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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努力工作 用功学习 adjective, verb or adverb

In the sentences 他努力工作 and 他应该用功学习. 努力 is an adjective, or a verb. In Pleco only has this two options but it seems to be a adverb, that modifies the verb 工作. Or is 工作 a verb and both are verbs? I ...
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Translation of “you either speak too quickly or too slowly.” without repeating 说

This answer gives an example sentence meaning "you speak too quickly" to illustrate the usage of 得 (·de). 1) 你说得太快了。 In order to say "you either speak too quickly or too slowly", I'm pretty sure it'...
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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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What is the proper order to list the noun and adjective when using 的

I've learned that 的 can be used to say that some noun has some quality, for instance 你说的太快了 is saying that 你说 (your speech) has the quality of being 太快了 (too fast) or in other words "You speak too ...
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What are the differences between 的,地 and 得? [duplicate]

I am trying to understand the differences between the three (de) in Chinese.
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A city is located east/north/west/south of a country; what is the correct Chinese grammar for that?

For example: I want to say that Freiburg (in Germany) is located east of France. My sentence was this: 弗莱堡在法国的东边。 This is also how we did it in class. But I'm starting to worry this sounds like it's ...
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What is wrong with this sentence and why? 我们八点上课,老师八点半才到了。

What is wrong with this sentence and why? I would like to have a grammatical explanation. 我们八点上课,老师八点半才到了。
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身 as a measure word is it commonly used

My Wenlin dictionary describes 身 as also a measure word for "suits of clothing". Is it commonly used by Chinese speakers ?
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Indicating degree with 比 and 不如

When using 比, you are able to add a classifying degree. For example, 一个苹果比一个香蕉贵一块元。 Can you do the same with 不如? 一个香蕉不如一个苹果贵一块元 ??
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How to say 反常识的 in English?

How to properly translate 反常识的 to English in academic writing? I want to express a surprising and unusual phenomenon that shouldn't appear in an experiment, which is not expected and against the ...
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5answers
230 views

The grammatical component of 来 in this sentence

In this sentence: 经常有人问“一天应该吃几个鸡蛋”,其实这个没有固定答案,要根据自己的饮食结构来整体分析。 I feel the sentence means something like the following: People often ask "How many eggs should people eat a day?", but actually it ...
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Fixing sentences with object and complement after a verb

While perusing an article on allsetlearning.com about complements, I came across an interesting example of an ungrammatical sentence: 回来中国, where the object and complement are both placed after the ...
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Which grammatical rule is being used here?

I thought it’d be easy to say “I didn’t do well on my exam/I did poorly on my exam” but turned out it’s not an easy one. I have tried to translate it multiple times and here’s what I got (I’ve tried ...
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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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367 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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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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Using 的 at the end of a sentence

I'm looking for confirmation of the way I'm parsing a sentence with 的 at the end, and I'd appreciate some background or other examples of this usage. I found this sentence on tatoeba.org: 我一定會去看他的。...
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404 views

Errors and Unnatural Language in a Translation Challenge

I was recently challenged to translate the following sentence from English into Chinese: You should stay away from that bar. A friend of mine went there before, and he ended up in the hospital after ...
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Are there relative pronouns in Chinese

Are there words for relative pronouns, for example: The man, who was walking to the shop, was tall. Is there a Chinese word for the bolded "who"?
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622 views

Two “question words” in one sentence

One of my teachers asked us the example question: 你有什么安排吗? I asked her why there would be two "question words", 什么 and 吗, when I believed you should only have one question word (in this case, 吗 ...
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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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The difference between 比~更 and 比~多了

In Mandarin, there seems to be two forms of comparison statements. The first is 比~更, and the second is 比~多了 (or other variants such as 很多 and 得多). Example: 他打篮球比我更好。 他打篮球比我厉害多了。 坐高铁比坐飞机更方便。...
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63 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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101 views

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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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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68 views

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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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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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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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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92 views

Translation for 无效

I'm looking for a translation of "无效". Does that mean "incorrect" ? Thanks for answers.
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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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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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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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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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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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Is there a dictionary that includes 搭配

Is there a decent dictionary that includes 搭配, or words that the searched word cannot be used with? I use Pleco, but one of my largest complaints with it is there is really no baseline for how the ...
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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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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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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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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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188 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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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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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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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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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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139 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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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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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 ...