Questions tagged [mandarin]

Mandarin is a group of Chinese dialects that are considered the official language in many Chinese-speaking communities. The Beijing dialect is considered as standard pronunciation of Mandarin. Thus, when people say the "Chinese language", they implicitly refer to Mandarin.

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6
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1answer
523 views

Meaning of 差 in sentence

I have difficulties understanding sentence. What is meaning of 差 in the following sentence? 我看一下,现在差一刻九点。
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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 ...
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39 views

Parsing “你如此特别,如此与众不同,是那样的特别。” into words

你如此特别,如此与众不同,是那样的特别。 I have no idea how to properly separate this sentence into words. I want to understand it word by word. 你 / 如此 / 特别, // 如此 / 与众不同, // 是 / 那样的 / 特别。 你 / 如此 / 特别, // 如此 / ...
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3answers
307 views

質: when to pronounce in 2nd tone or 4th (Mandarin)?

In Mandarin, sometimes 質 is pronounced with the 2nd tone (e.g., 質地, 特質) and other times it's pronounced with the 4th tone (e.g., 質疑, 質量, 品質). Here are two words pronounced with the 2nd tone: 質地 http:...
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197 views

Hesitation noise and how to write it?

In English when thinking (and sometimes when unsure) we use the filler word "uhh" (sometime written as the variant "er"), pronounced as a prolonged /əː/. What sound is used in Mandarin, and how is it ...
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3answers
582 views

Should I pronounce “er” as [ɚ] or [aɚ̯]?

What I learned growing up was that words with the pinyin “er”, like 儿, 二, and 耳 were pronounced [ɚ], but younger/more native speakers of Standard Chinese seem to pronounce it as [aɚ], and I was ...
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4answers
123 views

會講國語 vs. 講國語: when to use one or the other?

When explaining to someone if you can speak Mandarin, there are people who suggest saying 我會講國語 and others who suggest 我講國語. Appparently, 會講 suggests a higher level of competence whereas 講 alone ...
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1answer
103 views

Mandarin equivalent to 而家做嘢做成點?

In Cantonese, you often hear people say this phrase 你而家做嘢做成點. What would the Mandarin equivalent be for this phrase?
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5answers
421 views

Mandarin: when to use 面 (mian) or 臉 (lian)?

In Cantonese, you usually use 面 to mean face. However, it seems like in Mandarin, people use 臉 (e.g., 我的臉很紅) sometimes and other times use 面 (e.g., 面對面). What are the guidelines around using 面 or 臉?
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640 views

When do I use 儿 to modify a word?

I've noticed that for words like 饭馆 (fànguǎn), 一点 (yīdiǎn),and 玩 (wán) natives add 儿 (er) to the end while speaking. A Wikipedia article about the character says that the phenomenon is called "r-...
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1answer
153 views

List of all verbs that accept location complements?

Typically, Chinese word order is Subject + Location + Verb + Object. However, this page indicates the location may follow the verb with certain exceptions. That is, there are location complements for ...
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2answers
239 views

Difference between Cantonese and Mandarin: using 係/是 to link noun with adjective?

This Chinese grammar page states 是 (shì) is only used to link two nouns. It cannot be used to link a noun and an adjective. For instance, you should not say this in Mandarin: 我是高 But in ...
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4answers
391 views

遲 vs. 晚 in Mandarin: when to use which one?

In Cantonese, you can use 遲 to indicate someone is late (e.g., not punctual) or the time is late (e.g., past midnight so all restaurants are closed). However, it seems like Mandarin speakers use 晚 in ...
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4answers
294 views

才vs 先: When to use each one in Mandarin?

In Cantonese, you use 先 to mean "first." For example: Eat first => 先食 In Mandarin, most people use 才 so it becomes: 才吃 But sometimes people also use 先 even with Mandarin, so what are the ...
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2answers
252 views

Where to put location words in a sentence

I recently started learning Chinese and was reading up on the structure of sentences here: https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Chinese_word_order#...
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95 views

What is the Mandarin equivalent of 唔夾 in Cantonese (i.e., not complementary)?

In Cantonese, you can say 唔夾 to say A and B are not complementary. What's the equivalent in Mandarin? 不合 or 不搭?
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1answer
90 views

Is 一 not omitted in Mandarin when it comes to measurement classifiers followed by '半'?

