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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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14 views

What is the difference between 能 vs. 会?

What is the difference between 能 and 会? Don’t they both mean “could”? What is the difference between them?
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1answer
30 views

Where to place 了 when using an auxiliary verb?

In general when using auxiliary verbs, where the auxiliary verb is in the past tense while the main verb isn't. An example: Because I like to read Chinese books, I began teaching myself Mandarin. ...
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1answer
88 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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1answer
186 views

How do I join more than one adjective together?

I've seen "敦厚老实", where the two adjectives are simply put together, but I've also seen things like "x而x", "x又x" and "又x又x". What do these mean, are there any other ways, and which are the most ...
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2answers
51 views

在 before or after the verb

Hello i have a doubt about where 在 has to be? I have two references listed below about our matter. The first one talks about movement or location and the second about movement with displacement for ...
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1answer
35 views

phrase + 给 object + verb

In the link below from the wiki page talks about 给 in this structure. Subj. + 给 + Target + [Verb Phrase] https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Verbs_preceded_by_%22gei%22 But I don't ...
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2answers
121 views

What does the word 'field' mean in this context?

I edit a manuscript for non-chinese-speakers. The writer was an expert in Chinese language and literature. I want to learn, but I am not a native speaker. So, I have difficulty in interpreting how ...
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2answers
60 views

Can we omit the 吗 at the end of a 难道 rhetorical question?

The Chinese Grammar Wiki writes: Note that 难道 can only be used for rhetorical questions which could be answered with yes or no, and generally end with 吗. And gives examples such as: 今天是我的生日,...
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2answers
86 views

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
229 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
65 views

Does 听说你去丽江玩儿了 imply they are still in 丽江?

From 标准教程HSK4上 (page 88): A:听说你去丽江玩儿了?那儿怎么样? B:那里特别美,空气也很新鲜。 If I'm not mistaken, the 了 is the change-of-state 了. But this gives two possibilities: The change of state is B going from B's ...
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2answers
57 views

Why is there the first 看 in 她看都没看过我一眼?

From 标准教程HSK4上 (page 93): 她看都没看过我一眼,怎么样才能使她喜欢我呢? Google Translate is not great here, but it gives some idea of how it works. I think it translates to something like: She has never even ...
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4answers
32 views

reduplication of adjectives like 大

What is the diference in meaning of: 它的眼睛大大的。 它的眼睛很大。 or 他有大大的眼睛 他有大眼睛。 And when is good or wrong to use the reduplication? Thanks.
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45 views

Why is 你去了北京吗 less common than 你去北京了吗?

Note: My original question was Why is 你去了北京 correct but 你去了北京吗 incorrect? but I was mistaken, so I'll change the question to try to make it more useful (and less confusing) to the future reader. I'll ...
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9answers
2k views

Tense and use of 了

I struggle a bit to get my head around tenses in Mandarin, and in particular when I need to use 了 (le). Do you have any tips, examples or resources to help me out with this?
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2answers
53 views

Is it essential to highlight the use of a metaphor with 像…那样 or something to this effect?

In the 标准教程HSK4上 book, chapter 6, 课文1, I felt 张远 was being annoying by asking a lot of questions about why 李进 didn't answer his phone. So I wrote: 如果别人不想接电话,不用审问TA。 My teacher was surprised by my ...
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3answers
93 views

What's wrong with 空调制冷得不太好 meaning “The air conditioner cools poorly”?

I thought 空调制冷得不太好 would be perfectly fine, using the grammar structure Subj. + Verb + 得 + Complement Chinese Grammar Wiki But there's no hits on Baidu for "制冷得不太好" which is a strong ...
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1answer
43 views

Description of a person in chinese

I have three point to be clear about describing people. 1) In describing a person structures like this are usual. 我有一个好朋友叫徐浙峰,他的个子高高的,头发短短的,眼睛像葡萄一样亮. What i understand is that in the sentences ...
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2answers
58 views

Reduplication in 五六十年代年代

I know that classifiers, verbs, and adjectives can be duplicated. However, the expression 五六十年代年代 seems to contain a duplicated noun instead. The meaning is clearly "the decades of the 50s and the 60s"...
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1answer
43 views

也 and 还 diference not clear enough

I thouht 还 ment besides or además(in spanish), it gives more informatión but let me give you an example There are clear examples like when you say i play piano, he plays piano to. Here where you ...
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4answers
57 views

Structures for describing people, appearance or personality

I have a question about the chinese structures. In this example talking about 大力。 大力好动,乐于挑战自己,十分喜欢运动。 In the first part of the sentence there is no verb which is normal but there is no 很。Afterwords ...
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3answers
60 views

Why is there both 另外 and 别 in the sentence 你还是另外找别人吧, and why does 另外 come before 找?

