Questions tagged [mandarin]

Question specifically about the Mandarin dialect. (Not for arbitrary questions that happen to involve Mandarin.)

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284 views

Is the 边~边 the synonym for 一边~一边?

Is the following sentence: 并与当地青年一同BBQ,边烧烤边交流。 Is the 边~边 the synonym for 一边~一边, which mean "doing ~ while doing ~"? Or is there any difference?
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3answers
149 views

有一點 can only be used for bad things, but how about 一點?

I've learned that 有一點 can only be used for negative things, such as 有一點累, 有一點不好吃 etc but not 有一點漂亮, 有一點好。 But how about if I say only 一點? Is that the same? For example, are the following sentences ...
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5answers
722 views

Do I drink (喝) or eat (吃) a soup in Chinese?

In English you say eat soup, not drink soup. But how about Mandarin? Drink 這個菜湯很香! 你喝喝看! (This vegetable soup is really tasty! You try it!) or eat? 這個菜湯很香! 你吃吃看! (This vegetable soup is really ...
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0answers
129 views

Tone contours along diphthongs [closed]

I'd like to know as much as possible about how tone contours (T2, T3, T4) are distributed along Mandarin/standard rhyme diphthongs, especially ai ei ao ou, with references to academic articles if ...
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2answers
99 views

你 <verb phrase> 你

I have been watching a TV show set in Beijing where many of the characters keep saying things like 你別打狗了你 (probably a bad example), putting a seemingly redundant 你 at the end. What is this used for? ...
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3answers
2k views

Is 你是哪个人 the correct way to ask where you are from in China?

I saw one of my friends used "你是哪个人" to ask where you are from in China. I thought it is the valid expression to date. However, I just used it to a Chinese people and she didn't understand it. So I ...
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1answer
79 views

What's the general word for '样‘ in '这样,那样’,‘小样’, ‘怎样', ‘好样的’?

It is hard for me to find out one general or exactly English word for '样' in different contexts, it is so common in Chinese.
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2answers
88 views

Does this conversation/exchange of words make sense?

Person A: 你快乐吗? - Are you happy? Person B: 我常常是。-I often am. Person A: 有意思。- Interesting. Person B: 你没有不对。- You are not wrong. Would this exchange make sense to a 中国人? Does it sound natural and ...
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2answers
154 views

Verbal reading of 块?

In my open-source dictionary a contributor has suggested a verbal reading for 块: to cut/chop into pieces, noting that in this 'verbal sense' it is always reduplicated. I cannot find this in either CC-...
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3answers
541 views

What's the difference between 后 and 以后?

I was taught that so as to say "after" in Chinese one should use 以后, like this: 吃饭以后 Today I came across a bare 后, like this: 15分钟后 What's the difference between these two words?
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136 views

How to say the following phrase in Mandarin? [closed]

I'm preparing a presentation for my Mandarin class. The idea is to stage a situation. Basically the point is to create a situation which begins with a Chinese person asking for two foreigners to take ...
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1answer
292 views

Proper way to say “I don't know what the problem is.” [closed]

What is the proper way to say "I don't know what the problem is" in Mandarin? Not sure if this is a “问题” or a "关系“ structure.
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4answers
1k views

How to say “productive” in Mandarin and Cantonese? Google Translate says 生產的

效率 means efficient, but what is the word for productive in Cantonese and Mandarin? CantoDict does not have an entry, and Google lists 生產的 which feels wrong. For instance, let's say you want to ...
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1answer
291 views

What is the difference between colloquial and literary readings of characters?

This CantoDict page for 熟 says: Pinyin shu2 is literary reading; shou2 is colloquial. What does this mean? More importantly, how are you supposed to pronounce 熟 in Mandarin? :)
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1answer
935 views

Example of grammar difference between Cantonese and Mandarin?

This page lists the following sentence in Mandarin: 现在 不要 给 我 打 电话 However, in Cantonese it feels like the grammar would be more like: [now do not]打電話被我 In other words, the "target" part of ...
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3answers
182 views

List of verbs followed by 給

According to this page, 給 usually precedes the verb. On this page, it says 給 sometimes follows the verb, and often these exceptions are single-syllable verbs. 1) Is there a list of these exceptions ...
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1answer
65 views

Mandarin equivalent of 後尾 (in the end)?

