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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1answer
36 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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3answers
81 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
54 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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2answers
163 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?
4
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1answer
419 views

What's wrong with 很多同学坐着在草地上?

很多同学坐着在草地上 => My textbook gives me the correct sentence: 很多同学坐在草地上. But I think the original one is not wrong. (1) 很多同学坐着在草地上. Many students are sitting on the grass. (2) 很多同学坐在草地上. Many ...
2
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2answers
284 views

Use of 真的 as adverb: are 我真要走了 and 我真的要走了 equally correct?

I came across the sentence: "我真的要走了". I am wondering why it has the 的. I didn't know 真 needed a 的 to be an adverb, or that it was even ok. Is it equally correct to say "我真要走了"? Or is "我真的要走了" ...
1
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1answer
66 views

Is there any difference between 我给你不买 and 我不给你买?

Is there any difference between these two sentences: 我给你不买 and 我不给你买? Chinese grammar says we should put 不 in front of the preposition in these types of sentences... But I saw a lot examples when ...
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3answers
107 views

Meaning of 的 in 真的?

Question: Is the 的 in 真的 a modal 的 [see resources.allsetlearning.com]? How does 的 change 真? Does it bring some emphasis? I guess the purpose of 的 in 真的 is the same as in 好的 or 有的? See Is each 的 in 有的 ...
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1answer
36 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
36 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
43 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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3answers
69 views

Why is 的 mandatory in the sentence 坐四十五分钟的二百七路

I have troubles trying to figure out why 的 should be present (and its position) in the following sentence: ...,然后坐四十五分钟的二百七路 As far as I know, 的 is used to modify nouns. What is that particle ...
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2answers
50 views

Difference between 要学习的东西 and 东西要学习

I learned that a verb phrase modifying a noun should precede the noun with 的 in between, like this: 我还有很多要学习的东西。(I still have a lot to learn.) However, I have seen some people speak like this: ...
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5answers
95 views

The use of 会 in 我们每次谈都会吵架

In the next sentence what is the meaning of 会. 我们每次谈都会吵架。 What is the meaning and difference if you drop out 会. 我们每次谈都会吵架 meaning is: 我们每次谈都吵架 meaning is:
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1answer
34 views

What does 一 + verb/noun + 一 + verb/noun mean?

I’m reading 活着 and I’m seeing it all the time. It’s driving me nuts! “他才挠着头一步一步往回走。”
1
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1answer
50 views

Reduplication of Adverb + Adjective in 很细很细

My textbook has this sentence: 是一种很细很细的针。 (1) What is the purpose of "很细很细"? (2) In what kind of situations can this phrase be used?
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4answers
159 views

Is 晚 a verb or an adjective in the sentence 我 晚了一 个半小?

In the sentence below the is word 晚 a verb or an adjective? In the Pleco and other dictionaries says that it is an adjective but I have not seen an adjective with 了 and a duration in any grammar book. ...
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4answers
532 views

How to say “red book”?

I'd like to know how to say "red book" in Mandarin. Can it be 红色 的 书 or 红书? I read a book to learn about color, it used 红色 的 before a noun but I heard in a song it used only 红 before noun. I feel ...
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6answers
139 views

What's the difference between 囚犯, 囚徒, 犯人 and 囚 and how does it affect a sentence?

I was searching online and I found out that there are several meanings for the word "prisoner" and I couldn't find the differences or a reason for it, therefore I'd like some help for this.
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4answers
49 views

How can one get away with saying a noun before a description?

I very often come across the following problem. Somebody asks me about a thing/ person/ noun and I start responding by: It's a thing/ person that... Wait, in Chinese you must say the description first ...
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2answers
159 views

How to write and structure a modern professional follow-up email like a native Chinese speaker?

