Questions tagged [grammar]

Questions about the grammatical rules governing Chinese structure and composition.

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从。。。看 , 是。。。的 and 方面 in this sentence

I have this sentence from my textbook that is very confusing to me. 您看看这个,不管从价格方面看,还是从质量上看,都是值得考虑的。 First I understand it's meant to mean along the lines of: "Look at this one, not only in ...
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Is it correct to omit 一起 in sentences like 我跟我的朋友一起去?

In a sentence like 我跟我的朋友一起去 I go with my friend Is it correct to omit 一起? I mean, should 跟 always be accompanied by 一起?
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Difference between 十几个人 and 几十个人

I read somewhere that in order to express "over a number of things/people" we can use this pattern: (multiples of ten)+几+classifier+noun like 十几个人:more than ten people (less than 20) However,...
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Can 又...又... be used to link 2 sentences/phrases?

I know 又...又... can be used to link adjectives, verbs, even nouns, as in 又高又瘦. But then I came across this phrase - 长得又美 武功又高 Is it the same structure? It is, in a way, but actually it's 2 sentences, ...
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What is the meaning of 再 before adjectives?

What is the meaning of 再 before adjectives as in these examples: “再普通的小事经过她的嘴都可能变得很有意思。” “一个人即使能力再高,经验再丰富,如果对工作没有责任心,也很难把工作做好。” I was told that 再 in the first sentence is similiar to 无论 so the whole ...
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How to use 以 ... 為主grammar?

I am a little bit confused about how to use 以 ... 為主 correctly in a sentence. Originally, I thought that it means "to put the main importance on ... ", but some people said that it has more ...
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What is the best way to express "this year's teaching material is better than last year's"?

I want to say: This year's teaching material is better than last year's 今年的教材比去年的好。 Is the above correct or do I have to include 教材 again? 今年的教材比去年的教材好。 In English one doesn't have to repeat ''...
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Purpose of 上 with 去

What is the purpose of 上 in the sentence, 你上哪儿去? The dictionary says about 上:on top / upon / above / upper / previous / first (of multiple parts) / to climb / to get onto / to go up / to attend (class ...
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What does "来" mean in "如果你不按照安全手续来的话,你可能会受伤的。"?

What does "来" mean in "如果你不按照安全手续来的话,你可能会受伤的. I usually have some sort of idea with these things, even when I'm wrong. But with this, I have no clue at all. Thanks so much!!! This is a ...
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Common use of character 大 as adverb

Wenlin dictionary doesn't consider 大 as an adverb, whereas Online dictionary Chine Nouvelle considers it also as an adverb. So is 大 commonly used in modern Chinese as an adverb? Or would it not be ...
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about stative verbs, is there any complete list of these "adjectives"?

I am actually forwarding a kind of lexical on most frequent words used in Chinese (打有 com). There are many of them which are used as stative verbs with common grammatical rules. So i began to make a ...
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I did this poetic translation into chinese, I want to make sure the grammar is correct

I translated this body of text for someone who wanted to write an english poem they made in chinese. They didn't care if it rhymed or was true poetry rhythm, but wanted it to "still have pasison&...
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Purpose of 了 except completion marker

What is the purpose of 了 in these sentences: 1:找到你了。(If it is completion marker, why doesn't it come right after the verb?) 2:我最喜欢看篮球比赛了.
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是 assessing an overall situation

This is the title of a paragraph in the book "Chinese: A Comprehensive Grammar", by Yip Po-Ching and Don Rimmington, whose content I find really hard to understand. The explanation: 是 shì ...
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Is it just me or is 却向人类早已认定为准则的定义提出了质疑 terribly unnatural?

俗话说万物生长靠太阳。人们之所以这样说,是因为历来植物生长离不开阳光,而动物又靠植物维持生命,所以没有阳光,就没有万物,这是众所周知的真理。然而科学家们的深海考察,却向人类早已认定为准则的定义提出了质疑。 HSK Standard Course 6上, chapter 19 (original). This is the first paragraph from a chapter in the ...
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How does 覆盖着 work grammatically, given that A覆盖着B sometimes means "A covers B" and sometimes means "B covers A"?

CC-CEDICT: 覆盖 (fù​gài​) to cover I've noticed a discrepancy with the usage of 覆盖着 such as in: [A covers B] 积雪覆盖着森林 (snow covers the forest) [Google] [B covers A] 草覆盖着露水 (the grass is covered by dew) ...
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Does 面对疾病,特别是癌症,也就是恶性肿瘤 not imply 癌症就是肿瘤?

面对疾病,特别是癌症,也就是恶性肿瘤,除了及早治疗,彻底消灭癌细胞,心态也很重要。开朗、乐观是战胜癌症的武器。据统计,因此而完全恢复健康的奇迹并不少见;而悲观情绪,却间接成了癌细胞的帮手,加快了癌细胞在我们体内的繁殖。 HSK Coursebook 6上, listening, page 196 (original) The above is the listening component of ...
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Is there a pattern for when you need to include 去 for future tenses?

