Questions tagged [grammar]

Questions about the grammatical rules governing Chinese structure and composition.

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4
votes
1answer
301 views

What is the meaning of “一把把” on "他更是一把把她的书包给枪了过去“?

I think that I understand the overall meaning of the sentence: He forcibly stole her bag and ran away. But I'm not sure about that part (一把把), neither its meaning nor its grammatical function (I'm not ...
4
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8answers
2k views

When to use “一下儿”

I know the phrase "一下儿" can be appended to a verb to indicate the action takes short time or less effort, for example "看一下儿". However, some verbs cannot be appended by "一下儿", since the sentence won't ...
4
votes
2answers
127 views

Is the position of 都 in a sentence important? (example inside)

In this instance i'm trying to communicate "every" or "each" What do you usually do on weekends? 你週末通常都做什麼 Vs 你週末都通常做什麼 Is there a meaningful difference in the position in this sentence? or is ...
4
votes
2answers
236 views

What role does 的 play in the sentence 我不明白你刚说的第一句话?

I take 我不明白你刚说的第一句话 to mean "I don't understand what you said in the first line" I'm trying to understand what 的 does in this sentence (or grammar function). Relatedly, would it be possible to omit ...
4
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4answers
219 views

Does an existential sentence with “有” only carry a non-specific noun?

Sentence 1: 桌子上有一本作业 Sentence 2: 桌子上有我的作业 I think both sentences are correct. However, I just watched a grammar video which mentioned the existential sentence with "有" can only carry a non-specific ...
4
votes
4answers
517 views

Is it incorrect to use 儿化 (érhuà) inside a word, e.g., 门儿口, and 小孩儿子 and 玩儿具?

Sometimes we use 儿化 (érhuà) without it changing the meaning of the word, e.g., 门 (mén; door, gate) becomes 门儿 (ménr). However, some Chinese words contain 儿化-izable words, such as 门口 (ménkǒu; doorway, ...
3
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1answer
290 views

What is the difference between qi3 and qi3 lai2?

In both situations my pen is now on a table. Speaking to another person, why do we say: 1) Qing3 na2 qi3 wo3 de5 bi3. 请拿起我的笔。 Not: 2) Qing3 na2 qi3 lai2 wo3 de5 bi3. 请拿起来我的笔。 How does the ...
3
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3answers
191 views

Are too many 的s for multiple adjectives a problem?

This is from my talk slides (which I'm revising): 每一个PLR(r,s,n;m)是具有m个顶点的n着色的Kr□Ks的诱导子图,例如:... (I have some students here helping me debug this.) I'm concerned about the three 的s being excessive ...
3
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2answers
306 views

What is important to consider while building an adverbial phrase? [closed]

As far as I know, in Chinese, the adverbial phrase is put right in front of the verb and its purpose is to describe the verb. Sentence pattern: S adverbialphrase V O What are the rules to put a ...
3
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2answers
153 views

Why is 讲 where it is in 他英语讲得很好?

I was doing a sentence rearranging exercise and came across this: 他英语讲得很好。 Could someone explain the structure of this sentence? I feel like it would be more properly written as: 他会说英语说得很好。 I ...
3
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1answer
85 views

Meaning of 的 and 之 when both are used in the same sentence

I’m reading a text in which 的 and 之 are sometimes used in the same sentence, in seemingly equivalent or exchangeable function and position. But I’m sure the author had good reasons to choose the ...
3
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1answer
205 views

Is it permissible to use 个 in any nouns as a measure word?

In the book titled "Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar: A Practical Guide", the author writes the following: In mainland China, in informal speech, 个 can be used as the classifier for almost ...
3
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4answers
138 views

會講國語 vs. 講國語: when to use one or the other?

When explaining to someone if you can speak Mandarin, there are people who suggest saying 我會講國語 and others who suggest 我講國語. Appparently, 會講 suggests a higher level of competence whereas 講 alone ...
3
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2answers
205 views

How come the first tone in the character of 边 in the word 东边 is not written?

