Questions tagged [grammar]

Questions about the grammatical rules governing Chinese structure and composition.

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3
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3answers
100 views

How can complement of degree apply at: 他喝酒喝得睡着了。 弟弟高兴得跳了起来。

When introduced 得 to my student, I followed the grammar book 100%: It's "complement of degree". But when we bumped into these two sentences, should I still insist "complement of degree&...
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4answers
203 views

Why "体贴先生" is wrong? And why so many people use it?

Almost everyday and everywhere, we heard someone praising a wife by saying: “她很体贴先生。” or "她是一个体贴先生的太太。" If it is wrong, why people kept on using it?
2
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3answers
101 views

What is the grammatical outline of 你英语说得很好

你英语说得很好 How exactly does this phrase function grammatically? I want to say it is topic-comment but I have struggled a lot with identifying such a structure. If it is indeed TC, then how does this ...
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4answers
206 views

How do you write "Love Life" in mandarin?

I am making a poster and looking to say "Love Life" in several different languages. I didn't want to use Google translate as it's not the most accurate translator. I just want to give people ...
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1answer
43 views

Expression “一...就...” - what if there is a sub-sentence?

Example: 我回家以后就预习功课。 回答: 我一回家就预习功课。 This structure is quite easy. However, how would we apply the same “一...就...” structure if there is an extra 'sub-sentence' in the example (i.e. 这一课很容易). What ...
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1answer
75 views

Comparative Sentences (比较句:A没有B) - Is the grammar of the following combined sentence correct?

This question is about Comparative Sentences (比较句:A没有B) So we have the following two sentences: 爸爸的手机2000 块。 哥哥的手机6000 块。 The assignment is to make these into one sentence using the A没有B structure ...
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1answer
76 views

Key Grammatical Phrases including 对,再说,还,要不然,还。。。呢,没有。。。那么, 一。。。就 in Sentence Usage

I have a list of sentences with important grammar phrases. I was wondering if someone could check if they were grammatically correct or not. Thank you very much! 他对数学很感兴趣。 这么早,别去了,再说外面也很冷。 教室里越来越吵,...
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3answers
337 views

What's the role of 一 in 听百灵鸟这么一说,她明白了?

I know it's a grammatical role that 一 plays in such sentences, but unfortunately I didn't find it on Chinese Grammar Wiki. So what's the meaning of 一 in this sentence? 听百灵鸟这么一说,她明白了 I suspect it's &...
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2answers
154 views

我学了中文了 - is it a good sentence?

Is 我学了中文了 a good sentence? Is it possible to have 2 times 了 this way? Are both of the following correct? 我学中文了 我学了中文 Is their combination also correct? 我学了中文了
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2answers
404 views

How does 再……不过 work?

I'm reading an article about Chinese privacy concerns should TikTok data be handed over to US companies, wherein we have: 事关国家安全,面对任何可能的威胁都必须零容忍。中国人民关心中国的国家安全利益,关注中国企业正当的海外利益能否得到有效保障,这都是再正常不过的事情,...
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4answers
196 views

Why is 饱 in 吃一顿饱饭?

I'm taking a look at the science fiction novelette 北京折叠 (English title: Folding Beijing), wherein we have: 步行街上挤满了刚刚下班的人。拥挤的男人女人围着小摊子挑土特产,大声讨价还价。食客围着塑料桌子,埋头在酸辣粉的热气腾腾中,饿虎扑食一般,白色蒸汽遮住了脸。油炸的香味弥漫。...
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1answer
85 views

How to do line breaks when mixing in Simplified Chinese characters and non-Chinese characters?

Context: I am working on a video game with a Simplified Chinese translation. I'm not handling the translation myself, but I am working on importing the translated strings into the game's engine. I ...
3
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3answers
216 views

Translating as Past or Present tense

I am translating an excerpt of a Chinese short story. In general, do any indicators in Chinese grammar exist that would require the usage of past tense (in English) instead of present tense? In this ...
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3answers
59 views

Changing order of a phrase

So I watched a movie. I thought would be fun to see if I could re-order the phrase. Phrase 1 original: 不能说的就不要说. To: 就不要说不能说的. Phrase 2 original: 阻止他说不该说的话. To: 不该说的话阻止他说. Are the two re-order ...
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2answers
34 views

How does 高出一大截 break apart in 交货时间延长好几倍,单价翻几番,残次品率高出一大截?

I'm reading an April article which predicts Trump wins the 2020 US election based on trends in manufacturing of Trump-branded merchandise in the Chinese city of Yiwu (known for its commodities): 先说一句,...
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4answers
234 views

What exactly are the meaning/function of 的 and 了?

