Questions tagged [grammar]

Questions about the grammatical rules governing Chinese structure and composition.

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3answers
22 views

Why Chinese specifies the (obvious) frequency of an action occuring one time?

I came across these translated examples: [Talking about a place]: 明年夏天我打算去一次。 Mínɡnián xiàtiān wǒ dǎsuàn qù yí cì。 I plan to go there next summer. 三年以前我去过上海,去年我又去了一次,明年我想再去一次。 Sān nián yǐqián wǒ ...
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2answers
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Do time range constructions as “从~至” and “从~到” have a different meaning without 从?

In the following sentence, the teacher said that, since there is no 从 at the beginning it means that not everyday 我 have exams. If there was a 从 it would mean that 我 would have exams everyday until 六 ...
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1answer
138 views

Can 地 be used in place of 的 as a stylistic choice?

Is the use of 地 in the following document correct (some specific samples included below)? I feel like there are many cases where 的 should have been used, but 地 is used instead. The number of such ...
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3answers
89 views

Both is correct? 你认为如何 and 如何你认为

你认为如何 - More like a Chinese guy would talk like that. 如何你认为 - Feels like the English sentence. *Like the sentence start with "What", "Which" etc. So both is correct? Especially to ...
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1answer
35 views

Why can 地 sometimes be omitted when placed after adjectives?

I thought that 地 is attached to any adjective to form an adverb. In the case of 大声, why would you say 大声唱歌 (sing loudly) instead of 大声地唱歌? Is this because 大声 is originally an adverb (loudly) instead ...
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1answer
44 views

When using 是…的, what should I do when there is both a direct and an indirect object (e.g. 这样话是我告诉他的) or a separable verb (e.g. 这本书是我读书的)?

I'm having difficulty around the position of two kinds of objects in the 是...的 structure. First, what should I do when there is both a direct and an indirect object? Would "这样话是我告诉他的" be ...
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2answers
82 views

Why 说的 and not only 说 in 你要按照我说的做并且要做好?

I saw that phrase while I was studying and I don't understand. 你要按照我说的做并且要做好。 Why 说的 not only 说? What does 的 mean in that phrase?
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6answers
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In 吃完晚饭后,我们去了维多利亚海港看烟花, why is 了 after 去 and not after 看?

In my chinese book I saw the following sentence. 6年初二晚上他们一家人去看了烟花 。 That has sense with the following grammar point for verbs in series with 去 9.5   Two verbs: One indicating purpose When a simple ...
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What is the purpose of 是 in “我应该是感冒了”?

I came across the following translated example: 我应该是感冒了,耳朵也有点儿疼,不过没发烧。 Wǒ yīnɡɡāi shì ɡǎnmào le,ěrduo yě yǒudiǎnr ténɡ,búɡuò méi fāshāo 。 I think I caught a cold, and my ears are a little painful, ...
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5answers
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How do I break apart 电子纸是利用电泳显示技术原理发明而成的?

I'm struggling to understand how the part in bold breaks apart: 电子纸是利用电泳显示技术原理发明而成的,之所以也被称为“纸”,是因为它可以最大限度地模拟传统纸张的功能。 HSK6 past exam; also Coursera HSK6 course, week 7, lesson 3 Breaking it apart ...
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11answers
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What's wrong with this sentence 我终于快到中国了

It is from my correct-the-sentence exercise. 我终于快到中国了。 I asked a Chinese, he said that this sentence is understandable. In my opinion, "终于" seems redundant. If not, the original sentence ...
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7answers
177 views

Why 给我钱 and not 把钱给我?

I read and listen a lot of people say “给我钱”. I had no problem with that for quite a long time until I learned about 把. I started to wonder why people said 给我钱 and not 把钱给我 when there’s disposal to the ...
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2answers
90 views

When can 要 replace 需要?

In an answer to the post 要 to indicate "will [verb]" vs "need", it is argued that 要;yào;want to, need to, going to is actually the short form of either 需要;xūyào;to need, to want ...
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5answers
92 views

What's the meaning of 龙舟队分哪个两个组?

What is the meaning of this sentence? 龙舟队分哪个两个组? Moreover, is 分组 a separable verb 离合动词, or is it a verb and a noun? I haven't found grammar references that explain the verb in question. I'm confused ...
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1answer
56 views

What are the rules for the order of time adverbs?

I have some doubts about the sentence order for time adverbs. Note: Time adverbs tell us when an action happened, but also for how long, and how often. English examples: When: today, yesterday, later,...
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7answers
519 views

How do you say “we only have one carrot left”?

I'm practicing sentence writing and want to say We only have one carrot left. Imagine looking in the cupboard, and seeing there is only one carrot (although lots of other vegetables). I'm fairly ...
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5answers
236 views

Where to put 从头到尾 in a sentence?

