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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2answers
110 views

How do you ask “Who is your dad” in Chinese? [duplicate]

I am learning Chinese on Duolingo and recently saw a translation of "Who is your dad?" as 谁是你的爸爸. When I used Google translate I got a similar answer. I have learnt (in the basics) that we put the ...
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4answers
152 views

Difference between 尽管 and 虽然

In this sentence should I use both 尽管/虽然 or not? I really like doing sports. Although I have many lessons every day, after four o'clock I'll be in the gym running and swimming. My friend Maria even ...
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4answers
470 views

What is the meaning of 水 in this text?

Someone was asking about this in a German Chinese forum. Now I too would really like to know what 水 is here! The author is from 重庆, maybe it is dialect. 他一向说话算话,没有水过我,起码在这之前,他没有过,一定是他明白自己做的丑事——...
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1answer
29 views

Are these senteces correct? [closed]

I tried to correct them but I'm not sure about it. Is there a rule or a scheme to follow in order to correct them properly? 1.这幅画被我做了。 这幅画是我做的 2.我弟弟越来越高一点。 我弟弟越来越高 3.我只要喝茶,不要喝啤酒。 我只要喝茶,就喝啤酒 4....
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1answer
60 views

Grammar: using 的 several times

I often come up with the same problem in Chinese. How to use 的 in very long and complex sentences like: "He's the guy who just employed a person who doesn't even know how to work." I'd translate ...
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2answers
123 views

Placement of 了: difference between 吃飯了 and 吃了飯

Do 我吃早飯了 and 我吃了早飯 mean the same thing (I have eaten breakfast), slightly different things? Or is one of them wrong? Which is better? (For context, the second option was marked incorrect by an app ...
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3answers
176 views

沒verb vs 沒有verb

I encountered this in one of my language learning apps. What is the difference between 昨天這個男孩沒有喝牛奶 (by google translate: The boy did not drink milk yesterday) and 昨天這個男孩沒喝牛奶 (by google translate: ...
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3answers
372 views

How can both 过 (past actions) and 会 (future actions) turn up in 下过雨以后,空气会好很多?

I found this example in a Chinese grammar teaching web. 下过雨以后,空气会好很多。 What I do not understand is: I learn that "过" is used for past actions, "会" = "will" (for future actions). So, how can both 过 ...
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1answer
371 views

What do the 可 mean in 可现在想起来可真是记忆犹新呀 and 我可要出点丑了?

I have this sentence: 同学们,我的新家安电话的时侯还是几年前,可现在想起来可真是记忆犹新呀!不信?那我就讲给你听听,我可要出点丑了! Could you please explain? 1 可现在想起来可真是记忆犹新呀!why is there a second 可 here? 2。我可要出点丑了!what is the meaning of 可 here and ...
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Why is there 弄了 in the sentence 婶婶找来几片叶子,给雪弄了一双耳环?

I never understood the usage of 弄 for example in this sentence 婶婶找来几片叶子,给雪弄了一双耳环 why is there a 弄了? The sentence makes sense without it.
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2answers
128 views

Why is 有 used in 你的表有一点儿快?

I have the following sentence: 你的表有一点儿快。 I understand this sentence to have the meaning in English of "Your watch is a little bit fast." But if I were put this sentence into Chinese, I would say "...
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5answers
98 views

How to say “the fourth floor of that building”?

My doubt is in translating this sentence: "That apartment is in the fourth floor of that building." Is there a grammatical structure to say things like "the fourth floor of that building" in Chinese?...
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6answers
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Why is 当然 the correct choice in 我学了10年汉语了,汉语水平 [一定 / 当然] 很高?

I recently had to select the correct answer for a homework assignment: 我学了10年汉语了,汉语水平 。。。 很高 I chose 一定,but the correct answer turned out to be 当然 Was my answer incorrect, why? How do these two ...
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4answers
184 views

What does 之为 mean in 如果把人生比之为杠杆…?

What does 之为 mean in the following sentence? 如果把人生比之为杠杆,信念则好像是它的“支点”,具备这个恰当的支点,才可能成为一个强有力的人。
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2answers
46 views

主要 as adverb?? or is it a sub+pred as subjet phrase

In the following sentence: 补习老师主要帮她练习什么? 主要 is before a verb. In the dictionary it says it is an adjective and the uses I've seen is as an adjective like: 主要的问题, the main problem. Can it also ...
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1answer
146 views

Why is 名字 used with 叫, but 姓 isn't?