I am reading my textbook and I notice that the the pinyin next to 东边 is written as dōng​bian Why is the first tone not present on the bian? The weird thing is that in my other textbook the pinyin ...
3
votes
1answer
144 views

Can one use 过 in conjunction with 知道?

I am investigating the use of 知道 in the past tense. As "知道了“ does not clearly mean "knew" but could be more closely translated as "now I know!", a change of state from not knowing to knowing. How ...
2
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1answer
96 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) ...
2
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4answers
113 views

How does reduplication change the meaning of adjectives?

What is the difference in meaning of: 它的眼睛大大的。 它的眼睛很大。 and 他有大大的眼睛。 他有大眼睛。 And more generally, when might someone use reduplication for adjectives?
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3answers
187 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 ...
2
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2answers
164 views

Safe to always use 之後 instead of 以後, and 之前 instead of 以前?

According to this grammar page, it appears like 之後 can always replace 以後, whereas 以後 cannot always replace 之後. However, these grammar pages are not always reliable. 1) For simplicity, is it safe to ...
2
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3answers
480 views

When to omit the modifying 的?

他给她买来了一个戒指。 He gives her a ring that he bought. I assume that this sentence should need 的 before "a ring that he bought" to be modifying, as below. 他给她买来了'的'一个戒指。 So I think 的 is somewhat omitted. ...
2
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3answers
410 views

Use of complement 到

When using the complement 到, like in 买不到, being able/unable to achieve the goal - is connected to the subject or object? For example 这本新书很受欢迎, 你现在去买, 一定买不到。 (cannot buy because there are no books ...
2
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2answers
287 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" ...
2
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3answers
153 views

Does this placement of 已經 alter the meaning?

My professor teaches that duration of non action should come before the verb. For instance: 我三天沒來上課了。 On the other hand, native speakers have said both these sentences containing 已經 are correct: ...
2
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3answers
267 views

What does 之为 mean?

For example, in the phrase "教师之为教." I know it is formal language, but what is a good way to understand it in English?
2
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1answer
103 views

Is 是 being used as a measure word in this sentence?

The sentence is: 现在,中国网民总数已经超过美国人口总数,但美国网购人数占其全部人口的75%,中国则只有25%左右,而且,中国网购消费者年均消费额仅为美国消费者的1/5。于刚认为,这是差距, 更是中国电子商务的潜力。 Is '是‘ in 这是差距 working as a 量词?Or should I read 'this is a disparity'?
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4answers
1k views

What is the difference between 向来, 一直, and 总是?

Don't they all mean "always"? I would be grateful if you could provide example sentences.
2
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2answers
367 views

我昨天去的图书馆: “The library I went to yesterday” or “I went to the library yesterday”?

Not long ago (a week at most), I bumped into this post by Qiong Woo on Quora. There, she says the two sentences 我昨天去图书馆的 and 我昨天去的图书馆 both mean "I went to the library yesterday", and, from the way she ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

Breaking a sentence into grammatical structures

There's a very robust deck of Anki flash cards I've been using to build vocabulary. But sometimes I get stuck when new grammatical constructs are shown. The deck says 你想走的时候就走吧。 is translated "Go ...
2
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3answers
99 views

Is this placement of 於 wrong or just unidiomatic?

I tried sentence ordering exercises from TCB for HSK 5. Below the second sentence was considered wrong. Is it simply unidiomatic or is it wrong? Does the problem come from the preferred placement of 和⋯...
2
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3answers
1k views

What is the meaning of 看在 and 分上?

看在孩子的分上,夫妇二人没有离婚。 In the phrase above, what do they mean? Neither is found in a dictionary. The sentence is said to translate to "The pair would not divorce because of the children".
2
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2answers
263 views

What is the role of 方 in 貽笑大方?

Consulting a dictionary on the meaning of 貽 makes the meaning of the expression rather clear. I would say “give (others cause for) great laughter”, “become laughingstock”. Yet I have trouble ...
2
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1answer
122 views

Is 未長未短 grammatically correct (in classical Chinese)?

