Questions tagged [grammar]

Questions about the grammatical rules governing Chinese structure and composition.

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3
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2answers
107 views

Distinguishing a verb from a substantive (执着)

In the Lankavatara Sutra, it says: 能舍一切我见执着. Red Pine translates: "who eliminate attachment to a self." Suzuki translates: "to keep themselves properly away from ego centered notions.&...
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3answers
210 views

What does 的 mean in 你们在哪里认识的?

你们在哪里认识的? Nǐmen zài nǎlǐ rènshi de? Where did you meet? What does the character 的 mean in this sentence?
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2answers
48 views

Counterproductive - 起到反作用 - how to parse?

I learned that in Chinese counterproductive is 起到反作用 or 起反作用 I'm trying to figure out what the characters or words mean in this phrase. I know 作用 means result or effect here, 反 means opposite. How ...
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4answers
123 views

What is the use of 前面 in 那得看你坐在电脑前面做什么?

That depends on what you're using the computers for. 那得看你坐在电脑前面做什么 Why do we use 前面 in this sentence. I thought 前面 was infront, why is there a location in a sentence involving use of something? Could ...
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3answers
155 views

How the meaning is derived for 得意忘形?

How the meaning is derived for 得意忘形? 得意忘形 déyìwàngxíng grow dizzy with success; be carried away by one's success so pleased as to lose one's sense of measure
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2answers
45 views

For 得过且过, how the meaning was derived?

得过且过 déguòqiěguò without high ambitions, but getting by I noted down the below meanings from context as below: 得 de obtain, get, gain, acquire 且 moreover 过 to go over The components means over.. where ...
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2answers
248 views

之 grammar and usage

Reading through the text as below. The zhi below is used to modify 路 of 人生? (way/road/path of life)? what exactly 之 in the two places? “每个人都有自己的人生之路,只有把握时间,勤于奋斗,不畏艰辛的人才能走好这条路。要走好人生之路,首先要懂得珍惜时间。” ...
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4answers
116 views

Why is 很多 sometimes before the noun and sometimes after the noun?

I have sometimes seen 很多 after the noun and sometimes before and I don't understand what the reason is for it being in different places. For instance, here it follows the noun, "活动": ...
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2answers
140 views

why 没出息 becomes useless?

I am going through the word: 没出息. How not ending/ ceasing out become useless? 没 méi not have 出 chū out 息 xi cease Any background or details how it become useless? was it referring to not stopping war/...
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1answer
111 views

What does 出人头地 mean?

The idiom 出人头地 chūréntóudì means “stand out among one’s fellows”. How to mix the above four words and arrive at the above meaning?
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2answers
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How are 连A带B and A着B different

他连说带笑 / 他笑着说 他连唱带跳 / 他唱着跳 Do these sentences have the same meaning? and if I change the position between the two verbs, do they still have the same meaning? 他连说带笑 / 他连笑带说 他笑着说 / 他说着笑
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190 views

What is the function of 得 in words like 覺得、記得、顯得、值得、懂得、免得、認得…?

First of all, does 得 have the same meaning in those examples? I'm familiar with 得 in other senses like 得到 and 聽得見, but those meanings seem distant. Is it more related to usage like “我唱得不好”? The main ...
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What is the grammatical difference between 神河and 河神 [duplicate]

神河 and 河神 What is the grammatical difference between the two and when to use? 河神 God River 神河 Is it also God river or is it divine river? Example: "神河"文明,动画《超神学院》和《雄兵连》系列中的文明。 ...
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3answers
202 views

How can I answer the question "你什么时候开始学中文的?"

How can I answer the question "你什么时候开始学中文的?" I cannot answer the "什么时候" questions. Can anybody help me please?
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2answers
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Who cook the soup? Confusion

[我煮汤 = I cook soup, this has confused who cook the soup..can you tell me grammer points how not to confuse with subject and object in this scenario:] I am translating this sentence, 他第一次为我煮汤,...
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2answers
111 views

呢 meaning "where", is it possible?

Is it true that 呢 can mean "WHERE"??? If so, then what is the difference between 呢 and 哪儿??? I've seen those sentences and they made me wonder: "我的杯子在哪儿? - where is my cup?" and &...
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2answers
130 views

Wh-questions in Chinese

As far as I could learn through research, wh-questions in Chinese are formed by keeping the wh phrases "in situ", I mean, the wh part is not fronted (like it is in English, for instance). ...
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3answers
526 views

is there a difference between 電視上vs電視裡?

