯、猜灯谜、还有吃汤圆是元宵节的民俗。 晚上七点半,我和妈妈还有亲戚一起来到滨江公园,人真多,非常热闹!那里没有猜灯谜,我好失望。但是我们放了烟花,还放了孔明灯和河灯,真是太有趣了! 我觉得最有意思的是放孔明灯。我先在上面写了“希望我学习100分”,...
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All the cases where 的 (de) can be used

I have learned 3 cases: 1. 的: possession 我的家 2. 的: adjective + de + noun 我喜欢红色的杯子。 3. 的: after adjective 我的头发长长的。 Are there any other cases?
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408 views

How to understand 美人只配强者拥有?

I know its meaning. But I can't understand it in grammar. And does that means when it becomes an adage or 梗, we don't need to care about the grammar?
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Is `方法是通过xxx` a correct sentence? i.e. 中文中,介宾结构能作为名词(宾语)使用吗

The phrase often appears in english-chinese translation. For example: If you want to become a better photographer, the only way is through repetition. 如果您想成为一名较好的摄影师,惟一的方法是通过反复练习。 The ...
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297 views

part of speech - “微” 管仲,吾其被髮左衽矣。

What is the part of speech of 微 in the following? A dictionary says it's a verb while others say it's an adverb. Do these claims hold water? 微管仲,吾其被髮左衽矣。
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What does it mean to end a sentence in 没?

"你找到你爸爸了没" example Does the 没 make it a question? And if so, how is it different from “你找不找到你爸爸了”
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691 views

In what cases must I use 了 and in what cases not? [duplicate]

When saying something in the past tense, in what cases must I use le 了 and in what cases not? I'm studying this right now in my Chinese class and it is a complete mindfuck. I don't know in what ...
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60 views

Proper participle

我经验过 还是 我经验了? since guo also means experience I am wondering if one of these is the right way, actually i can't remember exactly how to use guo. is it redundant to use guo when already using jing yan?...
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What is the grammatical structure of: 我把你们带到茶馆来。

I was reading New Practical Chinese Reader Chpater 27 and stumbled upon the following sentence: 我把你们带到茶馆来。 While the meaning of the sentence is pretty clear, I have trouble understanding its ...
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140 views

How do you translate “I always drink coffee with cream”?

I'm particularly interested in how you translate "with" here. I remember someone using it in a conversation yesterday, but didn't get the chance to have them repeat it. I tried searching MDBG and ...
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1answer
37 views

Touch: difference between 碰,碰觸,觸碰, and 觸

There appear to be multiple ways to say touch according to YellowBridge. 1) Is there a difference between 碰,碰觸,觸碰, and 觸, or are they interchangeable? 2) In Cantonese, 點 seems to be the right way to ...
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meaning and function of 使 as in “不如小决使道,不如吾闻而药之也”

What is the meaning and function of 使 in the following? 大决所犯,伤人必多,吾不克救也;不如小决使道,不如吾闻而药之也。 道 means 導, meaning "to lead" or "to guide," but how does it combine with 使, meaning "to cause"?
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Meaning and function of “以” in “子路,人告之以有过,则喜”?

What is the meaning and function of 以 in the following? 子路,人告之以有过,则喜。 According to an online dictionary, 以 as a preposition has the following senses: [介] 1 因為、由於。《論語.衛靈公》:「君子不以言舉人,不以人廢言。」《韓非子....
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What is the meaning and function of 幸 in “则幸分我一杯羹”?

What is the meaning and function of "幸" in the following sentence? 吾翁即若翁。必欲烹而翁,则幸分我一杯羹
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Usage of 就 in these two examples

I'm taking an intermediate Chinese course and ran across a character whose usage I can't quite wrap my head around: 就. I believe the meaning of the character itself are "then, right away, etc." ...
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If you can use Chinese nouns as verbs, or vice versa

In English you have words like "badge" which are typically a noun, but they can also be verbs, "They need to badge in" to use their keycard to get in. Shortly, "Badge in please". You can have other ...
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54 views

Place to convert English sentence to interlinear gloss with Chinese sentence

I'm wondering if there is any free online tool that offers the ability to type in a sentence and have it provide a literal "interlinear gloss" of the original English text in the translated Chinese. ...
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does 好 mean “it's better to” or “in order to” in complex sentences

Whats's the meaning of “好” in the following sentences "it's better to" or "in order to": 1)今天天气不好,咱们好留在家 2)你要支持治病,好早一点恢复健康
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What kind of words can be followed with "感“?

For example 正义感,使命感,厚重感 ... But this sounds wired, at least to me: 意义感 Is there a rule?
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一…就… vs. 了…就

I have been revising HSK 3 grammar, and came across these two alternatives: 我妈妈一起床,就做早饭 我妈妈起了床,就做早饭 On the basis that my book says that they both mean 'My mum makes breakfast as soon as she wakes ...
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when is the suffix 边/面 required?