I'm interested in how the modern professional email structures differ between Chinese and English. I'd like to create a go-to template/structure that can convert what native English speakers ...
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4answers
41 views

Answering yes/no a question with 会。

Can you answer to a question with only the verb of the question?. Is it right if you put an aclaration afterwards? This is the example. A- 她会按医生的话去做吗? B- 会,他决定按医生的话去做。 Thanks in advance.
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1answer
37 views

可以 altering time words order?

In this site they say time words can only appear in two possible positions in a sentence, either before or after the subject: Time + Subj. + Verb + Obj. Subj. + Time + Verb + Obj. But I came across ...
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3answers
27 views

因为 two or more reasons. and difference with 是因为

I was going to write the following sentence and have two doubts: 他去看医生,因为他自己觉得身体很弱,学习时思想不能集中。 I wanted to say: "He went to the doctor because she was feeling weak and could not concentrate when ...
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4answers
210 views

How do I break apart the middle part of 事实证明,澳大利亚非量没有用奶制品进行反制的条件,破产事件反而证明这是澳方的软肋?

Today I read an article about Australia considering blocking China importing baby formula (奶粉), which expresses the opinion that the current pandemic has shown what happens if China stops buying ...
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1answer
237 views

How to translate "(surname)老板“ in English

how does one translate '(surname)老板' from Chinese to English? I understand that the word '老板' means boss/shopkeeper/shop owner/chief, but when a surname is added in front of their position, how ...
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2answers
48 views

Comparison question with implicit 再 zài?

I just started learning chinese and I came across this dialogue from a lesson: A: Pínɡuǒzěnme mài ? 苹果怎么卖? How much are the apples? B: Sìkuài. 四块. 4 Yuan. A: Yǒudiǎnr ɡuì. Kěyǐpiányi yìdiǎnr mɑ? 有点儿贵。...
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4answers
160 views

Grammar structure of "你看,Sally 穿上传统服后有多漂亮“

你看,Sally 穿上传统服后有多漂亮. My questions are (1) Is Subject omitted? I think the sentence needs a Subject in "Sally 穿上传统服后 (Subject) 有多漂亮 ". (2) If 后 is removed, how can I rewrite this sentence?
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2answers
101 views

Why I cannot say "他坐着在沙发上看报纸“?

他坐着在沙发上看报纸. He is sitting on the sofa and reading newspaper. A friend tells me it should be (1) 他坐在沙发上看报纸. (2) 他坐在沙发上看着报纸. (3) 他在沙发上坐着看报纸. Can anyone explain to me why the original one is wrong?
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2answers
78 views

Correction of 我在饭店里把晚饭吃了

我在饭店里把晚饭吃了吗 =》 My textbook gives me the correct one: 我在饭店里吃晚饭了。 My questions are (1) Why do this sentence not use 把 structure? (2) If I rewrite as below, which is grammatically correct? ...
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4answers
2k views

Talking future tense: 将,要,将要, 会, 将会

I have been looking at various explanations and definitions all over the Internet, but they seem mutually exclusive and quite chaotic. One explanation I got is that 要 generally means “going to”, or ...
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4answers
99 views

How to use 一般 and examples

一般 is both an adjective and adverb that means "same". I haven't found any thorough explanations of its usage. How is it generally used and in what kind of situations? Thank you so much!
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1answer
38 views

Definition order of adjectives of noun

黑小狗 means black puppy and 小黑狗 means small black dog, please correct me if I am wrong.
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2answers
127 views

What’s wrong with 我们八点快要上课了?

The wrong sentence is “我们八点快要上课了。” There are 2 answers for this sentence (in my Chinese textbook): (1) 我们八点要上课了。 (2) 我们八点就要上课了。 I think that 快要...了 is equivalent to 要...了 (both mean “is about ...
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3answers
70 views

Is my sentence 如果没时间的话就告诉我 grammatically correct?

I am not sure that my sentence: 如果没时间的话就告诉我 is grammatically correct or not. So please guide me, have I used the right words?
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4answers
131 views

What is the function of “根本” in 这杯咖啡根本不值得花四十元人民币?