兩個說法對吧?有沒有差別? I believe we can add both after the word TV in chinese but there must be a slight difference in usage or meaning no? like shang would be more the object and li may be referring to the ...
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4answers
145 views

好羡慕拍照的人,有这么漂亮的人可以拍: who is 的人?

Google translated this 好羡慕拍照的人,有这么漂亮的人可以拍 as “I really envy people who take pictures. There are such beautiful people who can take pictures.” Context: This came from someone looked at some pictures ...
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3answers
647 views

If a response to a question was "我很喜欢看法国电影," would the question be "你很喜欢不很喜欢看法国电影?" or "你喜欢不喜欢看法国电影?"

On a test I had for my Mandarin 1 class, for a certain part of it, the instructions were, " Look at the answers below and write an appropriate question using the V 不 bù / bú V pattern." For ...
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6answers
184 views

confused about the character 就

Here is a sentence: 有時我唔開心會喊。之後我就心情好啲。 I don't understand the function of the word 就. In my mind, it is supposed to be 嘅, for possessive, considering the context and that 心情 (feelings) would be a noun....
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140 views

中学生 why not secondary student life?

As 生 means life I thought 中学生 = secondary study life. But actual meaning of 中学生 is Secondary School Student. xuésheng is student, so I remember it as student. Why it is student rather study life?
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3answers
155 views

Subject + predicate as topic and prepositional phrases

I found this sentence while doing some listening practice: 长时间看电脑,对眼睛不好。 At first, I didn't understand why 长时间, expressing duration, is at the beginning of the sentence acting as topic 长时间看电脑, since I ...
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1answer
80 views

I am from or I come from in Chinese

What's the difference of these two and are they used only for the place you originated from?
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1answer
91 views

Why 看 is used in 我看得目瞪口呆?

Going through this sentence. 我看得目瞪口呆。I was stunned/dumbfounded. 看 means see, why see in this sentence?
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2answers
209 views

Why is the 多 in 每个月150个多小时 misplaced?

I have a new teacher, and we've been communicating on WeChat. I wrote this: 我大部分时间在自学。目前我每一天花5个多小时在学习,包括周末(每个月150个多小时),不过…… She says that 每个月150个多小时 is incorrect and it should be 每个月150多个小时. ...
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2answers
169 views

Hi! What is the difference between 忙得过来 and 忙不过来

Are they opposite, or do they mean the same thing? My teacher gave me an example like... A: “工作这么多,你忙得过来吗?” B: “我可能忙不过来.” but I am still having trouble understanding this.
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6answers
617 views

Strange case of 了: 他杀了一个人 vs 他杀了那个人

There are two sentences: 他杀了一个人,可是没有杀死。 他杀了那个人,可是没有杀死。 Some people say that sentence 1 is ungrammatical (better say -- illogical), while sentence 2 is OK. Why is it so? Why 那 makes such a big ...
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3answers
174 views

Comparing 到 and 得 to emphasize results

I am trying to understand the usage of 到 and 得 when used to emphasize results. Take, for example, the lyrics from "吻别": 我的世界開始下雪 冷得讓我無法多愛一天 In this adjective + 得 + clause construction, can ...
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2answers
107 views

Why is 来 used in "因为‘东西’一般不能用来表示人"?

Why is 来 used in the following sentence? For some context, this is a line from a text used in the second workbook of the New Practical Chinese Reader series (pg. 93). In the text a teacher is ...
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2answers
166 views

What is the point of 的 in '你也是大学生?你是什么专业的'?

I'm trying to understand 是。。。的 constructions. The page on such constructions at Chinese Grammar Wiki explains one way to use 是。。。的: This is the most simple way to use 是 with 的: you drop the noun and ...
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3answers
144 views

Understanding the structure of 是谁打电话过来呢

I know that 是谁打电话过来呢 means "who is calling?" but I don't know how to parse it: why is 是 at the beginning? not sure about the meaning of 过来. Is 电话过来 a standard combination? why 呢? I thought ...
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2answers
61 views

How do the words 我主張制止不了就放任 piece together?

The phrase is: "我主張制止不了就放任". Initially I tried to break the sentence and thought the translation would be something like: (1) "In my viewpoint,  if you can't stop it, just let it go&...
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2answers
138 views

How do I analyze "惟意所欲適" and "惟所欲為"?

