Questions tagged [grammar]

Questions about the grammatical rules governing Chinese structure and composition.

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1answer
54 views

Hi! What is the difference between 忙得过来 and 忙不过来

Are they opposite, or do they mean the same thing? My teacher gave me an example like... “工作这么多,你忙得过来吗?”“我可能忙不过来.” but I am still having trouble understanding this.
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485 views

Strange case of 了: 他杀了一个人 vs 他杀了那个人

There are two sentences: 他杀了一个人,可是没有杀死。 他杀了那个人,可是没有杀死。 Some people say that sentence 1 is ungrammatical (better say -- illogical), while sentence 2 is OK. Why is it so? Why 那 makes such a big ...
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Comparing 到 and 得 to emphasize results

I am trying to understand the usage of 到 and 得 when used to emphasize results. Take, for example, the lyrics from "吻别": 我的世界開始下雪 冷得讓我無法多愛一天 In this adjective + 得 + clause construction, can ...
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2answers
87 views

Why is 来 used in “因为‘东西’一般不能用来表示人”?

Why is 来 used in the following sentence? For some context, this is a line from a text used in the second workbook of the New Practical Chinese Reader series (pg. 93). In the text a teacher is ...
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127 views

What is the point of 的 in '你也是大学生?你是什么专业的'?

I'm trying to understand 是。。。的 constructions. The page on such constructions at Chinese Grammar Wiki explains one way to use 是。。。的: This is the most simple way to use 是 with 的: you drop the noun and ...
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3answers
94 views

Understanding the structure of 是谁打电话过来呢

I know that 是谁打电话过来呢 means "who is calling?" but I don't know how to parse it: why is 是 at the beginning? not sure about the meaning of 过来. Is 电话过来 a standard combination? why 呢? I thought ...
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55 views

How do the words 我主張制止不了就放任 piece together?

The phrase is: "我主張制止不了就放任". Initially I tried to break the sentence and thought the translation would be something like: (1) "In my viewpoint,  if you can't stop it, just let it go&...
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121 views

How do I analyze “惟意所欲適” and “惟所欲為”?

"惟意所欲適" is a phrase from the Chinese poem 《有馬示徐無黨》: 惟意所欲適,九州可周尋。 I assume that "所欲適" is "所-phrase" and "意" is the subject, then where is the predicate? ...
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115 views

How do you translate: she's very fancy

Fancy as she dresses well, fashionable or is good decorating, etc.
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difference between 人缘儿 and 谈得来

What is the difference between these two words, or are they the same? 人缘儿 and 谈得来 Am I supposed to use them at different times?
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58 views

你认为做什么事的时候时间过得最快: Could some explain the meaning of this sentence

I am a little confused honestly about this whole thing. What do you think is the fastest time, but I doubt this is correct. Really any kind of break down of sentence structure or meaning would be very ...
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1answer
607 views

Is tree pluralized in Chinese?

I am learning very basic Chinese as part of a software project. I randomly chose the word "tree" as my go-to noun. However, it appears tree is pluralized in Chinese, even though it is said ...
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8answers
732 views

What is the function of 好 in 你好厉害 and 我好无聊?

I read an explanation on Chinese Grammar Wiki of the function of 好 before verbs to indicate that something is easy or good to do. Examples: 好吃、好喝、好听 In these phrases, however: 你好厉害! 我好无聊。 I am ...
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112 views

differences between 非常好 and 特别棒 ALSO if I know someone's name, do I 认识 them?

I need help with a question for a Chinese assignment I have to choose a suitable answer to the sentence, the sentence is 你知道吗? 昨天的足球比赛我们沈阳队赢了天津队5:1。 沈阳队的水平比天津队高得多了 。 Question: 沈阳队的水平怎么样? Choices: A. ...
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In the novel 猫城记, why does 老舍 use 的 (instead of 地) for adverbs?

From the first chapter of 猫城记 by 老舍, we see examples where 的 is used where I would expect to use 地 (to indicate an adverb): 我应当先去挖坑,但是我没有去挖,只呆呆的看着四外,从泪中看着四外。 动是我自己不能负责的,现在想来,这或者是最近情理的解释与自恕。 鸟儿下来一只。...
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76 views

How to discuss preferences / ask which do you prefer in Mandarin

How does one discuss preferences/ask what someone prefers out of a series of options? Do you just list each option followed by 好不好? Thanks
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79 views

What is wrong with how I wrote 你也不会呢 in 20年来,没有人相信我。你也不会呢?