The following example sentence is from the book 标准教程 HSK 4上 (p.32): 最近小雨太忙了,没时间帮你,你还是[另外/另]找别人吧。 It means something to the effect of Recently Little Yu is too busy and has no time to help you, you ...
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1answer
61 views

What purpose is 的 serving in this sentence

In this sentence, I'm trying to understand the function of 的。 姐姐 给 我 买 的 衬衫. I thought it might indicate possession, but, (in my beginner understanding), that would require 的 to be between 2 nouns. ...
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2answers
722 views

Difference between 正在 and 在?

I am a beginner in Chinese (Mandarin), and I am following a phone app to learn. However I cannot understand what is the difference between 正在 and 在 ? For example: 你正在干什么? and 你在干什么? The app ...
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3answers
45 views

Not only, but also (in cantonese)

佢唔單只感冒,仲發燒添。 Not only does he have a cold, but he also has a fever. What is the function of 添? I feel rather awkward saying it. I searched the dictionary and doesn’t look like it has added any ...
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1answer
53 views

How do you use 的 at the end of a sentence

Like for school my teacher gave us an example 看足球赛的学生. And she wanted us to do that format. Such as the music I like or students who are doing homework at school So is it the thing the subject is ...
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2answers
50 views

How can I use the idiom 米已成炊 to explain “once I've told you, I can't un-tell you”?

I wrote the following: 我愿意告诉你我的故事,可是后来就跟米已成炊一样。 Basically, it was intended as a warning: I'm willing to tell you my story, but afterwards I can't un-tell you. My Chinese teacher indicated she ...
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3answers
1k views

The correct usage of 大约 vs. 差不多

I am a bit confused by the appropriate use of 大约 and 差不多. I have learned to use 差不多 in many cases where I am talking about an approximate amount, value, extent, etc. of something, or speaking about ...
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2answers
57 views

What kinds of things can be described as 丰富多彩 (richly colorful), and how do I describe them?

A while back, my teacher asked me to use 丰富多彩 ("richly colorful") in a sentence, but it wasn't received particularly well. The relevant part in my writing was ...丰富多彩地环境 and she said 各种颜色 was ...
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1answer
34 views

when doing an action expression with 在

In my learning book easy steps to chinese 4 textbook you can see the next sentence. 在北京游览,乘坐什么交通工具比较方便。 Well the question is for the first part of the sentence. 在北京游览 means, visiting/touring ...
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2answers
40 views

Is there a meassure word missing in 在这河里游泳危险

In the next sentence is the meassure word 条 after 这 missing? I have seen the phares on a hsk game page in the internet. 在这河里游泳危险 Thanks
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1answer
63 views

Is it okay to say 我下一下 when e.g. getting off a bus?

Once I saw a woman get off a bus and I thought she said 我下一下 to inform the driver that she was getting off. However, I mentioned that to a Chinese friend, and he seemed to think it's weird, so it's ...
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2answers
38 views

作为此 Grammar Purpose

What is the purpose of 作为此 in this sentence: 本指南仅介绍了作为此 CPython 版本的一部分提供的创建扩展的基本工具 It is translated here as This guide only covers the basic tools for creating extensions provided as part of this ...
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3answers
72 views

What part of speech is 到 (to) when used in this case?

I was having trouble with the sentence "两只饿到眼绿的老鼠正在房梁上打架" because I could not understand the usage of 到 here. After I spent some time thinking I figure the meaning is that the rats were hungry to the ...
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1answer
42 views

Any rule(s) about combining nouns with other words to form new nouns?

