Questions tagged [meaning]

Questions about understanding the meaning of words, phrases, etc. For in-context meaning, use [meaning-in-context].

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6
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3answers
4k views

How is 马马虎虎 used?

I think it's used like 'so so' in English. Like 问题:你觉得怎么样? 回答:马马虎虎。 Am I correct in this? Are there other ways to use it?
5
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3answers
660 views

What is the meaning of 子 in words like 菓子(과자), 帽子(모자), or 獅子(사자)?

I'm learning Sino-Korean vocabulary at the moment and have noticed that many words seem to end in a '子' that doesn't seem to add much semantically to the other character in the word. What should I ...
5
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1answer
167 views

Why is 饰界 used to mean “hinges” in a 1908 book?

I've got this translation here: The door turns on its hinges. 门靠着饰界转 I'm assuming 饰界 matches up with hinges. It's not a word I've encountered before or that's readily searchable online. The ...
5
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2answers
234 views

How to translate the phrase 利而物利章 in context?

I am reading a passage from 呂氏春秋. I think I understand the basic meaning of the three first quarters, but then it becomes difficult. The hard part is the tiny snippet below and especially the last ...
4
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2answers
472 views

What does 才 mean in 妈妈说,鼻子长才是漂亮?

What does 才 mean in this sentence? 妈妈说,鼻子长才是漂亮。 (Quote taken from a nursery rhyme.) After looking in the dictionary my best guess is that it means "just" or "only", so as to make ...
4
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2answers
381 views

What does 三声无奈 mean?

There is this Min song called 三声无奈, lit. "three sounds helpless". This seems to be an idiomatic expression. I am not totally sure what it means though. It seems to mean "completely helpless". This is ...
4
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4answers
2k views

Who should be counted when responding to 你家有几口人 (nǐjiā yǒu jǐkǒurén) “how many people are there in your family”?

An early question in Chinese people learn is: 你家有几口人? How many people are there in your family? (nǐjiā yǒu jǐkǒurén) My Chinese text book contains these example responses: 五口人。他们是我爸爸,我哥哥,我弟弟和我。你呢?(...
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3answers
1k views

What is the difference between 魂 and 魄?

Maybe this is a religious technical question and therefore a bit tricky. In English, soul and spirit are used more or less interchangeably, although their origins are dissimilar. spirit: mid-13c., "...
4
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1answer
117 views

車轉 as “door knob”?

This a a bit of a follow up to 饰界 for "hinges"? I've got this translation here: Takes hold of the knob. Gives the knob a turn. 把車轉拿着 把車轉扭一下 I'm assuming 車轉 matches up with knob here. It'...
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2answers
536 views

Does anyone know what is the characters means (丁財貴寿)?

Does anyone know what is written on the image? I tried to find out what is it, and got 丁財貴寿 (丁财贵寿), but not quite sure enough. I tried to find the meaning of the words but seems can't find it or I don'...
3
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1answer
316 views

What is the difference between qi3 and qi3 lai2?

In both situations my pen is now on a table. Speaking to another person, why do we say: 1) Qing3 na2 qi3 wo3 de5 bi3. 请拿起我的笔。 Not: 2) Qing3 na2 qi3 lai2 wo3 de5 bi3. 请拿起来我的笔。 How does the ...
3
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3answers
346 views

What is the difference between 假如 and 例如?

What's the difference between 假如 and 例如? As far as I know, their usage is the same.
3
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6answers
2k views

What is the difference between 听到、听过 and 听说?

There are 3 听 (hear or listen to). What is the difference between 听到, 听过, and 听说?
3
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1answer
106 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 ...
3
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3answers
226 views

Does 一屁股坐下来 just mean 'sit down' or is there some other meaning in there?

一屁股坐下来 seems a bit of a strange thing to say. Does it just mean 'sit down'? Can I say to you '一屁股坐下来' to you to invite you to sit? In English, as a command, I might say 'sit your arse down!' (stay ...
3
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2answers
209 views

Why does 了 change in 突然父亲嘘(了)一口气?

The sentence is (1) 突然父亲嘘了一口气 and (2) 突然父亲嘘一口气 I would have understand them if it's not the for the "突然" part. My take: (1) "Suddenly father exhaled (once)" (like "ooooh" and then maybe ...
2
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1answer
75 views

How do I parse 天津图书馆园区馆 (tiān jīn tú shū guǎn yuán qū guǎn)?

I saw the road sign photographed below, but I'm confused about how 天津图书馆园区馆 (tiān jīn tú shū guǎn yuán qū guǎn) makes sense. I'm mostly familiar with the components: 天津 = Tianjin, the city I live in....
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3answers
247 views

Understanding 年頭 in context

As part of my efforts to improve my Chinese, I read various books. I just started one. In the first sentences, the author uses 年頭 instead of 時期。I searched the dictionary and found various meanings: ...
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3answers
1k views

What is the meaning of 看在 and 分上?

看在孩子的分上,夫妇二人没有离婚。 In the phrase above, what do they mean? Neither is found in a dictionary. The sentence is said to translate to "The pair would not divorce because of the children".
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2answers
1k views

What is the difference between 随手 and 顺便?

These two have the same meaning which is "conveniently" but I'm not sure if there is any difference in using these two.
2
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1answer
123 views

Etymology of 于 and transformation to in, on, at, go to

Two possibilities for the object of representation 于 are: Pictogram (象形). An ancient wind instrument; early form of 竽 (OC *ɢʷa). This view is supported by mainstream palaeography. Exhaled air; early ...
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2answers
393 views

In “一网打尽” what does 尽 mean?

