Questions tagged [meaning]

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

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9
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2answers
350 views

Does “坊” also mean “square”, “plaza”, “piazza” like “广场”?

Where I am in Kunming there is a square that seems to go by two names: 金碧广场, Jīn bì guǎngchǎng, "Golden Square" 金马碧鸡坊, Jīnmǎ bì jī fang, "Golden Horse and Green Rooster Square" ...
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1answer
546 views

When should I use the 是…的 construction?

I've been told that 是...的 is used to put emphasis on something, but I'm not sure when or why I should use it.
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1answer
2k views

What is the difference between 傻瓜 and 笨蛋?

May sound like a silly question, but is there a difference between 傻瓜 and 笨蛋?
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1answer
1k views

Correct usage for 跟。。。过不去

This question has two parts: What's the precise meaning of this expression? What is the correct usage? Question (1) I understand it to mean that the person referred to (eg, 跟她过不去) is uncomfortable ...
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10answers
2k views

What does 非也 mean?

What does 非也 mean? I heard the following: Is this XXX? 非也! It's YYY! Does it mean "Oh my god!" or something others?
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5answers
2k views

Why say 少说两句 to break up a fight?

In the movie 北京遇上西雅图 (~25m45s), during an argument the protagonist calls another pregnant woman a 骚货 ("slut") and they start physically fighting. A third woman tries to break them up and ...
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6answers
2k views

How to understand “你怎么了?”

I understand 怎么 generally means "how". However, I came across the following translated example: 你怎么了? 说话声音这么小! Nǐ zěnme le ? Shuōhuà shēnɡyīn zhème xiǎo! What happened to you? You are ...
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5answers
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What is the meaning of 相声?

Today I read a blog post talking about a Canadian guy called Mark Rowswell (aka 大山) that appears on Chinese TV shows and who is able to do 相声. This 相声 is referred to as "the art of language". What ...
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6answers
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犬子: who's the dog?

犬子 (literally, dog + son) is an archaic, self-depreciatory term to refer to your son (occasionally it's used to insult other people's sons). This answer raises a question though; who is the dog ...
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4answers
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What does 反动 mean?

The dictionary definition of 反动 means reactionary, and in the political sense it can also mean someone who is very conservative, as opposed to progressive. However, it seems that this word is being ...
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6answers
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What does 厉害 mean, and in what context does it mean what?

This has to be one of the more ambiguous words I have struggled with. 厉害 can be: very well performed = 玩得很厉害; harsh = 骂得很厉害; severe = 生病得很厉害; probably a bunch of other stuff... Can anyone give a ...
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2answers
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What is “qiou”?

Apparently this character has been dubbed the character of the year (2018): It's pronunciation is said to be: qiou but a lot of people claim it should just be pronounced the same as: 我 I can'...
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7answers
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早已 and 早就: what's the difference?

To my understanding, both hold the meaning of "already happened long ago". What are the nuances though? Are they interchangeable? Examples: 他早已打定主意了。 (He made up his mind long ago.) 他早就搬走了。 (He ...
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What is the meaning of this expression (落了下乘)?

然而当和尚走上石阶,禅房内却传来一声苍老的叹息:“长捷,虽为杀人事, 亦是菩提心,但若存了杀人念,你便落了下乘。” “落了下乘”是什么意思呢?我已经百度一下,但是还没明白。词典也无用了。 我知道“落了”有fall, drop的意思,然后“下乘“有”小乘佛教“的意思。但是”落了下乘“的意思不明白。 请你解说我一下。
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1answer
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What is the difference between 变成、变化、变得、改变、转变?