In Cantonese, you often say "後尾" to mean "in the end." What's the Mandarin equivalent of 後尾? Is it 最後?
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2answers
611 views

How to say throw away: 扔掉?

CantoDict lists 扔掉 as the translation for "throw away" as in "throw away the can," but I often hear people use 扔 by itself or 掉 by itself. Is 扔掉 the formal way of saying "throw away"? Is there a ...
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2answers
113 views

How to say tradeoff in Cantonese and Mandarin?

The word tradeoff is not listed in Google nor in CantoDict. Is it 折衷? What's the Cantonese translation? What's the Mandarin translation?
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1answer
196 views

Understanding how to use 多 properly

My grammar could be wrong, but it feels like in Cantonese you would typically say something like 食多啲 to mean eat more. But this Mandarin grammar page says you should usually put 多 before the verb, ...
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1answer
116 views

Difference between 商店 and 店舖?

Can someone explain the difference between 商店 and 店舖? The dictionary differences are not clear. 1) For instance, if you want to say, "My friend works at a store in the downtown area," which would you ...
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1answer
267 views

Which one to use: 搞笑 vs. 攪笑 and 搞亂 vs 攪亂?

For "amusing/funny," CantoDict lists these two variations: 搞笑 and 攪笑. Similarly, these two words are listed as variations of each other for "to confuse, to mess up": 搞亂 and 攪亂. In Cantonese they are ...
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1answer
793 views

How to say “slang” in Cantonese and Mandarin?

This excellent answer explains the differences between 成语, 俗语, and 谚语. However, it doesn't discuss which one -- if any -- translates into "slang." Do any of these mean "slang" in Cantonese and ...
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2answers
522 views

Difference among 走去 vs 走路 vs 步行?

Are 走去, 走路, and 步行 interchangeable? Specifically, are they all valid variations of saying "to walk?"? For instance, are all these identical? 我們走去了三分鐘 我們走路了三分鐘 我們步行了三分鐘
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84 views

洩氣 for frustrating?

Google Translate says frustrating translates into 洩氣. CantoDict doesn't list an entry for frustrating. 洩氣 doesn't seem very natural, at least from a Cantonese perspective. Is Google Translate ...
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2answers
509 views

Using 也 (ye3) vs. 又 (you4)?

What's the difference between 也 (ye3) vs. 又 (you4)? These two links, link1 and link2, discuss them individually but do not contrast them. This last link contrasts 又 with 再 (zai4).
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4answers
163 views

Is this sentence grammatically correct? 中国的建设开始的时候,人人是不以为过环境污染的。

I'm trying to write: While construction began in China, people hadn't thought of the pollution. Is this an accurate use of the grammar: shi4 ... de
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3answers
137 views

Is this sentence correct? 打扫大客厅这么多累的啊

If not how would it be corrected using the exact same characters? And what is the issue with the original sentence? Struggling a bit with word order!
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813 views

What phrases in Cantonese are thought to be colloquial but are actually used in Mandarin?

I only learnt HK Cantonese from my mother, and did not have the environment to speak or use it otherwise. She would tell me that certain Cantonese words are only spoken colloquially, but would not be ...
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2answers
288 views

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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2answers
49 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 / 与众不同, // ...
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2answers
334 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
966 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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2answers
304 views

Flexibility of word classes in Chinese

I have just started learning Chinese and I know that 姓 can be both a verb and a noun. I wondered whether there are a lot of other Chinese verbs that can also be used as nouns. For example, is a ...
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4answers
808 views

Difference between 製作 and 製造?

Both 製作 and 製造 mean "to make" according to this dictionary: http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/2913/ http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/words/6021/ It seems like 製造 might ...
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4answers
148 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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130 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
1k 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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2answers
334 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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5answers
696 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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229 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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3answers
341 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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4answers
670 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
448 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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374 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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2answers
113 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
237 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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1answer
111 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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3answers
428 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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2answers
119 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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