Questions tagged [meaning]

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

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965 views

Meaning of “不了” in “忘不了/喝不了/…”

I know that 了 after a verb means a completion or termination of a certain action, such as: 吃飽了 (I am) full. 開始了 (It) has started. 不動了 (It) is not moving anymore. But what about 了 ...
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5answers
1k views

你是我的小呀小苹果儿 What is the purpose of the second 小?

So I'm listening to this catchy song and the chorus goes 你是我的小呀小苹果儿. I'm wondering why the 小 is being said twice. Is that just something the artist is doing to play with the language in the song or ...
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2answers
515 views

What is the difference of use between 没空 and 没(有)时间?

As far as I can tell, they both have the same meaning: have no time, i.e.: 对不起,今天我没空帮你 对不起,今天我没(有)时间帮你 But the first one looks like a quasi-idiomatic expression (have no air?); is there a ...
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3answers
511 views

What is the difference between 嘗試,試圖,and 企圖?

I'm trying to translate this sentence to Mandarin: She's trying to recover the torn photo. So I was trying to find a meaning of "to try" in Pinpin Dictionary, and I came up with three different ...
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3answers
928 views

Meaning of '沒梗'?

你為什麼打我? 是沒梗了嗎? I'm wondering what 沒梗 means in this context. I know the literal translation is 'no stem', but I'm sure there should be an idiomatic meaning to it.
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6answers
314 views

What is the meaning of 方 in 方向?

Below was a question about the role of 方 in 貽笑大方. I'm sure our learnéd friends correctly advised. Just as a gut reaction, I would have said 大方 meant 'everywhere'. I would like to know about 方 in 方向。 ...
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4answers
444 views

Does 很 actually convey a meaning of very/extremely?

In dictionaries 很 is translated as 'very' but I'm not sure this is correct. If I want to say "I am happy" the mandarin is 我很高兴. The character 很 is used even though the english phrase shows no sign ...
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3answers
183 views

Formality of “悲哀” as opposed to “悲傷” and “哀傷”

From what I have learned, or I remember I have learned, 悲哀, 悲傷, and 哀傷 all mean sadness and are interchangeable. However, as I remember, I have read 悲傷 and 哀傷 in academic/professional writings, but ...
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24k views

What does 牛逼 mean? Can anyone define it?

What does 牛逼 mean? Someone gave a presentation on it in my school. Can someone define it?
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2answers
337 views

Interpretation of 冂 in 大盂鼎

I was recently looking into the origins of the character「冖」, which《說文新證》states does not appear on its own in the texts excavated so far: 現有考古文字材料未見獨體的冂(偏旁或作冖)字,... However, searching「冖」on 小學堂 gives ...
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3answers
278 views

Difference between 留神,留意,留心?

I am now learning 近义词 and got a problem with distinguishing the difference between 留神,留意,留心. The textbook says: 他干什么特别留心,看书时也常常做笔记 (留神and留意arent allowed here) 多亏我对他留了一点心,这个情况没有告诉他 (留神 and 留意 ...
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Can 弗 Mean Dollar In Chinese?

弗 means dollar (as in USD, $) in both Korean and Japanese. Korean 불 [弗] a dollar Japnese ドル noun dollar (from Dutch, orig. an abbr. of ドルラル; also written as 弗) (see also: ドルラル) Grand Ricci says ...
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3answers
757 views

What is the “Chinese Dream?” (中国梦) [closed]

Sorry if this is getting too non-language specific, but I think it still has language merits that fit the sites requirements. 中国梦 we really don't need a translation as it's clearly just a play on 美国梦 ...
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3answers
7k views

How to use 一点儿 and 一下儿?

They both mean "a little bit" according to the dictionary. However, does the meaning both apply in V and Adjective? i.e. V + 一点儿/一下儿 (吃一点儿/吃一下儿,快一点儿/快一下儿) and Adj + 一点儿/一下儿 (美一点儿/美一下儿, 好一点儿,好一下儿) ...
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3answers
160 views

What is the meaning of 后 in ~分钟后?