For example, I was talking to one of my friends, and he said that 我会吃饭 means something more like "I can eat," than "I'm going to eat" so you should say 我会去吃饭. However, I've seen ...
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How is 了 being used in 没有了职务?

没有了职务,王建男像是从捆绑状态中被释放出来,一身轻松。 HSK6上 Standard Course, chapter 14, page 136 (original) This violates the rule of thumb: we don't use 了 in conjunction with 没 (see e.g. A verb negated with 没 / 没有 cannot ...
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When to properly use 是

While I was studying Chinese, I came across three sentences. I couldn't find out when 是 should be used. The sentences were as follows: 明天星期六。 5 月25 号是星期天。 今年是2021年。 I couldn't know why 是 was not used ...
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How are the sentences 我第一次挑战这么高难度的手术 and 这么高难度的手术我第一次挑战 grammatical? Where are the verbs?

挑战 我 第一次 这么高难度的 手术 A HSK5 past exam question is given above; the task is to reorganize the sentence fragments into a grammatical sentence. My (incorrect) answer was: 第一次这么高难度的手术挑战我。 I was hoping ...
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Tag Questions with 是不是

I read somewhere that you can make tag questions by adding 是不是 to the end of the sentence. The example sentence was: 您是李老师,是不是?You are Teacher Li, aren't you? But if the sentence doesn't have the verb ...
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Placement of 就 after time nouns

I have this sentence: 您好,我的手机从前天开始就不能上网了。 Normally I've seen 就 come after the time noun, so I'm wondering why this sentence isn't: 您好,我的手机前天就开始不能上网了。
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What is the appropriate word order for "I want to eat in a restaurant in Beijing"?

A couple of days ago I was wondering about the word order of the translation I want to eat in a restaurant in Beijing. With my rather limited knowledge of Chinese (and its grammar), I thought the ...
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成 as a result complement

I have these sentences from my textbook which I mostly understand, but I'm confused about the usage of 成. ”有银行通知我去面试,所以就穿成这样了。“ ”我们和上次那个公司的生意终于谈成了。“ "当别人请你帮忙时,对那些自己很难办成的事情,最好还是先想清楚。如果最后事情没办成,...
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How can I make sense of 落家里 within 张东把钥匙落家里了?

The following problem is from a mock exam question from HSK5级应试指南; we're meant to arrange the sentence fragments into a grammatical sentence: 钥匙、落、把、了、张东、家里 (image) I didn't get this answer correct (...
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How do we parse the grammar of 没找到满意的房子前,……?

没找到满意的房子前,我「临时 / 暂时」借住在朋友家里。 (image) 标准教程HSK5上,138页 The above sentence gives an instance when both 临时 and 暂时 can be used. However, I'm confused about the time period considered in the first part. ...
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Expressing "it is there" 是在那儿 vs 在那儿

Dear fellow community members, I recently encountered the wording 是。是在那儿 to express "yes. it is there" as a response to the question "是在这儿吗?" . I was wondering if this is correct? ...
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Use of 是 and 很 to express "I am not well"

Dear Chinese Language community users, I have the following question. During my learning I encountered the answer 我不是很好 in response to 你好吗?I was puzzled because I thought the correct negative answers ...
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Is "你什么名字? " correct?

Tatoeba contains this sentence: 你什么名字?. Usually the phrase "What is your name?" is translated as "你叫什么名字?". Is "你什么名字?" correct?
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Can I put 我觉得 at the end of a sentence instead of at the front?

For example: I feel that Chinese is difficult. 我觉得中文很难。 But can I also say: 中文很难我觉得。 ?
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Why is it 搬运工人把电视机从楼上搬了下来 and not 搬运工人从楼上把电视机搬了下来?

An HSK5 exercise is to arrange these words to make a grammatical sentence: 搬运工人 把 从楼上 电视机 搬了下来 HSK5 应试指南,170页 This is my attempt: My answer: 搬运工人从楼上把电视机搬了下来。 ✗ Textbook: 搬运工人把电视机从楼上搬了下来。 ✓ I'...
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在 ... 之余 : It looks like there is a grammar point using 之 in that construction (found on archchinese). Who can explain that point?

On the website "archchinese" there are a few expressions using 在 followed by a part of sentence ending with 之余, 之前, 之后, 之际 : 在 … 之余 在 … 之前 在 … 之后 在 … 之际 Anyone can give a few explanations ?...
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When is it okay to omit the localizer (e.g. 上、下、中、里)in the standard 【Subject + 在 + Location + Localizer】sentence pattern?

