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
311 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
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1answer
118 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,...
2
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3answers
849 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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1answer
89 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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1answer
95 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'?
2
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2answers
127 views

Simple grammar question about 讲: language placement and adverb phrase

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 was ...
1
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2answers
195 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?
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2answers
155 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
148 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 ...
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2answers
151 views

How to translate 之为 into English?

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。    Thank you, Rachel
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3answers
117 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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2answers
114 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 ...
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2answers
187 views

Mandarin: different ways of asking if someone prefers A to B

This question is similar but doesn't address this question of comparing different ways to express the notion of preferring A to B. Are all these ways valid grammar for asking if someone prefers A to ...
1
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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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1answer
66 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 ...
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3answers
167 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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2answers
63 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?...
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1answer
34 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 ...
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2answers
84 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 ...
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1answer
109 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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1answer
227 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 ...