I've been using LangCorrect recently to get feedback on my writing. Recently, I wrote this: 我的话让老妈失望地叹了口气,说:“20年来,没有人相信我。你也不会呢?我不是在撒谎!我不是在骗你!”那时,老妈站了起来,开始收拾东西准备走。 I received three corrections, one ...
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Is the construction 连A带B meaning “both A and B” a general construction or limited to fixed expressions?

The Pleco dictionary mentions the construction 连A带B meaning "both A and B" in the definition of 连, but I can't find any other discussion of this structure. I see it in fixed expressions like ...
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What is the nature of the term 什么都?

While talking on discord someone typed that they were studying, to which I jokingly replied, "我已经学会什么都了,没有没学的", though people were quick to correct me, apparently 什么都 is not a noun and ...
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Are verbs more difficult than nouns in Chinese?

Generally speaking,verbs need more grammar explanations, but nouns don't. Does it mean that verbs are more difficulty than nouns or vice vasa?
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How does one understand the [verb] + 在了 grammar structure?

From random Internet sites, we can see many examples of the grammar structures: [verb] + 在了 手机忘在了出租车上。 我站在了舞台上。 因为人不在,快递员就放在了门口。 小男孩被父亲故意丢在了超市。 闺蜜和男友睡在了一起。 (Google the quotes surrounded by quotation ...
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Is the 了 in 你几岁了? a change-of-state 了?

There's a simple question we ask kids: 你几岁了? How old are you? It's possible to ask it without the 了, i.e., 你几岁?. This makes me think this 了 is a change-of-state 了. It may just be a kind of "...
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92 views

What is the difference between 没 and 不 when used with 又?

What's the difference between these sentences: 他又没来上课 他又不来上课() Here: https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Expressing_%22again%22_in_the_past_with_%22you%22#Negative_Form it says both 没 ...
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69 views

抱有 vs 摆有: When does a serial verb become a word?

保有财产 ; 抱有好感 ; 怀有敌意 ; 育有一子 Bi-syllabic verbal compounds like these (in bold) are words: they form a lexical unit; they are used as independent lexemes; they are lexicographically counted as lemmas/...
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143 views

“真的” vs “真地” to mean “really”

"真的太可爱了" has 3,930,000 results on Google. "真地太可爱了" has only 17,500. Why do we use 真的 instead of 真得? I thought that 地 is used to connect an adjective and connect it with a verb, ...
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1answer
52 views

Are these two having the same meaning: 遥远的地方 vs. 远方

遥远的地方 vs. 远方 Are these two having the same meaning? Like these sentences: 我住在一个遥远的地方。 我住在远方。
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1answer
59 views

When translating “he thinks I bought three books, but I didn't buy anything”, do we add a completion 了 for “bought”?

When learning about when to use 了, we're typically given simple examples with clear-cut answers, such as the following: 我买了三本书。 I bought three books. Expressing completion with "le" We are ...
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1answer
65 views

Variations of 得 in 好玩得很

I heard this phrase from a TV drama. 好玩得很。 Are these also correct? 好玩得多。 好玩得很多。 喜欢得很。 喜欢得多。
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1answer
84 views

Need help understanding grammar in short text

I was reading the story behind the idiom "愚公移山" and I came across these 2 lines specifically which sort of confused me with their grammar. They are: 1."看到愚公一家人正在挖土,云石,就嘲笑愚公说" and &...
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2answers
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How do you write, “one who does good” in Classical Chinese?

This is a practice from Rouzer Paul's book. It says, PRACTICE: Put the following into literary Chinese: One who does good leads the heart (away) from disaster. I think the predicate is ... 導心於禍, ...
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What is wrong with these sentences?

I am doing some grammar work and have been asked to correct the following, but i'm not sure what is wrong. Can anyone help? 学生们把电台里的中文新闻听懂了。 不洗澡的坏习惯被小明给改掉了. 这本书被卖得光.
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What are the different parts of speech of 这么?

这么 is listed in the dictionary as a pronoun. 她这么漂亮! 今天这么热。 这张桌子原来就这么放的。 有些人不是这么想。 他们必须这么说。 Is 这么 in all these sentences a pronoun? Can 这么 be an adverb too?
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Can anyone explain time nouns and adverbs of time to me?

