Questions tagged [particles]

A tag for discussing the nuances of particles. Including 的, 了, 吗, 过, 吧, 个, 着, etc.

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3
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1answer
73 views

Which is the correct translation for “I went to the bathroom twice”: 去了厕所两次 or 去厕所两次了?

Which one is correct please? If I try to translate: I went to the bathroom twice. 去了厕所两次 去厕所两次了
5
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4answers
382 views

What are the parts of speech of the words in 车外的阳光格外的刺眼, and why is this 的 correct?

车外的阳光格外的刺眼. That's a complete sentence. I've got troubles understanding what parts of speech are. According to my dictionaries: 阳光 - sunshine, 格外 - especially, 刺眼 - to dazzle. So the sentence would ...
6
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5answers
1k views

Can someone logically explain why 在坐 is wrong and 坐着 is fine?

This question keeps me awake at nights. Please, don't suggest that I've made a mistake and mistook 在坐 for 在座. I know what 在座 is. I dont' care about it. I need to know a logical reason why 在坐 is never ...
2
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1answer
65 views

Can the 的 particle ever function without “nominalizing”?

From my answer in What is the meaning of 的 in “有一天你会明白的”? and according to Charles N. Li, Sandra A. Thompson - Mandarin Chinese: A Functional Reference Grammar, I believed the function of the particle ...
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5answers
997 views

What is the meaning of 的 in “有一天你会明白的”?

From Why is 的 used in 你是哪一天出生的 and 我们什么时候开始的 and 前天你什么时候来的这里?, I understand 的 at the end of a sentence describes an event that happened in the past. However, I am not sure whether I understand the ...
2
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5answers
328 views

What does “了” do in the sentence “呆在家里, 这样你就能接电话了”?

In the sentence "呆在家里, 这样你就能接电话了", I can't see why "了" is used in this sentence. I study Chinese these days, and I think that I can just say "这样你就能接电话", but in this ...
2
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3answers
199 views

Why is 指 repeated twice in 他指了指墙上的画?

I found a sentence from a short story which goes: "他指了指墙上的画。“ I know that 指 means to point, by why is it repeated twice in the sentence? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you
0
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1answer
35 views

Usage of negation 没 with 在 and 着 particle?

Hello I start learning Chinese since not long, after I fell in love with the Expanse book series. (Chinese explorers are one of the first to colonise Mars planet). I studied that 在 and 着 are particles ...
3
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1answer
156 views

Can 地 be used in place of 的 as a stylistic choice?

Is the use of 地 in the following document correct (some specific samples included below)? I feel like there are many cases where 的 should have been used, but 地 is used instead. The number of such ...
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2answers
87 views

Why 说的 and not only 说 in 你要按照我说的做并且要做好?

I saw that phrase while I was studying and I don't understand. 你要按照我说的做并且要做好。 Why 说的 not only 说? What does 的 mean in that phrase?
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6answers
107 views

Why is 的 at the end of phrases such as 那是他们的 and 钱他们的?

I'm confused with the possessive particle 的, it was explained to me as 's in English and "of" something. Like, Y的X becomes X of Y. 那是他们的。 他们的是那。 Here are two sentences that from that logic ...
2
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6answers
297 views

In 吃完晚饭后,我们去了维多利亚海港看烟花, why is 了 after 去 and not after 看?

In my chinese book I saw the following sentence. 6年初二晚上他们一家人去看了烟花 。 That has sense with the following grammar point for verbs in series with 去 9.5   Two verbs: One indicating purpose When a simple ...
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3answers
939 views

What is 吗 doing in 你有什么事吗?

In a Chinese lesson, I came across these sentences: 你有什么事吗? Nǐ yǒu shénme shì mɑ? 你有什么事? Nǐ yǒu shénme shì? And both were translated as: What's the matter? I don't understand 1. Without 吗, I ...
4
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6answers
566 views

What is 了 doing in 这个表快了+time?

I am confused about the 了 in the sentence: 这个表快了五分钟。 Zhèɡe biǎo kuàile wǔ fēnzhōnɡ. This watch is running five minutes faster. Clearly there is no change of state. Is it for completion? I don't ...
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1answer
40 views

Where should 了 go: 你去了商店买什么衣服? or 你去商店买什么衣服了?

I want to ask, "What clothes did you buy at the store?" Which sentence is correct, or which sounds more correct. 你去了商店买什么衣服? 你去商店买什么衣服了? Where should the 了 go?
3
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4answers
125 views

Why 了 in 走+time+就到了?

I came across the following sentence: 她的家很近,走五分钟就到了。 Tā de jiā hěn jìn, zǒu wǔ fēnzhōnɡ jiù dào le. Her house is very close, only need to walk for five minutes to arrive. Question: Why is there a ...
3
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3answers
136 views

Meaning of 的 in 真的?