There are five 变 here, so what is the difference between 变成、变化、变得、改变、转变?
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1answer
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Difference between 觉得 and 认为

I know both 觉得 and 认为 can be used to mean "to think", like: 你认为这篇文章怎么样? 你觉得这篇文章怎么样? But most people would translate 觉得 to "to feel". Does 觉得 express more of what someone thinks ...
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2answers
177 views

他在工厂住了半年/living in factories

This was an example sentence in Practical Chinese Reader 31. Do people actually live in factories, or is there some cultural context I'm missing? In previous chapters, people are constantly visiting ...
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5answers
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表达 vs. 表现 vs. 表示 vs. 显示

These four words all express (get it, because they all mean express ha ha ha) similar meanings: to express/show/display/manifest/demonstrate/convey/indicate etc. I'm sure there are subtle differences ...
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4answers
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What does “作” mean in this context?

I was listening and they said stuff like 大作 and 小作。 My friend thinks it's an adjective and it can be used as so: 一个很作的女孩子。
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3answers
784 views

What is the difference between these two words 叫做 and 叫作?

What is the difference between these two words 叫做 and 叫作? The dictionary definition is quite similar and when I use this term in conversation I am unaware of which character combination I am using.
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3answers
688 views

“I will,” “I can,” “I will (probably)” A fundamental problem with 會

I've always been a little wary of talking about the future in Chinese using the character 會, my early teachers made it ambiguous or demanded that I use a 的 at the end of every 會 sentence, but then ...
8
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1answer
253 views

How to say the term “招” and “式” in English?

It's used as a classifier, like this: "亢龙有悔"是"降龙十八掌"中的*一招*. and *一招一式*他都记得清清楚楚. So how to say it in English?
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1answer
549 views

“惡” vs “噩” vs “厄”

I have seen these three characters forming the "same" words (I cannot think of a better way to phrase this), such as 惡夢 vs 噩夢 and 惡運 vs 噩運 vs 厄運 As I tried googling for the difference, I ...
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2answers
525 views

Is there a difference in connotation between questions ending in 吗 vs. X 不 X

Is there any difference in connotation/region/modernity/etc. between questions ending in 吗 and affirmative/negative questions? For example, does: 你很累吗? connote something different than: 你累不累? And ...
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6answers
1k views

What does 出来 mean in 真看不出来你是外国人?

What does 出来 mean in this sentence? 真看不出来你是外国人 Doesn't 出来 mean "come out of ..."?
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5answers
703 views

What is the meaning of 冒 in 感冒?

I like to know how a word 'works' in a phrase. What did people think when they came up with the phrase 感冒? A hat/cover on your feelings?? Maybe this 感 means something else? 感 means feel, perceive, ...
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6answers
2k views

Can 知道 be used in the sense of “to know someone”?

While watching a video with Chinese subtitles on a Chinese website, I came across this dialogue: Approximate English gloss (leaving out unnecessary details): A: You're XXX, right? B: So you ...
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5answers
1k views

When to use 想 versus 喜欢?

Could someone please give we a hint when to use either of those?! My take is that 想 is used for actions and 喜欢 for things!? Am I right?
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8answers
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Does 「你的中文是在哪里学的?」mean “How did you study Chinese?” or “Where did you study Chinese?”

Recently I left the following post on social media: 中国人:你的中文是在哪里学的? 我:在北京语言大学学的。 Just to clarify, I wrote both those sentences to express a regular conversation that I have with Chinese people. There ...
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5answers
5k views

Do Westerners 上火?

Sometimes people ask me how to say 上火 in English and I tell them I don't know. I tell them people don't really have the concept of 上火 in America, let alone the term. So how would you succinctly ...
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7answers
4k views

Another meaning of 同志

Is it true that 同志 has some different meaning? Like gay (as in homosexual) or something? I know that during the 20th century in China and communist Russia it was very common to call people 同志 (товарищ,...
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3answers
372 views

Meaning of 一人付一半 in 车费我们俩一人付一半,怎么样?