What is the meaning of 后? For example, 我二十分钟后应该就到了。 I believe 后 means behind? I still don't get how 后 should be placed in the sentence. I thought it made more sense when it was, 我二十分钟应该就到。 How ...
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What does 骑在 someone's 头上 mean?

I saw this on Jukuu.com: 我并不否认,你姐姐老是象个暴君似的骑在我们头上。 I don't deny that your sister comes the mogul over us, now and then. Wǒ bìng bù fǒurèn, nǐ jiějiě lǎo shì xiàng gè bàojūn shì de qí zài wǒmen tóu ...
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2answers
585 views

What is the difference between 突然 and 忽然?

They both have the meaning sudden, but what is a subtle difference between 突然 and 忽然?
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2answers
249 views

山火 vs 野火 vs 丛林大火: Chinese for “bushfire”

I would imagine that 山火 meant "a fire in the mountains", but the dictionary lists "wildfire / forest fire". Is 山火 then a generic word for an out of control fire? What about 野火? I saw 山火 on the news, ...
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482 views

What is the meaning of 成器 and how do you use it?

this new vocab in my textbook says it means: to make something of one's self. 我感觉绝望,我就想成器. I feel so hopeless, I just want to make something of my self. is this the right interpretation? Thanks
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536 views

Difference between 生气 and 愤怒

I can't find the difference between 生气 and 愤怒. Oxford Dictionary says angry means 生气, but I found 愤怒 in the online dictionary. Both have more than 20 million hits on Google, both have pictures of ...
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2answers
674 views

Meaning of 白 in words for “nonsense”?

There are a number of Chinese words containing the 白 character that all mean "nonsense" or "speaking nonsense": 白呼 夸白 白话 What's the significance of 白 in these words? 白 usually ...
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2answers
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Need help understanding 爱慕虚荣

I came across this phrase 爱慕虚荣 today in a piece of writing. When I use Goggle translate it tells me 爱慕虚荣 means "vain", but 虚荣 by itself also means "vain" and when I search for "vain" and ask for the ...
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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 ...
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2answers
1k views

Explain the phrase “都不嫌多”

Could you please explain how to make sense of "都不嫌多". How is the meaning composed from the characters. I cannot make the connection between the literal translation of "all not suspicion many" and ...
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1answer
3k views

What is the difference between 比如 and 例如

I know both can mean "for example/such as/for instance". They are most likely synonyms but even synonyms have slight subtle differences in precise meaning and usage. I know that 例 can be used alone: (...
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4answers
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How does the particle word “呢” work?

My teacher said that a particle word in Chinese is a function word, but don't quite understand what is means. How does the particle word such as "呢" work? Also, are there any other Chinese particle ...
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3answers
3k views

What is the difference between 举行 and 举办?

What is the difference between "举行" and "举办"? Both of them have the meaning of 'holding / organizing an event", but do they have any difference?
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3answers
202 views

Is 工作详细情况 similar to work experience?

I´m working with Chinese resumes and I´ve found this expression 工作详细情况" I´d like to know if it could be translated as work experience. Is it the same thing? Could 工作详细情况 work as a work experience ...
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1answer
182 views

Why there is 份 in 身份?

What is the meaning of 份 in 身份? Is 份 used as a word pointing to a papers i.e. documents (passport and so on)? Or is it used as a 'division' so as to differentiate a man from man (身 body in our case)?
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2answers
2k views

Which is the correct sentence? Question about birthday

I was wondering, which is the correct sentence in this case. 你的生日是几月几号? or 你的生日几月几号? (without 是) Also can I omit 的 in this case?
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3answers
540 views

Difference between 诚实 and 老实 (and possibly 天真)

诚实 (HSK 4) has the meaning 'honest', just like 老实 (HSK 5), which also carries the meaning of 'honest'. I would like to know what the difference between these two words is when they mean 'honest'. I'...
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2answers
82 views

The correct way to parse “就打赢了” in 是个很普通就打赢了的对手哦?

I was reading an excerpt from a story, and I'm having a discussion with my friend over the correct way to parse this line said by a certain character, let's call him 1, about character 2. ...
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2answers
327 views

Meaning of the expression 黄毛小儿

Is 黄毛小儿 a sort of idiomatic phrase? Literally it would mean a "yellow haired child." I saw it on a TV drama, but from the child in question was definitely not yellow haired. Since the speaker was ...
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3answers
485 views

What is the difference between 撒谎 and 说谎?