In my experience, not 1 single 对外汉语教师 can explain these two words, the most popular-used, to the students, unfortunately, including myself. Can anyone explains is this sequence: 1. basic/fundamental ...
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3answers
204 views

use of 在 with verbs that imply position or location

Location: I've learned that some verbs use zai after the verb eg. 住。 我住在北京 and that most verbs take 在 before the verb eg. 我在花园吃饭. My first question is - how can you tell which verbs take zai before ...
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2answers
180 views

How old is Chinese grammar? [closed]

Anyone here knows how old Chinese grammar is? In my memory, I never read the term "语法" in all the historical works, especially those of Tang and Song dynasties, the peak of Chinese ...
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5answers
1k views

Can someone logically explain why 在坐 is wrong and 坐着 is fine?

This question keeps me awake at nights. Please, don't suggest that I've made a mistake and mistook 在坐 for 在座. I know what 在座 is. I dont' care about it. I need to know a logical reason why 在坐 is never ...
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4answers
82 views

Who/what/when + V + 不好 meaning "could V any time/thing/one"

A few examples in a video about 偏偏 (time links to examples below) use a structure that seems to be "[Question Word] + V + 不好". The meaning seems to be similar to structures like “想吃什么[就吃什么]&...
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49 views

Meaning of 事情并没有想家的那么糟糕

事情并没有想家的那么糟糕。 (1) What is the meaning of this sentence? (2) In “想家的那么糟糕”, please explain to me the function of 的? I do not understand why 的 turns up in that position.
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2answers
128 views

Why "我想了退这件新买的毛衣。” is wrong?

The correct sentence is "我想退了这件新买的毛衣。" But why? Please do not use grammar jargon because I seldom understand them. I have been teaching Mandarin with grammar included but never mention and ...
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4answers
155 views

Why is “的” used instead of “了” in this sentence?

I've been learning Chinese for months, but I found an interesting sentence. 他和她一起来的吗? In this sentence, my question is about why “的” is used instead of “了”. For example, I would say "他和她一起来了吗?&...
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1answer
192 views

Can the 的 particle ever function without "nominalizing"?

From my answer in What is the meaning of 的 in “有一天你会明白的”? and according to Charles N. Li, Sandra A. Thompson - Mandarin Chinese: A Functional Reference Grammar, I believed the function of the particle ...
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2answers
90 views

Why can some words such as 安宁 be either a noun or a adjective?

This is just one of the many examples where I noticed this, but with these words, does that mean I can say something like: 我找到我心里的安宁 or something along those lines and treat it as if it were a noun, ...
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5answers
1k views

What is the meaning of 的 in "有一天你会明白的"?

From Why is 的 used in 你是哪一天出生的 and 我们什么时候开始的 and 前天你什么时候来的这里?, I understand 的 at the end of a sentence describes an event that happened in the past. However, I am not sure whether I understand the ...
2
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5answers
360 views

What does "了" do in the sentence "呆在家里, 这样你就能接电话了"?

In the sentence "呆在家里, 这样你就能接电话了", I can't see why "了" is used in this sentence. I study Chinese these days, and I think that I can just say "这样你就能接电话", but in this ...
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1answer
42 views

Does 莫過於 require 最 for first noun?

ABC Chinese–English Comprehensive Dictionary (2003), p 629. Wiktionary also defines this "nothing can surpass ..." Wikipedia's two sentences use 最. I screen-shot 5:16. I know 痛苦莫過於生存 means &...
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1answer
77 views

What are some examples of stative -le and iterative aspect in Mandarin?

I'm a graduate student studying how bilinguals interpret certain aspectual expressions in Mandarin. I'm currently preparing all of my stimuli, but I'm hoping for some help from native speakers since I'...
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3answers
100 views

高 as a verb talking about the weather

In my chinese book i saw the next sentence. "最低气温很少低于3度" In the dictionary said 低 could be a verb meaning to drop. But 高 did not appear as a verb. But i found sentence like this in the ...
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1answer
150 views

What's the meaning of 下来 in 把它写下来?

In the sentence "把它写下来", what's the meaning of “下来”? Can I just say "把它写"?
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3answers
252 views

Why is 指 repeated twice in 他指了指墙上的画?

I found a sentence from a short story which goes: "他指了指墙上的画。“ I know that 指 means to point, by why is it repeated twice in the sentence? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you
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5answers
123 views

Meaning of 来 as in 你来给我们评评理

你来给我们评评理 Three people are discussing something. One of them asks another to be judge on who's right. What's the exact meaning of 来 here? Since three of them are already together, it shouldn't be &...
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3answers
61 views

What is the meaning of 没 in 有啥推荐没? [duplicate]

有啥推荐没? What is the meaning of 没 here in this sentence? Can I put 吗 instead of 没 here?
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2answers
126 views

Why is 都 placed after a verb in "什么时候还都可以"?

