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Questions tagged [meaning-in-context]

Questions concerned understanding of individual words or phrases, considering a context in which these words and phrases are expressed.

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Meaning of 重剑 aside from the fencing sword epee

The main translation of 重剑 is epee, which is a fencing sword. However, in a novel, I saw the term used in a fighting scene. It was also described to be placed on the character's back. Since the two ...
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1answer
42 views

“以” in “敗義以求生, 豈荀巨伯所行邪”

Does "以" have the same meaning in the following sentences? 敗義以求生, 豈荀巨伯所行邪 志士仁人 無求生以害仁
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1answer
43 views

What is 茜 in the phrase 茜纱窗下?

晴雯死了。宝玉祭文。黛玉听见了。宝玉说,”有什么不妥的地方,还请你替我修改修改。“ 宝玉写的是:红绡帐里 黛玉说,”何不说 ‘茜纱窗下’“ Is 茜 just 红色? Or is it what the window screen is made of? Is it 芦苇?
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5answers
1k views

What does 算不上 mean in 算不上太美好的日子?

This is from the book 我是马拉拉 (the Chinese version of I am Malala). I transcribe it to: 2012年10月9日,星期二那天发生的事情,改变了一切。那天原本要大考,对学生们来说算不上太美好的日子。但和大多数同学不一样,我号称“小书虫”,感觉考试并不是什么大事。 I translate this to: ...
2
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1answer
49 views

How does word order affect the meaning of a sentence

A foreign friend of mine asked me the following questions and I cannot explain to him very well. So I am looking for help here. Context: I said to him: it's ok to say a sentence in different word ...
3
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3answers
98 views

What tense is this sentence?

"你会不会怕我" example What tense is this sentence? It seems like future tense, but if you watch the video the person talking (the dad) is talking to his daughter. But, that makes me think it is current ...
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2answers
73 views

Is it known to which bird species 雎鸠 refers?

关关雎鸠,在河之洲。is a very well known line. When I look up 雎鸠 in Baidu, I see pictures of ospreys, cormorants,herons, seagulls and other species. Is it known to which bird species 雎鸠 refers? According to ...
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2answers
167 views

What does this 切 mean here?

Looking at 诗经,第一首诗: 求之不得, 寤寐思服。 悠哉悠哉, 辗转反侧。 in 现代的普通话 追求的姑娘却总得不到, 日日夜夜心里想着她。 时常思念情意切, 翻来覆去难入眠。 In the 3rd line, what does 切 mean? true? ? sure?
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3answers
96 views

Whats the difference between 抛弃,放弃,舍弃, 丢弃?

I know they all mean to give up, or abandon but what would be the different meanings and context these words are used in? Thanks!
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3answers
40 views

Whats the difference between 毁灭,销毁,和烧毁?

I know they all mean to Destroy to some extent, but was told 烧毁 is specifically to use fire. What are the different contexts or situations you would use them in? Thanks!
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1answer
27 views

meaning and function of 使 as in “不如小决使道,不如吾闻而药之也”

What is the meaning and function of 使 in the following? 大决所犯,伤人必多,吾不克救也;不如小决使道,不如吾闻而药之也。 道 means 導, meaning "to lead" or "to guide," but how does it combine with 使, meaning "to cause"?
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1answer
36 views

Meaning and function of “以” in “子路,人告之以有过,则喜”?

What is the meaning and function of 以 in the following? 子路,人告之以有过,则喜。 According to an online dictionary, 以 as a preposition has the following senses: [介] 1 因為、由於。《論語.衛靈公》:「君子不以言舉人,不以人廢言。」《韓非子....
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858 views

What is the meaning and function of 幸 in “则幸分我一杯羹”?

What is the meaning and function of "幸" in the following sentence? 吾翁即若翁。必欲烹而翁,则幸分我一杯羹
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1answer
37 views

Adding emphasis to “you”

Consider the following situation. I'm with two friends. Alice is a bad driver. Bob is not. Bob says to me, "why don't you give Alice the keys and let's go home". I say to Bob, "why don't I just give ...
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0answers
53 views

Could someone tell me if I interpret this sentence correctly?

I'm reading a web novel called "凤凰仙尊,刁妻萌娃好难训." There's a sentence which confused me, so I hope someone could tell me if my interpretation's already correct. “凡物只所持,不外乎三种,神念、灵气、元血。只是,一旦错了。就不知会如何了。” I ...
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3answers
64 views

Meaning of 惹人嫌?

