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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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2
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4answers
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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4answers
311 views

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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2answers
103 views

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 ...
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2answers
719 views

In what cases must I use 了 and in what cases not? [duplicate]

When saying something in the past tense, in what cases must I use le 了 and in what cases not? I'm studying this right now in my Chinese class and it is a complete mindfuck. I don't know in what ...
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3answers
148 views

How do you translate “I always drink coffee with cream”?

I'm particularly interested in how you translate "with" here. I remember someone using it in a conversation yesterday, but didn't get the chance to have them repeat it. I tried searching MDBG and ...
0
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2answers
62 views

Proper participle

我经验过 还是 我经验了? since guo also means experience I am wondering if one of these is the right way, actually i can't remember exactly how to use guo. is it redundant to use guo when already using jing yan?...
3
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4answers
117 views

What is the grammatical structure of: 我把你们带到茶馆来。

I was reading New Practical Chinese Reader Chpater 27 and stumbled upon the following sentence: 我把你们带到茶馆来。 While the meaning of the sentence is pretty clear, I have trouble understanding its ...
5
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3answers
878 views

What is the meaning and function of 幸 in “则幸分我一杯羹”?

What is the meaning and function of "幸" in the following sentence? 吾翁即若翁。必欲烹而翁,则幸分我一杯羹
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1answer
55 views

Touch: difference between 碰,碰觸,觸碰, and 觸

There appear to be multiple ways to say touch according to YellowBridge. 1) Is there a difference between 碰,碰觸,觸碰, and 觸, or are they interchangeable? 2) In Cantonese, 點 seems to be the right way to ...
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1answer
35 views

meaning and function of 使 as in “不如小决使道,不如吾闻而药之也”

What is the meaning and function of 使 in the following? 大决所犯,伤人必多,吾不克救也;不如小决使道,不如吾闻而药之也。 道 means 導, meaning "to lead" or "to guide," but how does it combine with 使, meaning "to cause"?
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1answer
39 views

Meaning and function of “以” in “子路,人告之以有过,则喜”?

What is the meaning and function of 以 in the following? 子路,人告之以有过,则喜。 According to an online dictionary, 以 as a preposition has the following senses: [介] 1 因為、由於。《論語.衛靈公》:「君子不以言舉人,不以人廢言。」《韓非子....
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2answers
63 views

Usage of 就 in these two examples

I'm taking an intermediate Chinese course and ran across a character whose usage I can't quite wrap my head around: 就. I believe the meaning of the character itself are "then, right away, etc." ...
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2answers
146 views

If you can use Chinese nouns as verbs, or vice versa

In English you have words like "badge" which are typically a noun, but they can also be verbs, "They need to badge in" to use their keycard to get in. Shortly, "Badge in please". You can have other ...
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2answers
73 views

does 好 mean “it's better to” or “in order to” in complex sentences

Whats's the meaning of “好” in the following sentences "it's better to" or "in order to": 1)今天天气不好,咱们好留在家 2)你要支持治病,好早一点恢复健康
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3answers
434 views

一…就… vs. 了…就

I have been revising HSK 3 grammar, and came across these two alternatives: 我妈妈一起床,就做早饭 我妈妈起了床,就做早饭 On the basis that my book says that they both mean 'My mum makes breakfast as soon as she wakes ...
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1answer
80 views

What kind of words can be followed with "感“?

For example 正义感,使命感,厚重感 ... But this sounds wired, at least to me: 意义感 Is there a rule?
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5answers
861 views

What's the difference between “睡不着” and "没睡着“?

Please help me clarify the difference between the two phrases: I thought that 睡不着 means that you cannot fall asleep (可能补语) for example: 我经常失眠, 睡不着觉。 and that 没睡着 means that you didn't sleep (结果补语) ...
2
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2answers
116 views

when is the suffix 边/面 required?

