Questions tagged [grammar]

Questions about the grammatical rules governing Chinese structure and composition.

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How can one get away with saying a noun before a description?

I very often come across the following problem. Somebody asks me about a thing/ person/ noun and I start responding by: It's a thing/ person that... Wait, in Chinese you must say the description first ...
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1answer
40 views

可以 altering time words order?

In this site they say time words can only appear in two possible positions in a sentence, either before or after the subject: Time + Subj. + Verb + Obj. Subj. + Time + Verb + Obj. But I came across ...
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Answering yes/no a question with 会。

Can you answer to a question with only the verb of the question?. Is it right if you put an aclaration afterwards? This is the example. A- 她会按医生的话去做吗? B- 会,他决定按医生的话去做。 Thanks in advance.
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因为 two or more reasons. and difference with 是因为

I was going to write the following sentence and have two doubts: 他去看医生,因为他自己觉得身体很弱,学习时思想不能集中。 I wanted to say: "He went to the doctor because she was feeling weak and could not concentrate when ...
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1answer
244 views

How to translate "(surname)老板“ in English

how does one translate '(surname)老板' from Chinese to English? I understand that the word '老板' means boss/shopkeeper/shop owner/chief, but when a surname is added in front of their position, how ...
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2answers
54 views

Comparison question with implicit 再 zài?

I just started learning chinese and I came across this dialogue from a lesson: A: Pínɡuǒzěnme mài ? 苹果怎么卖? How much are the apples? B: Sìkuài. 四块. 4 Yuan. A: Yǒudiǎnr ɡuì. Kěyǐpiányi yìdiǎnr mɑ? 有点儿贵。...
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163 views

Grammar structure of "你看,Sally 穿上传统服后有多漂亮“

你看,Sally 穿上传统服后有多漂亮. My questions are (1) Is Subject omitted? I think the sentence needs a Subject in "Sally 穿上传统服后 (Subject) 有多漂亮 ". (2) If 后 is removed, how can I rewrite this sentence?
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How do I break apart the middle part of 事实证明,澳大利亚非量没有用奶制品进行反制的条件,破产事件反而证明这是澳方的软肋?

Today I read an article about Australia considering blocking China importing baby formula (奶粉), which expresses the opinion that the current pandemic has shown what happens if China stops buying ...
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Correction of 我在饭店里把晚饭吃了

我在饭店里把晚饭吃了吗 =》 My textbook gives me the correct one: 我在饭店里吃晚饭了。 My questions are (1) Why do this sentence not use 把 structure? (2) If I rewrite as below, which is grammatically correct? ...
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Why I cannot say "他坐着在沙发上看报纸“?

他坐着在沙发上看报纸. He is sitting on the sofa and reading newspaper. A friend tells me it should be (1) 他坐在沙发上看报纸. (2) 他坐在沙发上看着报纸. (3) 他在沙发上坐着看报纸. Can anyone explain to me why the original one is wrong?
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Is it possible to know what 都 means in “Subj + 都 + Predicate + 了”?

In my lessons, I came across two different meanings for the adverb 都 dōu: "Already" with the structure: Subj. + 都 + Predicate + 了, where 了 stands for completion of the predicate (see ...
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433 views

What's wrong with 很多同学坐着在草地上?

很多同学坐着在草地上 => My textbook gives me the correct sentence: 很多同学坐在草地上. But I think the original one is not wrong. (1) 很多同学坐着在草地上. Many students are sitting on the grass. (2) 很多同学坐在草地上. Many ...
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How to make a recommendation/suggestion to someone

I want to translate the following sentence: The Student Union suggested to the restaurant manager that the restaurant should sell healthy food, less fast food, and no sweets and soft drinks during ...
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2answers
138 views

What’s wrong with 我们八点快要上课了?

The wrong sentence is “我们八点快要上课了。” There are 2 answers for this sentence (in my Chinese textbook): (1) 我们八点要上课了。 (2) 我们八点就要上课了。 I think that 快要...了 is equivalent to 要...了 (both mean “is about ...
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62 views

How to proceed after forgetting to include time-when/location/adverb phrase before main verb?