I found this example: 你拿着用吧,什么时候还都可以。 Nǐ ná zheyòng ba, shénme shíhòu huán dōu kěyǐ. You can have it as long as you want. I am confused about the grammar structure behind 什么时候还都可以 (literally: any ...
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3answers
802 views

What is the difference between 还是 and 还?

What is the difference between 还是 and 还? Is 还 the short of 还是 and, consequently, they are interchangeable in every situation, only in some cases or never? For reference, I will list the different ...
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1answer
157 views

Usage of negation 没 with 在 and 着 particle?

Hello I start learning Chinese since not long, after I fell in love with the Expanse book series. (Chinese explorers are one of the first to colonise Mars planet). I studied that 在 and 着 are particles ...
2
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2answers
104 views

Is it possible to combine 起来 and 住在?

I came across the following sentence: 这个房子住起来不舒服。 Zhège fángzi zhù qǐlái bu shūfú. This house seems uncomfortable to live. I think in this sentence, 起来 indicates an initial judgement, i.e. like in ...
2
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2answers
274 views

Differences between "Verb + Adj", "Adj + Verb", "Verb + 得 + Adj" and "Adj + 地 + Verb"?

I am having some difficulties understanding the differences in meaning between the following structures (the examples are from Line dictionary): Verb + Adj e.g: 走快了她会累。 Zŏu kuài le tā huì lĕi. ...
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2answers
52 views

When to use 是 with 当中, 过程中。

The other day in my Chinese class we were doing this examples, 在所有的礼当中,我最喜欢你送给我的真丝手袋。Like I have to questions, the first one if you can say it without 当。 Like 在所有的礼中,我最喜欢你送给我的真丝手袋。 If you can what is ...
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1answer
84 views

Can I say 又可爱又恐怖?

可爱 is positive whilst 恐怖 is negative. For 又A又B , do A and B have to be both positive or both negative? Or can one be positive and the other negative? I want to say ''these pictures are kinda cute and ...
3
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5answers
306 views

Difference between using 被 and the object in the topic position?

I just learned about the preposition 被 bèi to express passive voice. If we have a S-V-O sentence, we can reexpress it using the 被 structure as O-被-(S)-V. This introduces a passive voice into the ...
3
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2answers
165 views

"以 V 之" as a post-nominal modifier in Classical Chinese

In English, we can say "He bought something to eat," where "to eat" functions like an adjective to "something." I'm wondering whether in Classical Chinese, "以 V 之&...
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2answers
92 views

What is the role of 美國 in "中國向美國報復"?

A discussion arose from this post In ` 向谁说`, does `向` play the same role / have the same meaning as `对`? What is the role of the noun after 向 in "向 + noun + verb"? Is it the object? Someone ...
2
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1answer
253 views

When does 一会儿 go before / after the verb?

I have seen some sentences where 一会儿 (yīhuìr), meaning in a while / in a moment, is placed before the verb and in some others, after the verb. Is there some rule for deciding the position, are both ...
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2answers
63 views

还 in 你还好吗 is just for emphasis?

还 in 你还好吗 has the meaning of "still" , "as well", "even", or just for "emphasis (强调)" and no meaning here? Thank you!
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1answer
137 views

Why 这么 / 那么 are placed before the action verb?

I have some confusion with the use of 这么 (this, so) and 那么 (that, so). I found these examples (from Pleco): 大家都这么说。 Dàjiā dōu zhème shuō. Everyone says this / so. 你不该那么做。 Nǐ bù gāi nàme zuò. You ...
4
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3answers
258 views

Is "topic-comment structure" only used for teaching second language learners Chinese?

I personally only knew Topic-comment structure on this site, since it's been used to explain many questions. I also used it in my answers in the past. Recently, I realized that I wasn't taught this ...
2
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2answers
158 views

Do 和 and 跟 have different grammatical functions?

Thinking about the Difference between 与,和 and 跟?, I was wondering if it can be argued that 和 (hé) and 跟 (gēn) have different grammatical functions. I understand 和 corresponds in English to the ...
3
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3answers
282 views

Why can objects be placed at the beginning of the sentence?

Often, I come across sentences like below, where the subject is missing and the object is placed instead. 证件带了吗? (Instead of 你带了证件吗?) I am wondering if there is a name to such grammatical structure, ...

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