I came across the sentence "行进路线上的生物早早就避开了" and I interpret "行进路线" to mean marching path. 行进 means marching/advancing and 路线 means route/path so marching path seems to make sense, but this is my first ...
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2answers
93 views

How to say “Hopefully we can treat each other with more X”

Is there a general template for translating, "hopefully we can treat each with more X" where X is some noun. Examples: Hopefully we can treat each other with more consideration. Hopefully we can ...
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1answer
39 views

How to express ADJ + enough?

I'm pretty sure that "good enough" is 够好,but I'm not sure if this structure can be extended to all adjectives. Would the same structure work for all/most adjectives? Is it good enough? -> 够好吗? ...
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4answers
2k views

How to say “I prefer x over y”?

For example: I prefer eating fried rice over fried chicken. How to say that in chinese? How about this? 我较喜欢吃炒饭比炸鸡 我炒饭比炸鸡较喜欢吃
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2answers
65 views

Express that an event in the past could have occurred, if not for some condition

How do I express that an event in the past could have occurred, if not for some other condition that prevented it from occurring? For example: We could have deployed the code on Tuesday, but our ...
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2answers
67 views

What are the problems with my sentences?

她是一个从美国来的姑娘来中国训练中国的足球队。 (是。。的) 一发现她丢了她的题手包就连忙回饭店去,而在饭店里一直搜索总归放弃了。(连忙) 他第一次比赛的时候,虽然在培训他是足球队最好的运动员,但是他居然踢了一脚,没踢足球就不小心地摔倒去了。(居然) 4.作弊,偷了别同学的钱,跷课, 等等,他并不是一个很诚实的人。(并+bu/ 5.已经两个星期了,如果作业还没做了你干脆别做吧。(干脆) 6....
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2answers
75 views

Is it more natural to express “0” with a negative form?

In English you could use two forms when expressing a sentence that has a plural form with a value of "0". For example: You have 2 unread messages. Could be either: You have 0 unread messages. Or ...
2
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4answers
94 views

All this for the low price of

I want to list several features of a product and then at the end I want to finish with: all this just for the minimum price or all this for the minimum price My best attempt was 获得这一切只需要最低的价格. ...
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4answers
91 views

Object before the verb 每次地理考试我都不及格

In the sentence: 每次地理考试我都不及格. Is 考试 a verb? If it is a verb why is the object before it? If it is a noun could not 有 be missing before 地理?
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3answers
149 views

How do I say “Love is irreversible”?

Long time ago I asked to a close friend how to say "love is irreversible" and she taught me it was some like ai shi bu ke ni de. Then by using google translate I got to this: 愛是不可逆轉的 And I can ...
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2answers
71 views

Translation of 飞架 in 港珠澳大桥飞架三地

How do you make grammatical sense of 飞架 in the expression 港珠澳大桥飞架三地? Is it "the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge flies a three-city frame"? Or "the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge: flying and supporting ...
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2answers
53 views

Express when festivity or event happens

I need to write an eassy about festivities and I included the following sentence: 公历每年十二月十五日是这个西方传统的节日。 The teacher said this was not correct Chinese, instead, I should have written: ...
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0answers
39 views

Good resources that complement HelloChinese?

I've been learning Mandarin using HelloChinese and Pleco flashcards for a month now. I've been noticing that HelloChinese doesn't bother to explain some concepts that I've found through googling such ...
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1answer
37 views

Differentiating between adjective and adverb?

The sentence in question is this: 我的心又似小木船 it is translated: my heart is like a small wooden boat. can it also mean: my heart is a little bit like a wooden boat?
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1answer
61 views

Why can't I repeat the verb with degree complement in “昨晚我的朋友表达得很明确”?

I thought I have finally been able to wrap my head around this structure, but it seems no, not really. So I have seen this sentence: 昨晚我的朋友_表达_得很明确。 But according to my native speaker friend, you ...
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3answers
92 views

What does 的 do in "现在的Paul已经63岁了“?

I was reading a text from The Chairman's Bao titled "Australian Boy Finds 56-year-old Message in a Bottle" and I came across the following sentence: 现在的Paul已经63岁了 What does 的 do here? Could it be ...