I have learnt location words such as 上/下/前/后etc. and understand they can modify a noun such as -桌子上,宿舍前 . I also know the suffix 边 or 面 can be added (doesn't really change the meaning). When do i need ...
6
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4answers
10k views

How to say “I'm finished”?

When we've finished doing something like I've finished (doing my homework) what we should say. Can we say 好了 "I'm finished"? (Hǎole) How about "are you finished"? Can we say "好了吗"?. (Hǎole ma)
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0answers
92 views

Why does 子 work with some nouns but not others as a nominal suffix?

I know that 子 can work as a diminutive suffix (small things have their smallness emphasized and a sense of intimacy may be indicated). Another use is as a nominal suffix, which I understand to be a ...
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3answers
71 views

Is the 有 in this sentence some kind of auxiliary verb?

I was going to the convenience store and asked my local friend how to ask in Chinese "Do you want anything?" Her answer was: 你有想要买什么吗 I wasn't sure what to make of the 有 before the verb 想要 meaning "...
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3answers
147 views

Why is 快樂 after 新年

Why are there some adjectives after nouns, but when translated to english the adjective appears before the noun.
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1answer
72 views

Difference between 余 and 多; the use of 岁 and 年

1. If I want to say "more than a hundred years", which one is correct? a. 百余年 b. 一百多年 One of the example in ichacha "五十余年: fifty odd years" makes me wonder why 余 is used instead of 多. So, when ...
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3answers
108 views

Uses of interrogatives as pronouns

In English, interrogatives are occasionally used as not as interrogatives but as adverbs and relative pronouns. For example: I don't know why we moved; I don't know how that machine works; I know ...
2
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1answer
237 views

Which is better, 其他所有 or 所有其他?

其他所有 or 所有其他,which word order is more natural and ”合乎中文的习惯” ? For example, as in 其他所有内容 or 所有其他内容, 其他所有人 or 所有其他人, etc.
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1answer
99 views

就要 contraction juo?

There's a commercial that plays on TV everyday now where in the lyrics 就要 is sung as juo. 就要就要 is sung as juo juo. There's nothing in my dictionaries alluding to a 就要 contraction and I've not been ...
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4answers
174 views

What is the meaning of 一看 in this sentence?

打开盒子一看,里面是一只小猫 Is it the same as 看看 or 看一看?
3
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1answer
55 views

Use of Preposition or Verb with telling time

In English, when telling time, a verb is used: "Now it is 9 o'clock." Additionally, when telling at what time, a preposition is used: "I will meet with the principal at 4 o'clock." In Chinese is a ...
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3answers
124 views

How to say “calendar” in Chinese?

In English, calendar can refer to several things. I would like the Chinese word that would mean calender in the sense of a planner, like how a teacher might calender her future lesson plans or you ...
3
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2answers
69 views

present perfect with stative verbs

你们好! I've been trying to work out how to form an equivalent of the English present perfect with a stative verb. I'd like to say something along the lines of: "I have known her since we were both 2 ...
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2answers
126 views

Can you omit the “的” that is after the verb “举办”?

I know that this sentence is correct: 北京奥运会是2008年举办的。 But can you omit the “的” that is after the verb “举办”? Like this: 北京奥运会是2008年举办[ ]。 I think, I have read some sentences that has omitted the “...
3
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2answers
320 views

How do I use 着呢 correctly?

So 着呢, from the book I am currently studying (汉语教程) says it uses it at the end of a sentence to express “very”. However, my teacher said this is incorrect and said 着呢 is used to express something is ...
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3answers
112 views

When is it appropriate to use 在 with a time phrase?

Can you use 在 when a time phrase appears in the usual place in front of a verb? If so, how does it change the meaning? When would I choose to use it? 他去年去了中国度假。 他在去年去了中国度假。 or is 在 only used with ...
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4answers
188 views

What is 了 doing in the sentence 我出发了?

Consider the sentence 我出发了。 with the translation I'm leaving. This was given to me in a list of examples demonstrating the putting 了 after a verb expresses a completed action (perfect aspect, I ...
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3answers
80 views

What is the function 就是 and 对 in this sentence?