The full sentence is 唇上 唇下 留着 不长不短 但 总之 很 惹人嫌 的 髭须。 Which I've translated as 'His facial hair was not short or long, but overall the beard was suspicious. Is 'suspicious' a good ...
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5answers
152 views

In this dialogue, why does 一米八几 mean “more than 180cm tall”?

My HSK 2 textbook contains the following dialogue and translation: 他多高 How tall is he? 一米八几 He is more than 180 centimeters tall. The second sentence is not explained in the book and I am ...
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4answers
265 views

Meaning of 上不上下不下

What does 上不上下不下 mean as an idiom? (Not the riddle) Here is the sentence where the phrase came from. 可惜,她越是这样,楚野就越是觉得被一根刺卡在喉咙处,上不上下不下,非常的不爽。
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1answer
135 views

What does the 月 (moon/month) in the Taiwanese MRT platform's 月台 refer to?

On a recent trip to Taiwan, I noticed that the MRT platforms there are labelled 月台 (yuetai / yuètái). Asking a professional tour guide (Taiwanese local, native Chinese speaker) only revealed that he'd ...
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4answers
107 views

How to understand “有理数贯逼近实数”?

In this article, the phrase “有理数贯逼近实数” is used (see the second last paragraph). How to understand this phrase?
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8answers
1k views

What does 管 mean as in “他管我借钱.”?

And how do you translate 他管我借钱,但我没借给他 ?
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1answer
63 views

Difference between 余 and 多; the use of 岁 and 年

1. If I want to say "more than a hundred years", which one is correct? a. 百余年 b. 一百多年 One of the example in ichacha "五十余年: fifty odd years" makes me wonder why 余 is used instead of 多. So, when ...
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5answers
183 views

如何把名词形式的 'Nothing' 翻译成中文 How to translate the English noun form of Nothing into Chinese?

Here are 2 English sentences, both have the word 'Nothing' in it in the noun form. I am wondering if it can be translated into Chinese while preserving as much of its original meaning as possible. ...
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4answers
133 views

What is the meaning of 一看 in this sentence?

打开盒子一看,里面是一只小猫 Is it the same as 看看 or 看一看?
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1answer
74 views

Is “投个好胎” a proper set phrase/idiom? What does it mean?

I'm trying to understand it by finding the meaning behind each word but failed miserably. What I got from MDBG: 投 (tóu): to cast / to send / to throw oneself (into the river etc) / to seek refuge ...
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4answers
134 views

Does the word 肉 always mean pork (unless preceded by another word which means a different animal) in Chinese menus?

红烧肉、回锅肉、芹菜炒肉,肉夹馍…… Without the name of a different animal mentioned before 肉 (such as 孜然羊肉), does the word 肉 always mean "pork" without any exception? Edit: I have found the following ...
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3answers
1k views

What is the meaning of 一草一木 here?

宝钗说:“这么说,我也是和你一样的。” 林黛玉 did not agree. Part of what she said is: 我是一无所有,吃穿用度,一草一木,都和他们家的姑娘一样,那些小人岂有不多嫌的。 What does she mean with “一草一木”?
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151 views

A better translation of 假作真时真亦假,无为有处有还无。

In the Chinese classic 红楼梦 ("Dream of Red Mansions"), there is a famous couplet: 假作真时真亦假,无为有处有还无。 Pinyin: jiǎ zuò zhēn shí zhēn yì jiǎ, wú wéi yǒu chù yǒu huán wú. This has been translated into ...
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2answers
72 views

Could somebody explain the meaning of the sentence to me?

In my textbook there's an exercise where you're supposed to fill in the gaps: 今天的菜____________________到明天就没有人买了。 I'm a bit confused with it. What is meant here by "到明天就没有人买了"? P.S. The task is to ...
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2answers
176 views

What is the “ba” that 周恩来 used when speaking to Kissinger?

Dr. Michael Pillsbury, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Chinese Strategy, testified before the US Senate (p. 9) on Nixon's visit to China: But there were glimpses even then that the Chinese ...
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3answers
58 views

What kind of appearance does 丰泽的肌肤 have?

“宝钗生得肌肤丰泽,宝玉看着她雪白的胳膊,不觉动了羡慕之心。” '丰泽的肌肤' looks like what?? Maybe just like her 雪白的胳膊?? Edit Thanks for the answers. So if we slip into a Yorkshire brogue: 宝钗生得肌肤丰泽, Bao Chai 'ad become a ...
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1answer
48 views

What is the meaning of 奴 this poem from 红楼梦?