一网打尽 yīwǎngdǎjìn lit. to catch everything in the one net. In this sentence what does 尽 means? how to easily remember the meaning by seeing the character without wild guess and imagining etymological ...
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1answer
138 views

Yahtzee score card — sm and lg straight?

This is part of this set, where I also posted my update. My wife, who is a native Chinese speaker, gave me the following: sm.straight is 小顺 lg.straight is 大顺 but when I look up 小顺 or 顺 by itself, ...
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1answer
2k views

Weird Chinese text next to the Great Wall [duplicate]

I was looking the Great Wall of China with Google Earth, and I found relly weird characters (that are the same size as the Great Wall) near it. I don't know what these characters mean, so here is ...
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5answers
100 views

What's the meaning of 龙舟队分哪个两个组?

What is the meaning of this sentence? 龙舟队分哪个两个组? Moreover, is 分组 a separable verb 离合动词, or is it a verb and a noun? I haven't found grammar references that explain the verb in question. I'm confused ...
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3answers
531 views

What's the meaning of the first part of: 他爱怎么想就怎么想,我才不在乎呢

I'm not sure I understand the first part of this sentence: 他爱怎么想就怎么想,我才不在乎呢。 I found it in the Pleco C-E dictionary (Pleco is a an app on my Android) as a sample sentence for 在乎. The given ...
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1answer
75 views

What is the function of 贴 in 四贴袋?

I can't figure out what 贴 is doing here: 中国革命先行者孙中山综合了西式服装与中式服装的特点,设计出了一种直翻领有袋盖的四贴袋男用套装,定名为中山装,此后几十年,中山装大为流行,成为中国男子喜欢的标准服装。 ‘四贴袋‘ is 贴 a 量词 here?
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3answers
149 views

What does 别间 in 别间大学的男生都土里土气的 mean?

I've been sentence mining from Meteor Garden (2001) and I came across the sentence 别间大学的男生都土里土气的。 Can someone help me figure out what does '别间' mean in that sentence? Thanks!
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4answers
227 views

What's the difference between 确实, 的确, and 实在? [duplicate]

They all seem to have the same meaning. What's the difference between them? Thank you.
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2answers
413 views

Does xiang (third tone) mean “want” or “echo”?

I am reading this set of poems for my humanities class. One of the lines is: Supposedly, the last character is xiang with a third tone and it means to "sound" or "echo". But I thought this character ...
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4answers
192 views

What does 之为 mean in 如果把人生比之为杠杆…?

What does 之为 mean in the following sentence? 如果把人生比之为杠杆,信念则好像是它的“支点”,具备这个恰当的支点,才可能成为一个强有力的人。
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4answers
203 views

What does 一番 mean in 与5年前相比翻了一番?

In the following sentence: 调查显示,32%的海外民众认为中国是对世界经济影响最大的国家。与5年前相比翻了一番。 一番 might mean "one time" (at least my dictionary on macOS says "一倍" while Pleco only lists "one kind"). However, 翻 I believe ...
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2answers
323 views

Does 汉语书 (Hànyǔ shū) “Chinese book” only mean “a book for learning Chinese”, or can it also mean “a book in Chinese”?

In English, a Chinese book could mean either: a book for learning Chinese, or a book which is in Chinese, but (without additional context) we'd ordinarily consider the former interpretation as more ...
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2answers
330 views

减/減 (Reduce/Subtract/Decrease/Diminish): What's it got to do with water?

So here we have 冫+咸 (or 氵+咸) = 减(減). 减(減) means something along the lines of reduce/subtract/decrease/diminish or what have you. What has water got to do with this though? Logically one would ...
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2answers
478 views

也许 vs 或许 vs 可能 usage

I checked the meaning for all 3 words and it appears that: 也许 = maybe, perhaps, probably / 或许 = maybe, perhaps, probably"/ 可能 = possibly, possible, maybe, perhaps. It seems to me that 也许 and 或许 have ...
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2answers
99 views

原来你什么都不想要. Why 不想要, and not just 不要?

Title from a popular Mandarin song, 原来你什么都不想要 So, why 不想要 rather than 不要? What is the difference? What is the 想 doing there? I would like to hear from people here?
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1answer
49 views

What is the difference between 有时 and 有时候? How are they used differently in context?

大家好! I noticed that in Chinese, there are two similar words for "sometimes": 有时 and 有时候. Are they any different from each other? For example, is one more formal than the other? Thanks! :)
0
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1answer
410 views

What is the difference between 不 and 没? [duplicate]

I know 不 is the negative prefix for a verb, such as 不是. However 没 is also a negative prefix, such as 没有, so what is the difference between 不 and 没? Thanks!
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2answers
66 views

Meaning of 的 in 只有三个得满分的

The full sentence is 他考得很好,得了满分。听说只有三个得了满分的。 I get a bit confused with 的. I understand that the sentence means “there are only 3 people that get full marks.” Please help me out. Thank you guys :D
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2answers
90 views

Are there any two chinese words which can be used interchangeably?

I have been studying Chinese for a while, and what I find interesting is that no 2 words have exactly the same definitions. For example, 表扬 and 称赞 have almost the same meaning, but there will always ...
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1answer
189 views

What does the chinese lettering mean on my shirt? [closed]

I bought this shirt and now I'm curious what the Chinese lettering means. i tried to translate, but it is very hard. Can you help me translate?

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