I encountered the following sentence recently: 这个重大责任, 就是对民族的责任。 I loosely translated it to: "This important responsibility is the nation's responsibility." But grammatically, I was confused by the ...
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2answers
71 views

How to list adjectives in Chinese

I am preparing for HSK 6, and its Reading Part 1, which asks you to identify a 语病 in a sentence, is notoriously hard. Here is one of the sentences from HSK 6 Reading Part 1. 周围的人都很羡慕她,说他的妻子很实惠,又能干又体贴。...
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1answer
62 views

Grammar question from a Chinese Magic card

I thought magic cards would be a fun source of study material for me, but I've hit a bit that confuses me. (From this card) 每当任一牌手施放瞬间或法术咒语时,你抓一张牌。 I already know from the English translation that ...
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3answers
219 views

Difference between 一般 and 一样 meaning “same”

I want to know if there are any differences between 一般 and 一样 in expressing “same”?
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1answer
53 views

Optional components in conditional statements

I am aware of this thread. However, I was wondering if you can play with the components the same way with every of the IF-words I know (ordered from most to least formal): 假使……(的话),(就)…… 假如……(的话),(就)…...
6
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4answers
826 views

What is the difference between 参加 and 参与?

I have been using these interchangeably, until today I was corrected, being told that one "参加活动”, not "参与活动“. I then looked up the definition, but it wasn't too helpful. How do I know when to use ...
46
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11answers
39k views

的-地-得, when do you use which?

So the age old question of 的-地-得, when do you use which? When spoken, it all sounds the same, but on paper it depends on if it's a verb, noun, adjective. But I don't quite remember if that is all that ...
2
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2answers
133 views

Does '到现在' imply a recent change?

Chinese-to-English dictionaries seem to translate '到现在' as 'up to now' or 'until now'. In English this often implies a recent change in conditions rather than a continuation of conditions; however, in ...
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2answers
367 views

What is the difference between 没有 vs 了没有in sentence?

Is there any difference the following sentences? They seem the same to me: 你吃饭没有? vs 你吃饭了没有?
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2answers
184 views

What part of speech are 应答用语?

Words like OK 好的 诶 are often used in response to other people's requests, proposals and the like. In Chinese they're often referred to as 应答用语. Is 应答用语 a part of speech? If so what would it be ...
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2answers
84 views

Grammar of 大道無門

On Literature Stack Exchange, someone recently asked a question about the quote 大道無門, which was identified as coming from the collection of Zen koans known as The Gateless Barrier (early thirteenth ...
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1answer
139 views

What is the verbatim (grammatical) meaning of 不了​了之?

不了​了之 is a ChengYu, read as bu4 liao3 liao3 zhi1 its figurative meaning is "to let sth. in its original state". I guess the ChengYu had some concrete verbatim meaning in literary Chinese, but I do not ...
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1answer
110 views

What is the translation for 淫之以色,啗之以利,養之以味,娛之以樂?

淫之以色,啗之以利,養之以味,娛之以樂 is a sentence from 六韜 (six secret teachings), a book about strategies. There are 4 lines each containing 4 characters and the same pattern: A 之以 B, wherein A and B are semantically ...
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5answers
209 views

Difference between 很 and 挺

As far as I know, both means “very”. I would like to know if there are any further differences that exist between them
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2answers
166 views

Is 得弄 one word here or two?

I have 首先得弄清楚我们需要什么。 I see 得弄清楚 is a fairly common combination of words. Is 得弄 one word or 2 words here? Should I read de nong or dei nong? Should I translate the sentence to 'First we need to find ...
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7answers
1k views

When to use “他的太太” and when “他太太”?

I've read the two different sentences, of which one uses "他的太太" and the other uses "他太太". How can I tell the difference between the two? For example, in the following sentence: 现在他想他的太太。 现在他想他太太。 ...