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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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Uses of 正好 / zhènghăo

So, my focus today is the use of 正好, but it usage seems a little muddled. The first usage, as an adjective is quite clear: Just right (not too big, nor small; not too hot, nor cold etc). 这个饭不太辣不太淡 - ...
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2answers
341 views

Why one uses 了 and the other one doesn’t?

我每天吃吃睡睡,从来不运动,吃饱就睡,醒了,就吃,怎么还是不胖。 I wonder why the writer didn’t add 了 after “吃饱” whereas they added 了 after 醒. I know what 了 indicates here, it’s just that I don’t know why the writer didn’t treat “...
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68 views

Why is 弄 (nòng) in 他终于弄明白了?

I found the following sentence in a grade three 语文 school book in China (transcript). 他终于弄明白了,这块大石头是从遥远的秦岭被冰川带到这里来的。 [My translation] He finally understood, this big rock is from the distant ...
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40 views

Add 很 or not in these cases

Case 1 他的字写得好。(✕) 他的字写得很好。(〇) Case 2 他的字写得好,是因為比別人勤勞練字的關係。(〇) 他的字写得很好,是因為比別人勤勞練字的關係。(✕) Why is 很 compulsory in case one while it is redundant in case two?
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123 views

What is “语气词”? Why does this question end with 嘛 instead of 吗?

Somebody showed me a group picture that included their face, and asked me “你可以找到我嘛”. After replying I asked why 嘛 is used instead of 吗 for this question. My Chinese is not great and my Chinese friend ...
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1answer
44 views

Can 宁和 be used as a real name

I'm creating a half Japanese half Chinese character and I'm trying to figure out whether or not 宁和 can be used as a name. I'm also wondering if it means to aspire to peace and is read a "ninghe".
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How are those “sentence shrinking” exercises called and where to find ones on my level? [closed]

Today my Chinese teacher showed me those exercises: https://www.51test.net/show/8629497.html The goal was to shrink sentences like "可爱的小红在认真地看着有趣的新书" to "小红在看书". I heard this is what children in ...
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1answer
44 views

Mandarin equivalent for 返嚟?

In Cantonese 返嚟 is often used when asking someone about where they obtained something from. For instance, "學返嚟“ could be used in a sentence asking someone, "Where did you learn this from?" What's the ...
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Difference between 事情 and 事件?

What's the difference between 事情 and 事件? They both seem to be generic terms that refer to "event, thing, affair". 事件:http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/4421/ 事情:http://www.cantonese....
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將以求吾所大欲也 meaning of 將

What meaning of 將 applies? Origin In 孟子there is a sentence where he describes various failings to the king (such as war preparations) and goes on to ask, whether his majesty delights in such. And ...
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2answers
42 views

How can i translate “Please fill the code shown” in Chinese? [closed]

I have to create a website for China, and i have a sentence to translate which is : Please fill the code shown This message is followed by a Captcha Code. Thanks for help guys.
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Translation for 无效

I'm looking for a translation of "无效". Does that mean "incorrect" ? Thanks for answers.
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2answers
64 views

What's the difference between 主任 and 主管?

As per title, what's the difference between these 2 terms? My teacher said that in China, 主任 is considered as low position, and 主管 is higher. But looking at the translation 主任 means director, which ...
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3answers
54 views

Existential sentences that used to be but are no longer

I'm trying to construct a sentence along the lines of, "There were two hard parts...," where I use the existential 有. The issue I'm having is how I convey the meaning that this 'existence' is confined ...
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1answer
60 views

褒贬句 In chinese language

So since my native language is Arabic, our 语法 is somehow very strict, but then I find the Chinese 语法 somehow flexible. In Arabic we have a certain 语法 structure that is called 褒贬法,for example: will ...
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Asking for right answers for 中级 questions

I just wanted to ask for the right answers for these questions...  In these 2 paragraphs, are my 标点符号 right?  我家有五口人,爷爷   、奶奶、爸爸、妈妈和我。爸爸在电脑公司工作,他是一名工程师;妈妈在一所学校教数学,爷爷和奶奶早就退休,但他们也有很多活动;爷爷在老年大学学习书法,...
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3answers
107 views

What does 好 mean in this context?

In the following phrase, what does 好 mean in this context? Traditional: 我們​人人​天生​都​不完美,每​逢​想​做​對​的​事,內心​往往​要​經歷​好​一​番​掙扎,而且​都​會​說​錯​話​做​錯​事 Simplified: 我们​人人​天生​都​不完美,每​逢​想​做​对​的​事,内心​往往​要​经历​...
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1answer
18 views

How do the terms in this sentence modify its meaning?

I came across the phrase 千里之行,始于足下 on the Internet. Per consensus from native speakers, it appears it can be loosely translated as 'the journey of a thousand miles begins at your feet'. I'm able to ...
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3answers
84 views

Confused about 们 in this particular sentence “你们家有几口人”

I understand that 你们 is plural as in you're talking to more than 1 person; however, this question is said to one person so how come we do not say "你家有几口人" Why do we add a 们 to it or am I ...
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2answers
81 views

He “looks like”

In my Chinese class we’ve recently had a chapter quiz. I missed the following question: Translate “He looks like Guan Gong” into Chinese. My response: 他看关公一样。 Teacher’s correction: 他看起来像关公一样。 So ...
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55 views

What is the meaning of 以 in 以 … 來 pattern?

What is the literal meaning of 以 in 以 ... 來 pattern like in the following sentence: 以我的情況來看. What is the syntactic role of this word (verb, particle, etc)?
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200 views

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
101 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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1answer
45 views

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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1answer
174 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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3answers
187 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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1answer
64 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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38 views

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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412 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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4answers
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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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4answers
106 views

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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702 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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62 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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4answers
105 views

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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3answers
145 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
48 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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1answer
28 views

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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1answer
37 views

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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867 views

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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2answers
60 views

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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2answers
104 views

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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1answer
61 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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2answers
61 views

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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1answer
77 views

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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3answers
204 views

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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2answers
95 views

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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0answers
88 views

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 ...