我从头到尾把他的电影看了一遍。 我把他的电影从头到尾看了一遍。 Which of the two sentences above is more idiomatic?
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How should I understand the absence of conjunctions in 流行音乐歌唱的大都是男女爱情、歌词贴近生活、通俗易懂、易于传唱、受到欢迎、不足为怪?

In the Coursera HSK6 course, week 5 lesson 22, part of the spoken 短文 is: 流行音乐歌唱的大都是男女爱情、歌词贴近生活、通俗易懂、易于传唱、受到欢迎、不足为怪。 [My translation]: The majority of pop music songs are male-female romance, lyrics ...
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2answers
223 views

Reduplication of adverb in Adv. + V1 + Adv. + V2 structure…?

I was watching We Bare Bears on Netflix with Chinese subs and encountered this sentence: 请轻拿轻放 Which translated into “Please be careful (with this).” I wonder what structure/grammar it is. Could ...
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2answers
85 views

我看了化验结果 vs 我看化验结果了 which one is correct? [duplicate]

The book that I have studied said “我看了化验结果。” but I’m wondering if “我看化验结果了” make sense or not. If the second one can be used, what’s the difference?
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How “Noun + Adj + Adj + 的” (reduplication of adjectives) is grammatically equivalent to “Noun + (Adv of degree) + Adj”? [duplicate]

This question is motivated from Why 的 in reduplication of adjectives "Noun + Adj + Adj + 的"?. In the answers, it was argued that the reduplication of adjectives structure: Noun + Adj + Adj +...
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5answers
178 views

Where is the verb in reduplication of adjectives “Noun + Adj + Adj + 的”?

I understand the 的 from the structure: Adj + 的 Example: 高的。 as attaching the Adj to an omitted Noun. This omitted Noun can either be a general noun such as "one/s" (高的 can mean the tall ...
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236 views

What is the meaning of 会 in 你们太会了 and the sentence's connotation?

Context: There was a photo of a Chinese celebrity sitting down and some fans cropped and pasted that photo on different photos, so it looked the person was sitting on a horse or bicycle etc. The ...
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4answers
193 views

What's the difference between 是不是 and 对不对?

Can you use both of these interchangeably? Is one more common than the other? I also haven't seen this pattern used with other verbs. Are there other verbs where this is commonly used as well?
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4answers
140 views

How can 那本书找了很长时间也没找到 be corrected?

This sentence comes from my homework. 那本书找了很长时间也没找到. (1) What's wrong with this sentence? (2) How can this sentence be corrected?
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Are there loanwords from Portuguese used in Macau Cantonese?

I'd like to know if there are some words from Macau Cantonese that are from Portuguese. As HK Cantonese has some words from English, I think Macau also can have some words. Thank you for any examples ...
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4answers
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Can you still use “Number + MW + 多” when the Number can be more than one MW larger?

I have a doubt related to these questions: Does 多 always come after the measure word?, How to correctly use "多" to say "more than"? In the answers, they explain you can give an ...
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2answers
77 views

How to ask what personality traits do you like in Mandarin

How would one ask "What personality traits do you like?" in Mandarin? I've seen it translated as: 你喜欢什么个性特征 but isn't 性特征 sexual characteristics? So I wasn't sure if it would be better to ...
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4answers
109 views

Why was I told 在什么情况下……吗? is wrong?

Under what circumstances can police use tear gas? I translate it as 在什么情况下警察可以使用电击枪吗? Someone told me this is not correct because it shouldn't end with 吗. But I don't understand, if can police use ...
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3answers
109 views

Why is 很早 after the verb in 我起床很早?

I came across the following sentence: 今天我起床很早。 Jīntiān wǒ qǐchuáng hěn zǎo. Today I wake up very early. I am confused about 很早 appearing after the verb. I think here 很早 (very early) indicates the ...
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926 views

What is 吗 doing in 你有什么事吗?

In a Chinese lesson, I came across these sentences: 你有什么事吗? Nǐ yǒu shénme shì mɑ? 你有什么事? Nǐ yǒu shénme shì? And both were translated as: What's the matter? I don't understand 1. Without 吗, I ...
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Difference between Verb + 不了 and Verb + 不动

My teacher gives me two examples to state the difference between 不了 and 不动 as follows. (A)我的腿受伤了,所以我走不了。 (B)我累得走不动。 I also read in Chinese Grammar Wiki but I still get confused. (1) My teacher said ...
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Purpose of the reduplication in 一步一步地往上爬

(A)别着急,一步一步地往上爬,爬不动的时候就休息一会儿。 (B)我请田芳一句一句地给我纠正。 I learned about the reduplication of Measure words (e.g:个个,天天 ) but these sentences use a different structure. (1)What is the purpose of this ...
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1answer
62 views

Is “就快下雨了” correct Mandarin?