The other day I went to a Chinese supermarket in Toronto to buy one and a half pound of minced meat. I told the meat department operator that I want "磅半碎肉" in Cantonese. That guy gave me half a pound ...
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1answer
212 views

What is the Mandarin equivalent of Cantonese's 一係 A 一係 B?

In Cantonese, you can use 一係 to present two options. For instance, you can say: "Either eat or go" => 一係食一係走 In Mandarin, someone said 或者 is similar but lacks the same emphasis and force. In other ...
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Which is the most frequently used tone?

The most difficult for me in learning Chinese is memorizing the correct tone. I tried to find on web what the most frequently used tones are, but it seems to be hard to find. I suppose if one tone ...
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4answers
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Why are 成语 (idioms) four characters long? Are there 成语 with more or less than four characters?

I really enjoying learning 成语 (chéng yǔ) in Chinese, and I'm curious to know why they are often or always four characters long? Where does this tradition stem from? And are there 成语 with more or ...
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297 views

Do you mind checking my grammar?

i have to make a presentation about my family. Would you mind checking the grammar for me? Zhè shì wo de jiā rén. Wo jiā you liu kou ren. You bàba, māma, gege, jiejie, didi he wo. Wo bàba he māma dou ...
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295 views

How can I get exposure to mandarin usage and pronounciation?

I have been taking Mandarin classes at university. Due to illness I have missed a lot and fallen way behind. Now I wish to continue learning on my own. I find it very hard to remember the characters. ...
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3answers
275 views

How to translate: have you finished doing the homework (which) our teacher gave us last week?

I'm mostly confused about the sentence structure. Would this be correct? 你做完上个星期老师给我们的作业了吗
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5answers
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What is the correct way to write 'niu bi', and how did it get its meaning in Chinese?

'niu bi' (牛逼? like the bees knees in English) is one of the more amusing expressions I learnt in my time in China. The literal meaning in English is quite colourful, so I won't describe it here, but I'...
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2answers
165 views

How to improve knowledge base for vocal conversation in Mandarin

Ni Hao, Wo shi Anugrah (from India). I have always been interested in learning some new skills that can improve me personally and help me to interact with others easily. One of the things I do is to ...
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2answers
96 views

这个 and 个 Pinyin

According to Google Translate the Pinyin for 这个 is 'Zhège' but the Pinyin for 个 is 'Gè'. I've looked at several links referring to tone changes (e.g. here) but nothing I can find explains the ...
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5answers
264 views

Irregular syllables in Mandarin—how does 二 (“èr”) exist? [duplicate]

So Mandarin has a pretty regular syllable construction. Usually, it's consonant-vowel. It cheats a little sometimes in a few ways, like ending on an n or an r or beginning with a w or a y and ...
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3answers
187 views

When do you use 知道 vs 認識 when discussing when you know someone or some thing?

When you meet someone you're supposed to use 認識 as in 很高興知道你, but someone said you can also use 知道 when talking about people or places. For example, "I know that place" or "I know that person." When ...
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886 views

What is the difference between 向来, 一直, and 总是?

Don't they all mean "always"? I would be grateful if you could provide example sentences.
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2answers
178 views

Which is the correct grammar: 我比你更了解你自己 or 我比你更你自己了解?

According to this Chinese grammar guide, the "target" of a verb should precede the verb. Does this mean the translation of "I know you better than yourself" is 我比你更你自己了解 instead of 我比你更了解你自己?
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273 views

How would you say “X, the Y” in Chinese?

I am currently learning Mandarin in Simplified Chinese. I've just started learning so I cannot speak all that well. However, here is my problem: I have a Chinese family coming over. They are proud ...
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3answers
200 views

规规矩矩: 国语 vs. 普通话 (Taiwanese Mandarin vs. Mainland Mandarin)

规规矩矩 seems to have two - not so agreeing definitions in guoyu and MSM. The MSM definition looks something like this 规矩 - 互动百科 2、[Well-behaved;Well-disciplined;Remain orderly;Have proper ...
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1answer
166 views

Is there a comprehensive list of 语气词 or 语气助词? Or a place I can research more about them?