Examples: 我姓李。 我名字叫张。 Why not 我姓叫李?
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2answers
43 views

What exactly is 动宾短语?

What exactly is 动宾短语? Is it structure with no subject like 学汉语对人有好处。 Or is it part of a pivotal sentence what I have seen on some books. 兼语句:用兼语短语充当谓语的主谓句。其主要特点有:它的谓语 由一个动宾短语和一个主谓短语套接而成;...
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5answers
224 views

Which is correct, “我对我的妈妈说很多话” or “我对我的妈妈说很多”?

Can someone explain me which one is correct and why?
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5answers
384 views

What's the difference between saying '我不比她差' and '我比她不差'?

I have a question about making comparisons in Chinese. What's the difference between saying '我不比她差' and '我比她不差'?
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2answers
76 views

When can a classifier be omitted? E.g. in 一女子跟着自己的包进了安检机

I know in Ancient Chinese there often was no classifier. But sometimes I notice the same phenomenon in modern Chinese. Today I heard the sentence: 一女子跟着自己的包进了安检机 For which words is such a usage ...
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2answers
46 views

Parsing grammar of 我想不出还会有谁

我想不出还会有谁。 I don’t understand how to parse this. Is it [i][cant think of][still can][there is who]? How does that translate to “i can’t think of of anyone else”? I just see a string of verbs that don’...
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4answers
450 views

Are 平常 and 通常 essentially interchangeable?

In a few of my entries on Lang-8.com, several of my Chinese friends have changed 平常 into 通常 and vice versa without providing additional explanation. It it just a matter of personal taste?
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1answer
93 views

When is it necessary to use 来 to convey the meaning “in order to”

In Mandarin, if we have two VO in order the second one indicates the purpose of the first action, something like "in order to" or just "to" in English, as in: 我回家学习中文 - I'll go back home (in order) ...
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3answers
507 views

Shi / Hen for adjective + noun when discussing facts or perceived facts

There are the simplified rules about never using "shi" to link an adjective with a noun. However, I believe this is not true for facts or perceived facts, such as colors, then I should use "shi" to ...
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4answers
346 views

Using “shì” for noun + adjective + noun

Being a beginner, I am bit puzzled by the concept of "shì" being used not for describing nouns with adjectives. Using search, I think it is clear to me that: Noun + noun = I can use "shì". Adjective ...
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3answers
4k views

How to say: “I have been studying Chinese for 4 years.”

How can I most accurately say the simple sentence: I have been studying Chinese for 4 years. This is a very simple phrase, and I am surprised at myself for not being confident in which one of the ...
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1answer
101 views

Please help me fix the grammar in a birthday letter 祝你生日快乐!!! 对不起, 让你久等了

Where do I need to fix grammar? I know for a fact something must be wrong... 于一文: 你好! 祝你生日快乐!!! 对不起, 让你久等了。祝你年年有今日,岁岁有今朝。祝万事如意。谢谢你的万事。有机会的话,大家见个面。 他不但是我的老师还是我的哥哥。 我爱你♡
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3answers
59 views

Is a reduplicated verb necessary after “ba3”?

In my textbook there's an exercise in which I must decide if a sentence is correct. There's this: 请把这些汉字练. In the answers they say it's incorrect because "lian4" should be reduplicated. Is it really a ...
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2answers
138 views

Function of 开了 in 我开车开了半天了

I am currently studying Basic Mandarin Chinese by Cornelius C. Kubler and encountered the following sentence in Unit 8 Part 4: 我开车开了半天了,我们换个人开,行不行? Without 开了 the first part of sentence makes ...
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1answer
61 views

Is zai4 + … + li3 really a mistake?

In my textbook there's an exercise in which I must decide if a sentence is correct. There's this: 在客厅里坐着一位老人. In the answers they say it's incorrect because "zai4" shouldn't be there. Is it really a ...
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1answer
132 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
341 views

What is the difference between using the 能 and 得 potential forms?

For example, "我不能睁开我的眼睛" and "我睁不开我的眼睛" (不 obviously being the negation of the 得 potential form). What is the difference in nuance between these two sentences?
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3answers
84 views

How do I make V-not-V questions with prepositions?