In English, "today" can be a noun or an adverb, but many European languages see it only as an adverb. So, the "today" in "Today is Wednesday." is seen as an adverb. Can ...
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385 views

终有一天 vs. 总有一天 usage

So I watched 古装 TV drama, I heard these sentences quite a bit. But not quite sure the 终 or the 总 they were using. Which ones are correct? 终有一天我会成功。 总有一天我会成功。 总有一天我会报仇。 终有一天我会报仇。
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What does it mean when there are 2 verbs next to each other in a sentence?

I came across this sentence "我喜欢说话" today and I'm sort of confused as to how this works. I dug around a bit and on all set learning they say that 2 verb phrases can come right after one ...
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is the sentence 她做练习做的很多 correct?

I've been practicing on my mandarin Chinese grammar workbook about the use of the 得 particle. One of the last sentences is "她做练习做的很多", but I'm a bit perplexed because if I were to use 的, I ...
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4answers
592 views

开一个生日会 explanation as to why 开 is used here?

My book says that "to host a party" is written as... 开一个生日会 Example: 她想在家里开一个生日会。 The reason I am confused is because everywhere I look, 开 means to open. However, the book translates it as &...
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56 views

how would you translate 在我找到工作之前 ? What is the function of 在 here?

I don't understand what 在 means here?
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77 views

What does the verb + 到 structure mean here?

他决定先躲到奶奶家... What is the function of 到 here? Does it indicate successful completion, direction, or something else?
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82 views

What is the difference between 变 and 变得?

What is the difference between 变 and 变得? Is 变得 a word in its own right, or is 得 some sort of complement word? For example, 眼睛变得亮晶晶。
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417 views

What does 在 mean in “你在吗”?

I just saw the phrase "你在吗" for the first time on Discord, I asked how this was grammatically correct (it looks like an incomplete sentence) and they insisted that 在 means "here". ...
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68 views

Can someone break down the sentence structure for the following

I have another question about 玩儿 since you guys have been so helpful! 你在北京玩儿得高兴吗? - Did you have a good time in 北京 Can someone explain the sentence structure here? I'm hoping it can answer these ...
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92 views

Can someone explain why 玩儿 is used in these sentences?

I am someone new to chinese, I am in chinese 3 honors. We are learning about traveling and had some questions about the use of 玩儿 in these sentences and why they are here! 今年夏天我们在西安玩儿了三天,在北京玩儿了一个星期 - ...
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72 views

What is the difference between 大学的二年级学生 and 大学二年级的学生?

My mom says 大学二年级的学生 is correct, but I don't understand how the other one is wrong. I believe both convey the same meaning. Is one wrong because of syntax?
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108 views

一只 or 一支 meaning only or a unit

一只给你的视频。 That line was from an author on YouTube. One commenter posted that for video it is not 一只 but 一支. My thinking was that the author meant: A (or one) video for you only. Question: Can that ...
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1answer
46 views

Should this be 慢慢地?

然後再慢慢的完成你的夢想,好嗎? Should this be 慢慢地?Can verbs come after 的? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRBnLDW4iVM 2:29
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72 views

Use 的 to make a connection

你要靠你自己的能力来学习中文。 你要靠你自己的能力来努力的学习中文。 The first one seemed to be correct. But not sure about the second one if the 努力 was added correctly. Any comments?
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422 views

What is the role of 在 in the sentence 当我有错误在帮我纠正就行了

I understand 当 serves as the start of "When xyz, then abc" or "當 。。。时,xyz" but what exactly is 在 doing in this sentence? 当我有错误【在】帮我纠正就行了。 Couldn't you just say: 当我有错误【时】帮我纠正行了。
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107 views

How do I understand 的 in 因为广州的雨季下的那个雨真的是特别的大?

So I am trying to understand the 的 in this sentence which came from a native speaker. 因为广州的雨季下的那个雨真的是特别的大。 Can any of the 的 (by itself) be eliminated without modifying the meaning of this sentence? ...
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93 views

或?是: What could the mysterious word be

然后让更多的德国人或者是欧洲人认识这个琵琶。 So I listened to a speech from a high performance 琵琶 player in Germany. I think I pinned down this sentence completely except this 或者是. In these three words, I am pretty sure ...

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