Is there a comprehensive list of 语气词 or 语气助词? Or a place I can research more about them? Had an idea to do my dissertation on them but having trouble finding a list of them.
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2answers
919 views

What is the Mandarin equivalent of Cantonese's 麻麻地 (so-so)?

How do you say "so-so" in Mandarin? In Cantonese, you would say 麻麻地. What's the Mandarin equivalent of 麻麻地?
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1answer
317 views

How do you say "I will have (something) in Mandarin?

Is it correct if i say: Wo jiang you (the o in you has the v tone) Does that mean "I have" in future tense?
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2answers
92 views

What is the equivalent phrase of the figurative 'red meat' in Chinese?

'Red meat' literally means 紅肉 (e.g. beef, lamb) in Chinese, but it is typically used in a figurative sense in political commentaries. For Example: "His outrageous statements are red meat for his ...
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114 views

Which is more common in Mandarin: 四處 or 周圍?

Which is more common to express the notion of "everywhere": 四處 or 周圍? Example: The house will have your books everywhere.
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1answer
241 views

Mandarin: when do you use 那麼 vs 這麼?

In Mandarin, when do you use 那麼 vs 這麼? In Cantonese, there isn't this issue since you just use 噉.
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20k views

Tips for pronouncing X vs SH in Mandarin?

I'd like to think my Mandarin pronunciation is generally pretty reasonable, but I often get tripped up with X and SH - for example words like 雪 and 水, or 虾 and 莎. Even with different tones, I find ...
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1k views

Are people's names always pronounced the same in Mandarin?

In many languages, you can not be really sure how to pronounce a person's name, so you have to ask them first, and remember. For instance, "Broglie" can be brɔɪ or brɔˈgli, "中島" can be Nakashima or ...
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2answers
104 views

Mandarin: when is it okay to use only 點 instead of 一點?

一點 means "a little" when applied to adjectives. For instance, 快一點 means faster (i.e., fast a little) but often times people shorten 快一點 to 快點. What is the principle for shortening 一點 to 點? Can you ...
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2answers
96 views

Are there readings exclusive used only for people name?

When reading songyuanyao's answer on Are people names always pronounced the same in Mandarin?, I suddenly wonder if Chinese has something similar to nanori in Japanese. Basically, nanori is a special ...
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1answer
257 views

Mandarin: difference between 還好 and 還可以?

Some people seem to use 還好 and 還可以 interchangeably, but another said 還好 is more negative than 還可以. She said 還好 is more like "so-so" whereas 還可以 is more like "pretty good". Could someone explain the ...
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2answers
739 views

Which pronunciation of 云 (yun) is correct?

Google Translate has a different pronunciation of 云 (yun) than this website: https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/pronunciation/Yun The Google Translate one sounds like more the Cantonese ...
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4answers
123 views

A few questions before taking an online course

After two months, I will be moving to Hong Kong for my Bachelor's degree. Before doing so, I decided to spend my time learning Chinese to lessen the burden in the future. As I was searching for a ...
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4answers
3k views

When is it appropriate to address someone as 老板 [laoban]?

I've heard laoban being used multiple times when addressing shopkeepers. But who exactly do you refer as laoban? For example, I suppose it's safe to address your boss as laoban regardless of where ...
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2answers
153 views

How important are tones in comparison with vowels or consonants in Mandarin?

Tones are of course essential to distinguish meaning in Mandarin. However, how important are they if you compare with vowels or consonants? For example, to a native, what sounds "more wrong" - to ...
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87 views

来 去 depending on location

Imagine I am in Beijing, and I just returned from a trip to Shanghai. A friend in Shanghai calls me and asks "你回北京去了吗?" I can't really say 对 or 没错 or 是的 to confirm his question, because I did not 回去, ...
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1answer
195 views

Words and phrases related magic(like in fantasy movies&MMO games)

I searched through dictionaries to understand magic related words and phrases, like in MMORPG games or Fantasy books/movies. But I'm so confused how to construct a sentence and I really want to learn. ...
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2answers
267 views

How to talk about identity politics in mandarin?

Talking about topics related to contemporary sexual identity and identity politics has been tricky in Mandarin... obviously a lot of this is specific to the American cultural milieu, and I haven't ...