Question: Is the 的 in 真的 a modal 的 [see resources.allsetlearning.com]? How does 的 change 真? Does it bring some emphasis? I guess the purpose of 的 in 真的 is the same as in 好的 or 有的? See Is each 的 in 有的 ...
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2answers
67 views

Eleven 把-related sentences containing grammar errors (e.g. 我把作业已经交给老师了): how do we explain these errors?

This post on Reddit gives eleven 把 sentences containing grammar errors (original image). It looks like a worthwhile exercise. (A native Chinese speaker /u/Lvguichen gave corrections without ...
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1answer
45 views

Is there a difference between 他这是 and 他就是?

A graded reader (for foreigners learning to read Chinese) has this sentence: 他们这是在做坏拿! I think this means the same as: 他们就是在做坏拿!And I think both are just emphatic ways of saying 他们是在做坏拿. Google ...
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2answers
150 views

Placement of 了: difference between 吃飯了 and 吃了飯

Do 我吃早飯了 and 我吃了早飯 mean the same thing (I have eaten breakfast), slightly different things? Or is one of them wrong? Which is better? (For context, the second option was marked incorrect by an app ...
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1answer
79 views

What grammar pattern with 着 does this sentence follow?

奥林匹克运动的故乡流传着这样的几句话:... This 着 is confusing to me. I suppose this sentence here follows one of these two patterns: place + verb + 着 + subject, for example 桌子上摆着一杯水. verb + 着, for example 我听着音乐看报纸. ...
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1answer
74 views

Grammar: using 的 several times

I often come up with the same problem in Chinese. How to use 的 in very long and complex sentences like: "He's the guy who just employed a person who doesn't even know how to work." I'd translate ...
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5answers
124 views

了 with two verbs: What's the difference between 我去厨房找了饮料喝 and 我去了厨房找饮料喝?

In one of my stories I wrote: 我去了厨房找饮料喝。 A student at Nankai changed this to: 我去厨房找了饮料喝。 Question: What's the difference between 我去厨房找了饮料喝 and 我去了厨房找饮料喝? I just want to say something like "I ...
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3answers
72 views

When a sentence ends with '来了', is it the aspectual or modal particle 了?

I understand the differences between aspectual and modal particle, but I have some confusion about when a sentence ends with a 了 and at the same time with a verb, like 来了. So it is aspectual or modal?
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2answers
161 views

Is 會 an aspect marker?

It is my understanding that Chinese does not employ tenses, but does rely on grammatical aspect in order to convey meaning. I'm still trying to fully grasp what exactly an aspect is, but viewing the ...
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2answers
60 views

Why is there a 地 in (霉)旧地席的气味?

From the second chapter in George Orwell's 1984, using the translations at Douban: Original: The hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats. Translation 1: 门厅里有一股熬白菜和旧地席的气味 Translation 2: ...
2
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3answers
221 views

Can 孩子们 (háizǐmen) = “children (plural)” belong to the same family?

孩子们 (háizǐmen) refers to a plural of children. I don't recall ever reading parents referring to their children as 孩子们. Question: Can 孩子们 belong to the same family? I'm not sure how to answer this ...
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2answers
349 views

Why is there no 地 in 不小心踢到椅子 (“carelessly kicked the chair”)?

A bunch of examples: (1) 脚不小心踢到椅子上面[src] (2) 在上课,后面的人不小心踢到我椅子了[src] (3) 孩子不小心踢到椅子[src] (4) 贾玲跳舞,不小心踢到椅子,椅子腿断了,陈赫非常关心![src] (5) 脚肿了,是不小心踢到椅子脚上,小脚趾肿了[src] I don't understand why there's no ...
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1answer
29 views

Is each 的 in 有的 and 好的,到时候会有人接机的 a modal particle?

In next extract from a text while reserving a hotel room there are some final 的. 1: 请问你们旅馆有没有免费接送服务? 2: 有的。请问你们星期三几天到? 1: 早上六点40分到达海南国际机场。 2: 好的,到时候会有人接机的。先星期三见。 In the last ..example ...
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2answers
81 views

How Common is 啊

I have a tendency to stick in 啊 whenever I want the sentence to sound strong (in any emotion whether it be happiness, annoyance, etc) which I'm aware is it's purpose. But exactly how common is it? I'...
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5answers
268 views

Change- and unchange-of-state 了: During which time in a person's life is it correct for them to say 我三岁了 (I am 3 years old)?

我三岁了 I [am] three years of age This breaks apart as follows: 我 (wǒ) = me 三 (sān) = three 岁 = years of age 了: I understand 了 here is the change-of-state 了: prior to turning 3, I was not 3, so that ...
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2answers
24 views

了 in 我在这里两个星期了 / “I've been here for two weeks”

What is the precise function of 了 in the sentence 我在这里两个星期了 / "I've been here for two weeks" ? Is it a marker of completed action? Is it saying "already"? What does the sentence mean if 了 were ...
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2answers
102 views

How does someone train using 了 correctly?