I have learnt location words such as 上/下/前/后etc. and understand they can modify a noun such as -桌子上,宿舍前 . I also know the suffix 边 or 面 can be added (doesn't really change the meaning). When do i need ...
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Why does 子 work with some nouns but not others as a nominal suffix?

I know that 子 can work as a diminutive suffix (small things have their smallness emphasized and a sense of intimacy may be indicated). Another use is as a nominal suffix, which I understand to be a ...
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55 views

Is the 有 in this sentence some kind of auxiliary verb?

I was going to the convenience store and asked my local friend how to ask in Chinese "Do you want anything?" Her answer was: 你有想要买什么吗 I wasn't sure what to make of the 有 before the verb 想要 meaning "...
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Difference between 余 and 多; the use of 岁 and 年

1. If I want to say "more than a hundred years", which one is correct? a. 百余年 b. 一百多年 One of the example in ichacha "五十余年: fifty odd years" makes me wonder why 余 is used instead of 多. So, when ...
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138 views

Why is 快樂 after 新年

Why are there some adjectives after nouns, but when translated to english the adjective appears before the noun.
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220 views

Which is better, 其他所有 or 所有其他?

其他所有 or 所有其他,which word order is more natural and ”合乎中文的习惯” ? For example, as in 其他所有内容 or 所有其他内容, 其他所有人 or 所有其他人, etc.
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Uses of interrogatives as pronouns

In English, interrogatives are occasionally used as not as interrogatives but as adverbs and relative pronouns. For example: I don't know why we moved; I don't know how that machine works; I know ...
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133 views

What is the meaning of 一看 in this sentence?

打开盒子一看,里面是一只小猫 Is it the same as 看看 or 看一看?
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1answer
53 views

Use of Preposition or Verb with telling time

In English, when telling time, a verb is used: "Now it is 9 o'clock." Additionally, when telling at what time, a preposition is used: "I will meet with the principal at 4 o'clock." In Chinese is a ...
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When to use a complement?

I recently said to a native Chinese speaker: "你跑步跑得很快“ ,and then asked him if that sentence was grammatically correct. He said he understood what I was saying, but that he would have said: ”你跑步很快“. ...
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How to say “calendar” in Chinese?

In English, calendar can refer to several things. I would like the Chinese word that would mean calender in the sense of a planner, like how a teacher might calender her future lesson plans or you ...
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present perfect with stative verbs

你们好! I've been trying to work out how to form an equivalent of the English present perfect with a stative verb. I'd like to say something along the lines of: "I have known her since we were both 2 ...
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283 views

How do I use 着呢 correctly?

So 着呢, from the book I am currently studying (汉语教程) says it uses it at the end of a sentence to express “very”. However, my teacher said this is incorrect and said 着呢 is used to express something is ...
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When is it appropriate to use 在 with a time phrase?

Can you use 在 when a time phrase appears in the usual place in front of a verb? If so, how does it change the meaning? When would I choose to use it? 他去年去了中国度假。 他在去年去了中国度假。 or is 在 only used with ...
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Can you omit the “的” that is after the verb “举办”?

I know that this sentence is correct: 北京奥运会是2008年举办的。 But can you omit the “的” that is after the verb “举办”? Like this: 北京奥运会是2008年举办[ ]。 I think, I have read some sentences that has omitted the “...
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What is 了 doing in the sentence 我出发了?

Consider the sentence 我出发了。 with the translation I'm leaving. This was given to me in a list of examples demonstrating the putting 了 after a verb expresses a completed action (perfect aspect, I ...
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What is the function 就是 and 对 in this sentence?

I encountered the following sentence recently: 这个重大责任, 就是对民族的责任。 I loosely translated it to: "This important responsibility is the nation's responsibility." But grammatically, I was confused by the ...
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How to list adjectives in Chinese

I am preparing for HSK 6, and its Reading Part 1, which asks you to identify a 语病 in a sentence, is notoriously hard. Here is one of the sentences from HSK 6 Reading Part 1. 周围的人都很羡慕她,说他的妻子很实惠,又能干又体贴。...
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Grammar question from a Chinese Magic card

I thought magic cards would be a fun source of study material for me, but I've hit a bit that confuses me. (From this card) 每当任一牌手施放瞬间或法术咒语时,你抓一张牌。 I already know from the English translation that ...
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3answers
157 views

Difference between 一般 and 一样 meaning “same”

I want to know if there are any differences between 一般 and 一样 in expressing “same”?
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52 views

Optional components in conditional statements

I am aware of this thread. However, I was wondering if you can play with the components the same way with every of the IF-words I know (ordered from most to least formal): 假使……(的话),(就)…… 假如……(的话),(就)…...
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131 views

Does '到现在' imply a recent change?

Chinese-to-English dictionaries seem to translate '到现在' as 'up to now' or 'until now'. In English this often implies a recent change in conditions rather than a continuation of conditions; however, in ...
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Grammar of 大道無門

On Literature Stack Exchange, someone recently asked a question about the quote 大道無門, which was identified as coming from the collection of Zen koans known as The Gateless Barrier (early thirteenth ...