If I have sentences with prepositions like: 他从北京回来。 我把水喝了。 我往上海开车。 学校离我的家不远。 How would I turn them into V-not-V sentences? Is it right to say: 他从不从北京回来? 你把没把水喝? 你往不往上海开车? 学校离不离你的家远? ...
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1answer
30 views

Why is 在 in 就这样在孔琳犹豫不决地跟着朋友进了酒吧?

I'm revising my notes, and a while ago I wrote: 这样孔琳犹豫地跟着朋友进去。 It means something like "In this way, Kong Lin reluctantly followed her friends in", and in the context of the story she entered a ...
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3answers
186 views

Translating “很快就有人去了.” ? Confusing word order

Can anyone help me translate this sentence properly? 很快就有人去了. My attempt is “Very quickly and soon, some people left.” However I don’t really understand the 很快就 part. Like i thought if these were ...
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3answers
560 views

Question words at the end or beginning? (e.g. “Nide baba shi shei?”)

So far, question words in Chinese have always appeared at the end. But with "shei" I saw sentences like Shei shi nide baba? So can it be used at the start or end of a sentence? Can we say ...
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2answers
74 views

What is the meaning of 之 and 当 in the phrase “比之当初战火蔓延的速度有过之而无不及”?

The sentence looks like this: 乱葬岗大围剿刚刚结束,未及第二日,这个消息便插翅一般飞遍了整个修真界,比之当初战火蔓延的速度有过之而无不及。 I do not understand the meaning of 之 here and also do not know how to read 当 in this context (and what is the ...
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4answers
101 views

How do I negate a 要……了 structure?

If someone says: 要下雨了。 But I want to deny that statement, how would I do that? I thought about 不会下雨, but it seems as if I'm using another grammar. Is there a way closer to 要……了 that I can use to ...
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6answers
250 views

What action does “打” in “打酱油” refer to?

Lately I found out that 打酱油means “buy soy sauce”, but it becomes “beat soy sauce” when translated literally. I know 打 can mean “beat”, so I’d like to know if this word can mean “buy” in day-to-day ...
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2answers
272 views

What is the difference between 都没有 and 不都有?

Can somebody please explain the difference between 都不是, 不都是, 都没有, and 不都有, and if possible give and example of the separate occasions when they should be used?
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4answers
1k views

Why is it SOV (and not SVO) in 我可以跟她约会?

Chinese is supposed to be (Subject-Verb-Object) SVO right? (as I learnt, of course) then why in this sentence 我可以跟她约会 does 约会 mean "to date"? It's a verb I presume, why is it (Subject-Object-Verb)...
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1answer
157 views

“Subj + 打電話 + Obj” vs “Subj + 給 + Obj + 打電話”

The dictionary entry of 打電話 that is given here says: Verb to make a telephone call Therefore, I would expect to be able to use it like this: 我 晚上 要 打電話 媽媽 However, I found the ...
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1answer
41 views

Standard Chinese translation of “I'm not a bad person”

I'm trying to translate "I'm not a bad person" to standard Chinese. I am told the following: There are also two ways to say "A isn't B". When B is a noun (things, people, places, etc.), use bú shì. ...
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2answers
69 views

Which part of speech is 看起来: an adverb or a verb?

Is "看起来" an adverb or a verb? I've been searching all over the internet and I can't find the answer.
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3answers
110 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 then ...
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6answers
358 views

Can I say 在..住? Why do we say 我住在..?

As far as I know in Chinese sentences we should use adverb after subject and before the verb. For example: 我在上网聊天儿。 So can I say 我(S)在北京(adverb)住(verb)? Why do we say 我住在北京?
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2answers
101 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 ...
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3answers
71 views

When a sentence ends with '来了', is it the aspectual or modal particle 了?

I understand the differences between aspectual and modal particle, but I have some confusion about when a sentence ends with a 了 and at the same time with a verb, like 来了. So it is aspectual or modal?
3
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2answers
202 views

Why does 鱼 come before 做 in this sentence?

I'm reading the book "301 Conversational Chinese Sentences". At Lesson 20, this sentence appears: "这个鱼做得真好吃". 鱼 should be the object, and 做 should be the verb, right? "Fish" cannot do the cooking ...
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2answers
48 views

When using 尽管 (jǐnguǎn) as “feel free to” in e.g. 你想看电影就尽管看吧, do we need the 你, 就, and/or 吧?

When using 尽管 as "feel free to", do I always need to use it with 你? Can I omit 就? Can I omit 吧? For example 你想看电影就尽管看吧。

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