In English (and other languages), I commonly do this in conversations: I'll say a short + simple sentence (subject-verb-object), but moments later, I'll want to add a detail to the statement. ...
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3answers
81 views

Difference between 就要。。。了 and 要。。。了

(1)明天他就要回来了。 (2)明天他要回来了。 I wonder if both sentences are different. Can anyone tell me the difference between 就要。。。了 and 要。。。了?
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Definition order of adjectives of noun

黑小狗 means black puppy and 小黑狗 means small black dog, please correct me if I am wrong.
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1answer
76 views

Is 他的自行车被我买了 grammatically wrong?

他的自行车被我买了. (His bicycle was bought by me.) As I learn, 被 structure tends to be used in negative conditions. In this sentence, I think it is not wrong but not smooth. Can anyone explain if it is ...
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1answer
44 views

Is 靠 structure “A 靠 B do something”?

他们全家靠父亲一个人工作生活。Their family get by on their dad's salary. 他们靠经营宾馆发了财。They make fortune by hotel business. There are my questions (1) Is 靠 structure "A (pronoun/noun) 靠 B (pronoun/noun) do something"?...
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Meaning of 一样 in 你要像喜欢甜一样喜欢苦

你要像喜欢甜一样喜欢苦 My questions are (1) What does 一样 means in this sentence? (2) Can I put VERBS following 一样? E.g: 我跟Mary一样喜欢那种菜。(Both I and Mary like that dish) (3) If my example is wrong, how can it ...
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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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Is my sentence 如果我没去上班就一起朋友去玩 grammatially correct?

I have written the following sentence 如果我没去上班就一起朋友去玩 But, I am not sure if it is grammatically correct or not. Please give me some guidance.
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121 views

How does word order work in “作业 他 一点 都 没 做 ?”?

In Chinese grammar wiki, I found this sentence: 作业 他 一点 都 没 做 ? I'd like to read up on how this word order works and how to correctly apply it. Does it change the meaning or focus?
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71 views

When to use counters with 这 and 那

I'm having trouble locating a grammatical rule that explains if I should use counters in certain situations, I'll give you some examples 这个是什么 (What is this?) Do I need the counter in that sentence?...
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Using 得 with past particle 了

I tried to translate this sentence: The man cleaned the bathroom cleanly. I thought it would be: 他把卫生间打扫得干净了。 but my Chinese friends said that this is a wrong sentence. I am wondering, Why is ...
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可以 order structure?

I have some confusion about the grammar structure of 可以 Kěyǐ. I found in this website the basic usage is: Subj. + 可以 + Verb + Obj. But then I came across a dialogue where they put it after the verb: ...
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1answer
84 views

When does an adjective require 的 to describe a noun?

In this post on the omission of the possessive 的,I came across an explanation of the adjective suffix 的 by Tang Ho. An example was: 强大勇敢 (brave + strong) = correct without 的 强大勇敢的人 (brave and strong ...
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139 views

What is the function of “根本” in 这杯咖啡根本不值得花四十元人民币?

In this sentence: 这杯咖啡根本不值得花四十元人民币 What is the function of "根本"? As far as I can tell, this sentence would translate the same if it were removed. Is it being used like an adverb, like someone in ...
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5answers
112 views

What is the function of 就是

What does 就 是mean and how do we use it I have seen many times people using like in this sentence 就是关于爱情的 so what does 就是really means
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1answer
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时量补语:modal and verb 了

Is there any difference between these two sentences: 我们已经分别了十年了 and 我们已经分别十年了 , the question is regarding 了 in these sentences, should we put one or two 了? Thanks.
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1answer
71 views

Is there any difference between 我给你不买 and 我不给你买?

Is there any difference between these two sentences: 我给你不买 and 我不给你买? Chinese grammar says we should put 不 in front of the preposition in these types of sentences... But I saw a lot examples when ...
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1answer
93 views

What is the meaning of 去想?Does it have to do with movement?