今年夏天我在北京学习中文。(no localizer, just 在北京) 我刚到美国的时候只能在餐馆打零工。(no localizer, just 在餐馆) 他不在餐馆打工了。(no localizer, just 在餐馆) BUT  我要在CSE上贴我的问题。(在Chinese Stack Exchange上) 他写了一个便条在门上。(在门上) 商店里的服务员对顾客都非常客气。(...
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Adding 了 to 2-syllable Verbs

We know that adding 了 to the verb makes it mean a completed action. Like 我开了门. I opened the door. But if the verb is a two-syllable verb like 关上, 打开,开车 etc, should we add 了 after the 2nd syllable or ...
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The necessity of 的 and 是

Recently, I have been made aware of the following sentences: 这太棒了! 这是太棒了! 这真是太棒了! A native Chinese friend told me that the middle one is incorrect, but that seems very odd to me, because 是 is the “be ...
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What does 大出天下 mean?

It is found in an exhibition of Qin Dynasty held in Xi'an city. The exact words are 秦国35代国君发奋图强,做好了“大出天下”的准备。I have checked the words online for the meaning, but finding no answer.But roughly I think ...
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Why is 也 used for negation in 你也配?

I haven't seen 也 used on its own for negation yet - is it a popular use? How does it work? Could you give more examples? 🙏
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What is the exact function/purpose of 来了 at the end of sentences like this:

她吃晚饭的时候她朋友打电话来了。 I know it focuses the mind on perspective -- like the action previously stated has come toward the speaker in some way. But what is the exact function? I'd love to start naturally ...
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I do not really understand the word order in these four examples

这个故事发生在上个世纪末. I wonder if 发生 could be placed after 在上个世纪末. Shouldn't time be placed before a verb? 电梯已经可以正常使用了 正常 is an adjective, and adjectives describe nouns? Can't 使用 work as a noun? ...
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What is the underlying grammar pattern behind 同样是 in the textbook 高级汉语口语?

I'm trying to do an exercise from a textbook; it's related to the grammar pattern 同样是……. Unfortunately, the textbook does not give any grammar explanations, and instead gives a single example and ...
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105 views

Question with "ne (呢) to be responded with "呢"?

I resumed my Chinese studies and got a native speaker to help me. She mentioned that to agree with a suggestion with "ne" (呢), I should respond with it and just changed the tone. I cannot ...
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103 views

What does 头上养马 mean?

I've tried to understand it using context clues from the following but I really can't make sense if it. Is it literal? Some example: 让他头上养马 那怎么还敢在她头上养马? 敢接受莫可可的人,必须得有在头上养马的觉悟。 你是想在劳资头上养马吗!?
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多了 used as "to have"

A carrier pigeon brings a letter. In the sentence ”鸽子的腿上多了一封信”, I do not understand the use of 多了, unless it is used here as a verb meaning "to have", as in "the carrier pigeon had on ...
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What's the purpose of 上 in "王教授给那儿的学生上英国文学课, 他课上得非常好"?

What's the purpose of 上 in the following sentence? 王教授给那儿的学生上英国文学课, 他课上得非常好, 学生都很喜欢她的课 Although I understand 上 can mean "to attend (class)", I don't see how that fits in the above example. ...
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70 views

When should directional complements be used? How come there are many times that they aren't used as in "他们要到上海了"?

I understand that Chinese directional complements are used to indicate direction of an action. I understand that when 来 is used after the verb there is some movement towards the speaker and when 去 is ...
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140 views

“他演讲得很精彩”, is this sentence grammatically correct?

I want to ask, “他演讲得很精彩”, is this sentence correct or not? Is “演讲” a verb or a noun?
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716 views

HSK6 Standard Course: Does the sentence 她的脾气不好,经常不知道为什么突然就生气了 violate the textbook's own grammar rule regarding inconsistent subjects?

The HSK6 textbook has this example of the inappropriate use of a subject. (✗) 他向国家捐献出了一张祖传的字画,具有极高的研究、保存价值。 主语残缺。前一分句的主语是“他”,后一分句的主语是“字画”,暗中更换了主语,致使后一句缺少了主语,应改为“这张字画具有极高的研究、保存价值”。 HSK标准教程6级上,51页。 ...
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Why is 了 placed after the object in "你回英国了吗?" and “我去上海了"?

In the following sentences, why is 了 placed after the object? 马大为:林娜,早!好久不见,你回英国了吗? 林娜:我没有回英国,我去上海了,昨天刚回北京。 I have looked at a Grammar Wiki page on when 了 can go after the object, but none of the ...
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How to parse 轉所依識?

From the Lankavatara Sutra: sūkṣmamabhivijñānaparāvṛttikuśalānāṃ Bodhiruci: 能轉一切微細識 Śikṣānanda: 能以妙慧轉所依識 Suzuki: to cause a revulsion in the depth of the mind fittingly by means of an exquisite ...

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