Is 未長未短 grammatically correct (in classical Chinese)? The article http://www.hainan-today.com/2012/201201/web/201201_28.htm uses “未長未短”: 但与大门前的“翻天覆地”相比,作为景区主体之一的“雨林谷”变化却“含蓄”许多,景观还是两年前的样子,没多没少,...
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1answer
84 views

How to determine the part of speech tags of words succeeding 不 like these?

How to determine the part of speech tags of words succeeding 不 like these? In standard Chinese word segmentation datasets, 趕不上 is segmented as 趕 不 上, and 找不到 is segmented as 找 不 到; 趕上 is segmented as ...
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3answers
183 views

Does Chinese have any structure similar with this Japanese term?

I would like to say beforehand that my question requires someone who knows Japanese language to answer it, because the sentence that I need an answer to is a Japanese one. Let me explain first what I’...
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3answers
263 views

On a HSK6 test, why is 社会稳定,人民生活水平显著提高,这一切都给人留下了深刻的印象 the incorrect sentence?

In a YouTube video a native Chinese speaker answers questions on the HSK-6 test. He gets one wrong: to identify which "has grammatical errors or uses wrong words" below: A. 每个人都可以有所作为,...
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2answers
213 views

Say hallo to many people: 你好 or 你们好? [duplicate]

If a meet you (singular), I say "你好". If I meet you (plural), shall I say "你们好", instead?
1
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1answer
86 views

I have problems analyzing the constituents of the following sentence: 德国人不习惯他们旁边围满了人

I cannot understand in this sentence the various functions of the components. 德国人不习惯他们旁边围满了人 I understood the meaning ("Germans are not used to be surrounded by a lot of people", non-literally) but ...
1
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2answers
336 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 ...
1
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2answers
158 views

快把大衣穿穿!When is it wrong?

In our book under 改錯句 there is the following exercise: 外邊很冷,快把大衣穿穿! I assume they consider it wrong because the object is not definite. Is that so, or is there any other reason? If the context ...
1
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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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3answers
67 views

How “Noun + Adj + Adj + 的” (reduplication of adjectives) is grammatically equivalent to “Noun + (Adv of degree) + Adj”? [duplicate]

This question is motivated from Why 的 in reduplication of adjectives "Noun + Adj + Adj + 的"?. In the answers, it was argued that the reduplication of adjectives structure: Noun + Adj + Adj +...
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3answers
312 views

The meaning of 是…的 in 有什么事是我该做的吗

I am a total noob when it comes to Chinese, so sorry if this is a dumb question. Recently I started using an Anki deck called SpoonFedChinese to study Chinese. Today I came across the following ...
0
votes
2answers
87 views

Can “比” go without a subject?

Take a look at this sentence. 比那刘姥姥进了大观园,还要土里土气 For some reason I translate this sentence as "Compared to A, B is more ...", though this doesn't make any sense to me. Although I found this ...
0
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3answers
116 views

Is it ok to answer only the day of the month to the question “今天几号?”?

Is it ok to answer only the day of the month to the question "今天几号?"? First dialog: -- 今天几号? -- 今天是八月二十号. (it is OK, common phrase) Second dialog: -- 今天几号? -- 今天是二十号. (is it Ok? Why not?) If ...
0
votes
3answers
72 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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2answers
66 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?...
0
votes
1answer
239 views

Where do I put adverbial expressions and other phrases in a sentence?

I know Chinese use the sequence S O V. I also know place follows time, for instance in these ways: t(ime), p(lace) S tp V O tp S V O t S p V O Where do I put further phrases, like adverbial ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
160 views

Difference between location nouns and place/position nouns, 方位词 vs 处所词

There are supposedly 4 categories of nouns in Chinese, according to Chinese Grammar Wiki: Proper nouns and common nouns Position nouns Location nouns Time nouns The links to Position and Location ...

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