I've been watching Peppa Pig to improve my Mandarin, but here at 1:59, the mama pig says “就快下雨了” meaning to say that it will rain soon. However I thought that the phrase "就快" was Cantonese ...
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3answers
559 views

Can an adverb modify another adverb in Chinese?

I was wondering if an adverb in Chinese can be used to modify another adverb. I looked some resources but I could not find it. For example, in Adverb in resources.allsetlearning, they just say "...
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2answers
73 views

Why is 在 translated as “during” in this sentence rather then “at”?

This sentence 中国人喜欢在端午节吃粽子。 is translated as, Chinese People like to eat Zongzi during the Dragon Boat Festival. Why is 在 translated as "during" rather then "at".
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6answers
518 views

What is 了 doing in 这个表快了+time?

I am confused about the 了 in the sentence: 这个表快了五分钟。 Zhèɡe biǎo kuàile wǔ fēnzhōnɡ. This watch is running five minutes faster. Clearly there is no change of state. Is it for completion? I don't ...
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2answers
45 views

Placement of stative verbs

I notice that stative verbs tend to connect with the subject and then the rest of the sentence proceeds with normal word order. 我們喜歡在圖書館讀書 Why does 喜歡 precede the location-phrase 在圖書館? (why not 我們 ...
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4answers
115 views

Meaning of 的 in 我十岁才到的美国

I do not understand the meaning of 的 in the following sentence: 我爸爸是美国人,妈妈是意大利人,我十岁才到的美国。 This sentence is in my Chinese textbook. At first, I had thought it may be wrong. Afterward, I run into ...
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2answers
57 views

When does 可 before a verb mean “willing to”, and when does it mean “can”?

In a sentence like this, 他遇到了一个好朋友, 可带他去很多酒吧 does the 可 mean the new friend “can” bring him to the bar, or that he is “willing to”? I’ve always thought of 可 as just “can” or “able to”, but I saw on ...
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1answer
30 views

Placement of duration complement 很长时间 before a negated verb 没看?

I found the following sentence: 我很长时间没看电影了。 Wǒ hěn cháng shíjiān méi kàn diànyǐngle. I haven't watched a movie in a very long time. I believe 很长时间 (very long time) is the duration of the action 没看 (...
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2answers
61 views

What part of speech does 至少 belong to?

From briefly looking it up in a dictionary, it seems to me that 至少 is a direct equivalent of "at least" in English, and as far as I can tell its placement in a sentence follows the same set ...
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1answer
38 views

Which is correct:了 or 过 in 我去。。。他家,知道他住在哪里

我去。。。他家,知道他住在哪里. I do not know what to choose in this sentence: 了 or 过. In my opinion: (1) 我去了他家,知道他住在哪里. (I had been to his house) (2) 我去过他家,知道他住在哪里. (I had had the experience of being in his house) ...
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2answers
94 views

In 有一只小鸟真可怜,它在树枝上冷得发抖 why is 有 at the start?

So I am studying this children´s story, and I can´t find a proper grammar explanation. 有一只小鸟真可怜,它在树枝上冷得发抖。 So here I assume 有 indicates the bird´s existence, however in every explanation about 有 ...
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3answers
85 views

Passive object position in 是…的 structure?

I came across the following sentences: 1. 电话是谁打来的? Diànhuà shì shuí dǎlái de? Who was calling? 晚饭是妈妈做的。 Wǎnfàn shì māma zuò de. Mom made dinner. Which literally is something like: The phone call ...
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1answer
57 views

Meaning of 上 as Result Complement

I look up in youdao and it says meanings of 上 as below : (1) from the high position looking down: 登上山顶, 爬上河堤 (2) presents the result of the action: 穿上外衣, 没吃上饭 (3) presents the beginning and ...
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1answer
39 views

Where should 了 go: 你去了商店买什么衣服? or 你去商店买什么衣服了?

I want to ask, "What clothes did you buy at the store?" Which sentence is correct, or which sounds more correct. 你去了商店买什么衣服? 你去商店买什么衣服了? Where should the 了 go?
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1answer
39 views

Are the sentences 这个杯子有一点儿水 and 一点儿水在杯子里 correct?

I want to say there is a little bit/some water in the cup. Can I say either of these sentences to convey that message? 这个杯子有一点儿水。 一点儿水在杯子里。
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2answers
44 views

我爱去饭店吃饭。我想去饭店吃米饭,可是我觉得我会去家吃苹果: Does this make grammatical sense?

I am just practicing writing. Does this make sense? 我饿死了!我爱去饭店吃饭。我想去饭店吃米饭,可是我觉得我会去家吃苹果。
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172 views

If 冬 in itself means winter, why add 天?

If 冬 in itself means winter, do adding 天 Impact the meaning, or perhaps refer to winter time instead of the season itself? Or is it because 冬 is monosyllabic and 冬天 has two syllables?

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