In this sentence: 这杯咖啡根本不值得花四十元人民币 What is the function of "根本"? As far as I can tell, this sentence would translate the same if it were removed. Is it being used like an adverb, like someone in ...
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2answers
60 views

How to proceed after forgetting to include time-when/location/adverb phrase before main verb?

In English (and other languages), I commonly do this in conversations: I'll say a short + simple sentence (subject-verb-object), but moments later, I'll want to add a detail to the statement. ...
2
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3answers
61 views

Difference between 就要。。。了 and 要。。。了

(1)明天他就要回来了。 (2)明天他要回来了。 I wonder if both sentences are different. Can anyone tell me the difference between 就要。。。了 and 要。。。了?
1
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1answer
73 views

Is 他的自行车被我买了 grammatically wrong?

他的自行车被我买了. (His bicycle was bought by me.) As I learn, 被 structure tends to be used in negative conditions. In this sentence, I think it is not wrong but not smooth. Can anyone explain if it is ...
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1answer
41 views

Is 靠 structure “A 靠 B do something”?

他们全家靠父亲一个人工作生活。Their family get by on their dad's salary. 他们靠经营宾馆发了财。They make fortune by hotel business. There are my questions (1) Is 靠 structure "A (pronoun/noun) 靠 B (pronoun/noun) do something"?...
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3answers
115 views

How does word order work in “作业 他 一点 都 没 做 ?”?

In Chinese grammar wiki, I found this sentence: 作业 他 一点 都 没 做 ? I'd like to read up on how this word order works and how to correctly apply it. Does it change the meaning or focus?
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1answer
40 views

Meaning of 一样 in 你要像喜欢甜一样喜欢苦

你要像喜欢甜一样喜欢苦 My questions are (1) What does 一样 means in this sentence? (2) Can I put VERBS following 一样? E.g: 我跟Mary一样喜欢那种菜。(Both I and Mary like that dish) (3) If my example is wrong, how can it ...
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2answers
42 views

Is my sentence 如果我没去上班就一起朋友去玩 grammatially correct?

I have written the following sentence 如果我没去上班就一起朋友去玩 But, I am not sure if it is grammatically correct or not. Please give me some guidance.
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4answers
49 views

When to use counters with 这 and 那

I'm having trouble locating a grammatical rule that explains if I should use counters in certain situations, I'll give you some examples 这个是什么 (What is this?) Do I need the counter in that sentence?...
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2answers
83 views

Using 得 with past particle 了

I tried to translate this sentence: The man cleaned the bathroom cleanly. I thought it would be: 他把卫生间打扫得干净了。 but my Chinese friends said that this is a wrong sentence. I am wondering, Why is ...
2
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5answers
108 views

What is the function of 就是

What does 就 是mean and how do we use it I have seen many times people using like in this sentence 就是关于爱情的 so what does 就是really means
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2answers
57 views

可以 order structure?

I have some confusion about the grammar structure of 可以 Kěyǐ. I found in this website the basic usage is: Subj. + 可以 + Verb + Obj. But then I came across a dialogue where they put it after the verb: ...
2
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1answer
38 views

时量补语:modal and verb 了

Is there any difference between these two sentences: 我们已经分别了十年了 and 我们已经分别十年了 , the question is regarding 了 in these sentences, should we put one or two 了? Thanks.
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3answers
97 views

What is the role of 给 in this 把 … 给 V construction?

I came across the following sentence in EP340 of the 故事FM podcast: 把一个垃圾桶的盖子给返过来,把小孩放在上面换了尿布。 My question is about the role 给 in the first part, before the comma. Without the 给 it would make perfect ...
4
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3answers
2k views

When should I use 多少 or 几?

Is the difference between 多少 and 几 simply "how much" vs "how many"? I've read different sources with varying perspectives: some emphasize expected number (1-10 for 多少 vs 10+ for 几), others talk about ...

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