In this sentence: 车费我们俩一人付一半,怎么样? I don't fully understand the meaning of 一人付一半. I have found that 付一半 can mean "pay half", but 一人 confuses me (if it refers to one person, why is that form used ...
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5answers
384 views

太: Meaning in 灰太狼

灰太狼 灰太狼 (A character in a TV show) is translated in English as "Grey Wolf". What has happened to the 太, wouldn't 灰狼 be enough to mean "Grey Wolf"?
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3answers
705 views

When to use 世界 and when to use 国际

These two terms are broadly speaking translations of "world" (世界), and "international" (国际). Recently, I've been reminded that "international" in English can be used to mean "many nations" rather than ...
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7answers
416 views

“是你太能說了”這句話什麼意思?

My friend complained that she aged five years in an instant and she posted some photos. I commented that she always has excellent skin and looks very young. Then she said: 是你太能說了 Does this mean ...
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5answers
479 views

What is the verbatim translation for “都什么时候了” ?

"什么时候" means verbatim "what time" But, when i add 都 (adverb meaning "all") and 了(particle indicating either change of state or completion), i can not grasp what meaning is conveyed by this phrase. ...
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2answers
184 views

How did 舆论 come to represent Public Opinion?

How did the word 舆论 come to represent the concept of Public Opinion? I know the meanings of the individual characters but I just don't quite see how the combination of these two meanings leads to the ...
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4answers
4k views

Difference between 我饿了 and 我很饿?

Someone tried to explain the difference in this answer https://chinese.stackexchange.com/a/43/38 saying that 我饿了 means "I became hungry", but I don't see the difference because we don't say I became ...
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2answers
607 views

What is the difference between 吾 and 我 in 文言文?

For instance, in the phrase 「我善养吾浩然之气」 I notice both 我 and 吾 are used. Is there a reason for this?
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6answers
8k views

Meaning of “去你的头”

I just heard "去你的头" in a joke, and while it sounds like an approving "go ahead" OR "go with your head/what you think" I realized at the end of the joke it's kind of an equivalent of "go f*** yourself" ...
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2answers
522 views

How to translate 'hyper-','super-' and 'ultra-' exactly?

The prefixes hyper-, super-, and ultra- seems all has meaning 'transcend' or 'upper class' and can all be translated to '超'. But they have a bit difference, e.g. hypergiant is larger than supergiant; ...
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2answers
554 views

In 那个是我工作上的东西, what is the difference between 工作上 and 工作?

那个是我工作上的东西 Why is there a 上 in this sentence? How does it change the meaning? Ie, what's the difference between 工作的东西 and 工作上的东西? When should 工作上 be used as opposed to 工作?
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2answers
681 views

Meaning of 差 in 现在差一刻九点?

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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2answers
768 views

Etymology of 太太

I just finished the movie "Raise the Red Lantern" 【大红灯笼高高挂】with my girlfriend, and she asked me about the etymology of "太太” as lady, wife, mistress, etc. Given the rather simple nature ...
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3answers
3k views

What does “被续了” mean?

我想这个穿着红色衣服的男孩已经被续了。 In this sentence, the word "续" means life-prolonging, and when people say this they usually mean that someone was being life-prolonged to somebody instead of someone was being ...
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6answers
324 views

How can I interpret 多 in 我才来了三个多月?

It must be pretty easy, but what does 多 mean here? 我才来了三个多月
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3answers
3k views

Help me understand why 我艹你 means i f*** you?

This might seem as an unserious question but i was really stunned the first time I had an argument with a Chinese guy in League of Legends and he said: "我艹你". my first thought ofcourse was WTF!?! I ...
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2answers
3k views

Is there a difference between 担心 (dānxīn) and 着急 (zháojí)?

They're both verbs, they both have meanings "to worry, to be anxious", they both seem to be able to be used as adjectives also. I just want to know if there's any difference: is one used more in ...
6
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3answers
3k views

The meaning of 牛气 and 很牛

I have seen one of my language partners use 牛气 and 很牛, but he couldn't explain it to me. The context suggested it meant something like "bullshit" or "you are kidding me", a sign or disbelief, but the ...
6
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5answers
568 views

What is the difference between 投诉 and 抱怨?

is there a difference between 投诉 and 抱怨? All I know is that they both mean "complain".

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