"惟意所欲適" is a phrase from the Chinese poem 《有馬示徐無黨》: 惟意所欲適,九州可周尋。 I assume that "所欲適" is "所-phrase" and "意" is the subject, then where is the predicate? ...
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4answers
142 views

How do you translate: she's very fancy

Fancy as she dresses well, fashionable or is good decorating, etc.
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2answers
65 views

difference between 人缘儿 and 谈得来

What is the difference between these two words, or are they the same? 人缘儿 and 谈得来 Am I supposed to use them at different times?
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2answers
72 views

你认为做什么事的时候时间过得最快: Could some explain the meaning of this sentence

I am a little confused honestly about this whole thing. What do you think is the fastest time, but I doubt this is correct. Really any kind of break down of sentence structure or meaning would be very ...
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1answer
626 views

Is tree pluralized in Chinese?

I am learning very basic Chinese as part of a software project. I randomly chose the word "tree" as my go-to noun. However, it appears tree is pluralized in Chinese, even though it is said ...
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9answers
804 views

What is the function of 好 in 你好厉害 and 我好无聊?

I read an explanation on Chinese Grammar Wiki of the function of 好 before verbs to indicate that something is easy or good to do. Examples: 好吃、好喝、好听 In these phrases, however: 你好厉害! 我好无聊。 I am ...
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5answers
123 views

differences between 非常好 and 特别棒 ALSO if I know someone's name, do I 认识 them?

I need help with a question for a Chinese assignment I have to choose a suitable answer to the sentence, the sentence is 你知道吗? 昨天的足球比赛我们沈阳队赢了天津队5:1。 沈阳队的水平比天津队高得多了 。 Question: 沈阳队的水平怎么样? Choices: A. ...
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180 views

In the novel 猫城记, why does 老舍 use 的 (instead of 地) for adverbs?

From the first chapter of 猫城记 by 老舍, we see examples where 的 is used where I would expect to use 地 (to indicate an adverb): 我应当先去挖坑,但是我没有去挖,只呆呆的看着四外,从泪中看着四外。 动是我自己不能负责的,现在想来,这或者是最近情理的解释与自恕。 鸟儿下来一只。...
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123 views

How to discuss preferences / ask which do you prefer in Mandarin

How does one discuss preferences/ask what someone prefers out of a series of options? Do you just list each option followed by 好不好? Thanks
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2answers
85 views

What is wrong with how I wrote 你也不会呢 in 20年来,没有人相信我。你也不会呢?

I've been using LangCorrect recently to get feedback on my writing. Recently, I wrote this: 我的话让老妈失望地叹了口气,说:“20年来,没有人相信我。你也不会呢?我不是在撒谎!我不是在骗你!”那时,老妈站了起来,开始收拾东西准备走。 I received three corrections, one ...
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1answer
116 views

Is the construction 连A带B meaning "both A and B" a general construction or limited to fixed expressions?

The Pleco dictionary mentions the construction 连A带B meaning "both A and B" in the definition of 连, but I can't find any other discussion of this structure. I see it in fixed expressions like ...
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3answers
146 views

What is the nature of the term 什么都?

While talking on discord someone typed that they were studying, to which I jokingly replied, "我已经学会什么都了,没有没学的", though people were quick to correct me, apparently 什么都 is not a noun and ...
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2answers
208 views

How does one understand the [verb] + 在了 grammar structure?

From random Internet sites, we can see many examples of the grammar structures: [verb] + 在了 手机忘在了出租车上。 我站在了舞台上。 因为人不在,快递员就放在了门口。 小男孩被父亲故意丢在了超市。 闺蜜和男友睡在了一起。 (Google the quotes surrounded by quotation ...
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3answers
92 views

Is the 了 in 你几岁了? a change-of-state 了?

There's a simple question we ask kids: 你几岁了? How old are you? It's possible to ask it without the 了, i.e., 你几岁?. This makes me think this 了 is a change-of-state 了. It may just be a kind of "...
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4answers
189 views

What is the difference between 没 and 不 when used with 又?

What's the difference between these sentences: 他又没来上课 他又不来上课() Here: https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Expressing_%22again%22_in_the_past_with_%22you%22#Negative_Form it says both 没 ...
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1answer
80 views

抱有 vs 摆有: When does a serial verb become a word?

保有财产 ; 抱有好感 ; 怀有敌意 ; 育有一子 Bi-syllabic verbal compounds like these (in bold) are words: they form a lexical unit; they are used as independent lexemes; they are lexicographically counted as lemmas/...
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4answers
229 views

"真的" vs "真地" to mean "really"

"真的太可爱了" has 3,930,000 results on Google. "真地太可爱了" has only 17,500. Why do we use 真的 instead of 真得? I thought that 地 is used to connect an adjective and connect it with a verb, ...

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