In this sentence, I don't understand the meaning of 去想: 但是学生们看到快餐就会买。他们只知道快餐好吃,不去想这些食品是不健康的。 I have never seen it before (去想). Is it that when the students go to the cafeteria, they don't think? Or ...
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3answers
64 views

中国有的地方都下雪了 some places in China

中国有的地方都下雪了 How may translate this sentence, why the translation is “some places are ...”? 中国有的地方都 means “all the places which are in China...”, doesn’t it? Thanks in advance.
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What is the role of 和 in “很高兴和您见面”

I am fairly new in learning Mandarin, and I am having a bit of trouble understanding the role of 和 in "很高兴和您见面" . From my understanding, 和 means "and" or "together with"; ...
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Eleven 把-related sentences containing grammar errors (e.g. 我把作业已经交给老师了): how do we explain these errors?

This post on Reddit gives eleven 把 sentences containing grammar errors (original image). It looks like a worthwhile exercise. (A native Chinese speaker /u/Lvguichen gave corrections without ...
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173 views

Position of 提供 in 这椅子是专为老年人提供的

这椅子是专为老年人提供的. This chair is provided for the old man. I don't understand why 提供 is at the end of sentence. I thought 提供 could be placed before 专为.
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What does 呢 do in 他在睡觉呢?

I can't get my head around the 着 在 正在 呢 grammar. I have a lot of questions regarding this grammar but I'll just focus on one here. If anyone wants to expand then you are more than welcome. 他在睡觉呢。 ...
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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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Meaning of 的 in 在蓝天白云的 衬托下,阳光的照射下

What does 的 mean in this sentence? I think what follows 的 is Noun, but these are 衬托下, 照射下 (Verbs) ...在蓝天白云的 衬托下,阳光的照射下... 谢谢你们!
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144 views

How to use 一般 and examples

一般 is both an adjective and adverb that means "same". I haven't found any thorough explanations of its usage. How is it generally used and in what kind of situations? Thank you so much!
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他上个星期在家里看电视看了二十个小时: Why is 看 written before 电视?

Basically I do self-studying and I have a question regarding this sentence: 他上个星期在家里看电视看了二十个小时. Question: Why is the verb 看 written before 电视? Isn't 电视看了 enough to tell that TV indeed was watched?...
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放,摆,翻译 without 把?

My textbook told me that a sentence like this is incorrect. 请你翻译这句话成英文。 The correct version of this sentence would be the following. (I created this sentence myself and hope to not have made a ...
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3answers
203 views

Which is correct: 已经毕业了两年大学 or 已经大学毕业了两年?

I know 大学毕业 is a verb phrase that means "graduate from university". I have 2 questions. (1) In expressing the duration of completed action, which is correct: 他已经毕业了两年大学 or 他已经大学毕业了两年? (2) If I ...
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675 views

Why is 我的朋友今年住在美国 translated to both “my friend [is living in / lived in] America this year”?

Here I am trying to translate two different English sentences to Chinese. "My friend is living in America this year." He is still living in America at the point of stating this fact. Translation :...
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1answer
66 views

What is the meaning of 得 in 饿得受不了?

饿得受不了 (can't endure the hunger) I kind of understand it, but why does 得 connect a verb with a verb?
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110 views

开 and 给 as Result Complement

My textbook introduces 开 and 给 as Result Complements which are placed after verbs to indicate the result of actions. However, the book doesn’t provide any examples. Can you guys teach me how to use ...
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1answer
112 views

What’s the difference between 起来 and 上?

Both 起来 and 上 after a verb should indicate the beginning and continuation of an action or a state. Are there differences in usage? If yes when should I use one instead of the other? Examples with 上: ...
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2answers
196 views

我爷爷的全身很疼,他不能去游泳: Is this sentence grammatically correct?

他对我说:“我爷爷的全身很疼,他不能去游泳” Is the entire sentence grammatically correct? I'm not sure about "的". Should I remove it or just leave it?
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142 views

What is the role of 给 in this 把 … 给 V construction?

I came across the following sentence in EP340 of the 故事FM podcast: 把一个垃圾桶的盖子给返过来,把小孩放在上面换了尿布。 My question is about the role 给 in the first part, before the comma. Without the 给 it would make perfect ...
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38 views

How to know “了…就” indicating completed actions

I just find out two circumstances that "了...就" construction is used. (1) 昨天,我买了书就回家。(Yesterday, after I had bought the book, I came back home) - COMPLETED ACTIONS (2) 我买了书就回家。(After buying the book, ...

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