Poetry is never easy to understand. 奴 is used twice in this poem. I think this 奴 means I or me, in a sense of 'me, this poor slave'. 怪奴底事倍伤神?半为怜春半恼春。 怜春忽至恼忽去,至又无言去不闻。 昨宵庭外悲歌发,知是花魂与鸟魂。 花魂鸟魂总难留,...
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1answer
76 views

Meaning of 的 and 之 when both are used in the same sentence

I’m reading a text in which 的 and 之 are sometimes used in the same sentence, in seemingly equivalent or exchangeable function and position. But I’m sure the author had good reasons to choose the ...
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1answer
48 views

Reduplication of the noun 小时 in this sentence

Chinese uses reduplication of verbs and adjectives all the time, but I can't find any explanation of reduplication of nouns to explain 小时小时 in this sentence: (from a Mandarin Companion reader, 地心游记, ...
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1answer
136 views

“Everywhere” as 到处都 or 到处都是

From this Mandarin Corner video: https://youtu.be/2JttZXFJrNg?t=28 (Transcript provided on their website:) 00:00:24,000 –> 00:00:28,000 Dàjiē shàng hěnduō shù bèi guā dǎo le, 大街上很多树被刮倒了,...
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3answers
82 views

Meaning of 如何 as a single-word declarative sentence?

In a 1933 silent movie, a guy is rejected by a girl who instead marries a rich guy. His friends tell him the marriage won't last long because rich guys have "easy come, easy go" lifestyles. Months ...
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2answers
97 views

How do expressions like “二嫂” work in Mandarin?

From what I've known from watching Chinese dramas, siblings or fellow disciples may refer to each other as "big brother/sister" (oldest/first), "2nd/3rd brother/sister" (in-between), or "little ...
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2answers
94 views

What does the word “于” mean when it's used along with "不容'?

Because of the word "于" here, I have a hard time understanding this sentence. 这是天地不容于此的缘故. In my attempt to understand it, I've searched for a few similar sentences to be compared. Unfortunately, ...
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3answers
96 views

What does 惊鸿 mean in this context?

I've read from Baidu that '惊鸿' has three meanings. However, I still don't understand what it means in this sentence: 惊鸿剑方向一变,竟然不理会儒袍修士,化为一道惊鸿,只是一闪就出现在白颖脚下,同时剑身一个狂涨,化为数丈大小。 "惊鸿" word in 化为一道惊鸿 is ...
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1answer
136 views

need help me translate this title and signature?

can someone help me with what this says, i've tried google image search and even looking for different signatures but no luck so far.
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1answer
38 views

Artistic characters?

Came across characters which appear to be written on parchment. Any idea why it’d be framed or the meaning of it? All I can tell is that it seems to be a [poetic] story. (The characters in red are a ...
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0answers
42 views

我 or 我的 to show possession? [duplicate]

你们好, In several language learning books for Chinese, I have seen 我 (wǒ)used rather than to mean “I” to mean “my.” Check the following example: 这是我爱人。 Literally: this be I love person. Meaning: This ...
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3answers
59 views

What does 都挺 indicate here?l

What does 都挺 in this sentence mean/indicate? 我一直都挺想学滑板的 The whole sentence is translated as : "I've always wanted to learn skateboard(ing)". I then opened my online dictionary and tried to look for ...
2
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1answer
114 views

Help me translate the red signature seal on this picture?

I inherited these pictures from my grandmother who bought them in China in 1980-81. I have had a difficult time trying to translate the red artist signature seals. I have tried image translator app, I ...
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2answers
79 views

What does 到 mean in this sentence?

What does 到 mean in this sentence : 哪里可以买到正版的这本书? Does 买到 here serve as a verb-object word? I doubt it though.
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1answer
141 views

How to understand “喝茶”?

In northern China, we can say "喝茶了吗?" to ask someone if they have already eaten. However, there are also 3 means of "喝茶":      1. drink hot water      ...
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2answers
200 views

How would I go about saying: “I am not at liberty to say” or “I am not at liberty to discuss”

It occurs to me that this would be an useful phrase to politely decline someone who is trying to pry. I'm l a beginner, so it's hard for me know how to translate this.
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1answer
61 views

The meaning of 开 in this sentence

When I was looking for a word in my dictionary, I found this sentence : 会开完了。which (in the dictionary) translated as "The meeting is over". I wonder what 开 means here... because when the sentence is ...
3
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2answers
109 views

What does this phrase mean?

What does this phrase mean? 我在包里。 In English this is slang for being drunk, but I wonder what it means in Chinese. I was told this last night, by my girlfriend last night and I am wondering if it ...
3
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3answers
88 views

In what circumstances can 呢 be interchangeable with 吗?

I a new to the Chinese language and something that really confused me is that in some circumstances 呢 and 吗 could be used interchangeably, but in others they cannot. For example you cannot say 你吗? ...