I'm really bad at 了ing: Nankai students say I'm bad at this. My teacher says I'm bad at this. Even Tang Ho mentioned my abuse of 了. Moreover, I'm sure I'm not the only one who is really bad at 了ing:...
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1answer
111 views

Is it possible to write “I'm hungry and tired” (我饿了,我也累了) with a single change-of-state 了?

我饿了,我也累了。 As I understand, both 了s are the change-of-state 了. I cannot think of a way to write this using only one change-of-state 了, which makes me think it's not possible. I'm fairly sure "我饿也累了" ...
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2answers
92 views

Can we omit the 吗 at the end of a 难道 rhetorical question?

The Chinese Grammar Wiki writes: Note that 难道 can only be used for rhetorical questions which could be answered with yes or no, and generally end with 吗. And gives examples such as: 今天是我的生日,...
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3answers
117 views

Why is 你去了北京吗 less common than 你去北京了吗?

Note: My original question was Why is 你去了北京 correct but 你去了北京吗 incorrect? but I was mistaken, so I'll change the question to try to make it more useful (and less confusing) to the future reader. I'll ...
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3answers
72 views

Does 听说你去丽江玩儿了 imply they are still in 丽江?

From 标准教程HSK4上 (page 88): A:听说你去丽江玩儿了?那儿怎么样? B:那里特别美,空气也很新鲜。 If I'm not mistaken, the 了 is the change-of-state 了. But this gives two possibilities: The change of state is B going from B's ...
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1answer
124 views

(Shanghai Wu) “但是, 晓得 个 伊 来仔.” Is this correct?

但是, 晓得 个 伊 来仔 /dé.zz̩ ɕiɒ.tə́ʔ ɦəʔ ɦi le.tsź̩/ Intended meaning: "But, she came here knowing (that this fight was hopeless)." Is the use of 个 here correct? (伊 refers to an animate ...
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2answers
104 views

What purpose is 的 serving in 姐姐给我买的衬衫?

In this sentence, I'm trying to understand the function of 的。 姐姐 给 我 买 的 衬衫. I thought it might indicate possession, but (in my beginner understanding), that would require 的 to be between 2 nouns.
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2answers
189 views

Confused by 的 and 地 in 掉的那么地刺耳

I'm perplexed by the line 掉的那么地刺耳 of the song 过不去. Doesn't the 的 demand a noun to go after it? Is the 刺耳 a verb or a noun? And what's the meaning of the entire line? My highly insecure guess would be "...
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3answers
73 views

了 particle usage

I've been taught that 了 particle is not used in a negative sentence, but I'm confused with this one. “我以前很忙,但是现在不忙了。” Is this right? I would say this. 我以前很忙,但是现在有空了。 Help please
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3answers
58 views

Existential sentences that used to be but are no longer

I'm trying to construct a sentence along the lines of, "There were two hard parts...," where I use the existential 有. The issue I'm having is how I convey the meaning that this 'existence' is confined ...
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1answer
97 views

Why is 地 in 慢慢地走?

I just read about all the three "de" in Chinese (的,得,地) here in this website : https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Structural_particle_%22de%22 In the 地's section, it's said that if ...
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2answers
110 views

What do 了 and 好 indicate in …别人用了我们的赠品,觉得好…?

There's a line like this: 高个儿拍了拍脑袋,“你的意思是说,别人用了我们的赠品,觉得好,就自然会找我们买?” Why is there 了 in the 别人用了我们的赠品? Does this sentence indicate something about completion of an action or something in the past? ...
3
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1answer
87 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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3answers
131 views

了 vs 是…的 as “factuality markers”

I'm a proponent of 了 as 'factuality marker' (that is it has nothing to do with 'perfectivity or completness of action'. See post: How exactly do time and "tense" work in Mandarin REALLY? for ...
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2answers
235 views

Understanding 了: difference between 她上个月去了北京 and 上个月我去台湾了?

This grammar page tries to explain when to use 了 after a verb and when to use 了 after an object. It claims when the time is specified, it's acceptable to use 了 after a verb and before the object as ...
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1answer
1k views

Place of 了 particle for the past tense?

Ok, I saw explanation that: 我去了商店。(means: I have gone to the shop already) 我去商店了。(means: I am going to the shop now) So I expected to meet 了 for the past tense only right after the verb: 昨天我去了商店。 ...
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5answers
178 views

What's the role of 了 in this sentence: 你要是喜欢我就给你买了

Is it an aspect marker? Is it a specific grammatical construction with 就 or 要是? Is it there just for emphasis? I can't work it out...
3
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2answers
375 views

What is the difference between 收了 and 收到了?

What is the difference between 收了 and 收到了? 1. We say 我收了他的錢 2. But we don't say 我收了他的信, We say我收到他的信了 When do we use 收了 and 收到了?