As far as I know, 撒谎 and 说谎 have the same meaning of "telling a lie". Is there a difference between them?
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2answers
210 views

Is the difference between and saying 有时 and 会偶尔 very big?

Does one imply a much greater frequency? What about register? Is the difference between and saying 有时 and 会偶尔 very big, or is it in all cases quite close?
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3answers
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干父母 vs. 义父母 translation/meaning?

干父母 (if I may use this term): 干爹 = 义父 干妈 = 义母 so 干父母 = 义父母 but what does it mean? 拜认为父母 English translations usually go like this: 干爹 = godfather 干妈 = godmother 义父 = stepfather (adoptive ...
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1answer
127 views

Clarifying usage and definition of 怀疑

怀疑 means (1) to doubt, and (2) to suspect. This seems to lead to some confusing translations. For example: 我怀疑这张百元钞票是假的 could have two very different translations. If I use "to doubt", then it ...
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2answers
420 views

Why should I choose 几乎 over 将近?

I had this 填空。 我国与其他国家_____ 同时起步,在这一项目上有一定的实力。 I could choose 似乎,几乎,将近,曾经 I can't see much difference between 几乎 and 将近, I am told 几乎 is correct. I there a definite, palpable reason for this?
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2answers
741 views

What's the difference between 称赞, 表扬 and 夸奖?

They all have a meaning of "praise", but do they have a difference?
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2answers
165 views

In classical Chinese, does 從 always imply the follower is lower in rank?

When 從 in Classical Chinese means "to follow", literally as in "John followed Peter to the park," does the subject (the follower) necessarily refer to someone who is lower in rank ...
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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 ...
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1answer
99 views

Are there Escher sentences in Chinese? [kinda technical]

I'm a linguist with an extremely superficial knowledge of Chinese, so I'd like to query some native speakers about a grammatical phenomenon I've been thinking about for some time. In Indoeuropean ...
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2answers
206 views

Meaning and use of ideograms around “language” : 说,话,语

I just arrived in this warm community and am glad to find a stackexchange about Chinese language. I merely began to learning Chinese and find it really exciting, yet many of uses and conventions are ...
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7answers
2k views

What does 起来 mean in this phrase?

把被子收起来吧. Translation: Let's put the quilt away. In other circumstances, 起来 means to get up but here there is a different meaning, and from the definitions I can't decide which definition is used ...
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5answers
659 views

Difference between 目的 and 目标

I don’t manage to grasp the difference between the two words 目的 or 目标. I have seen some explanations stating that 目的 means purpose and 目标 objective but I don’t know if it is a cultural issue or not ...
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6answers
4k views

Difference between 晚安, 晚安安,安安, and 晚安啦

I have some friends in China and I started to learn Chinese. Nothing serious but a few phrases here and there. Due to the time difference the conversation usually ends in one of us saying good night ...
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7answers
455 views

What does 没门 mean?

I stumbled across this expression in the following context: 学世界语有没有意义,主要看你是什么目的。如果是想代替英语,没门。 In this context, I think the meaning of 没门 is pretty clear. I'm wondering how this expression may be ...
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2answers
745 views

Roots of the difference between 谈,论,说,讲,议, 叙,言,报,告,述

All those talk, discuss, chat and ect. In any language there are a lot of words expressing different connotation of people speaking. In my own language (russian) there are lot's of them BUT I can ...
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3answers
229 views

Is 得弄 one word or two in 首先得弄清楚我们需要什么?

I have 首先得弄清楚我们需要什么。 I see 得弄清楚 is a fairly common combination of words. Is 得弄 one word or 2 words here? Should I read de nong or dei nong? Should I translate the sentence to 'First we need to find ...
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2answers
162 views

What is the usage of 有 in 有比丘五下分結盡?

Here is the phrase, it is from Buddhist scripture: 有比丘五下分結盡 I know 有 as "to be", "to have", and as often serving as a translation for the Sanskrit bhāva. Is this usage something like "being monks, [...

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