Questions tagged [particles]

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

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Purpose of 了 except completion marker

What is the purpose of 了 in these sentences: 1:找到你了。(If it is completion marker, why doesn't it come right after the verb?) 2:我最喜欢看篮球比赛了.
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How is 了 being used in 没有了职务?

没有了职务,王建男像是从捆绑状态中被释放出来,一身轻松。 HSK6上 Standard Course, chapter 14, page 136 (original) This violates the rule of thumb: we don't use 了 in conjunction with 没 (see e.g. A verb negated with 没 / 没有 cannot ...
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Using the article 咪 in this Cantonese sentence

Please take a look at this sentence. 我已經做晒啲嘢,咪返屋企囉! I know for one that 咪 stands for the negative. At first glance, I thought the meaning is 'I finished my tasks already, so I am going home!' But what ...
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Question with “ne (呢) to be responded with ”呢"?

I resumed my Chinese studies and got a native speaker to help me. She mentioned that to agree with a suggestion with "ne" (呢), I should respond with it and just changed the tone. I cannot ...
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Why is 了 placed after the object in “你回英国了吗?” and “我去上海了"?

In the following sentences, why is 了 placed after the object? 马大为:林娜,早!好久不见,你回英国了吗? 林娜:我没有回英国,我去上海了,昨天刚回北京。 I have looked at a Grammar Wiki page on when 了 can go after the object, but none of the ...
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1answer
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Still about the filler word 很, after 得

I just learned that an adverb or quality describing how a verb (action) is performed must be preceded by the filler word 得, which introduces an "expression of degree" ("well", &...
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80 views

很 as a filler word?

Beginner's question here. If I understood correctly, all descriptive words in Mandarin can work both as an adjective and a "descriptive verb", which would be equivalent to the construction &...
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Retention of 其 as a modal particle in modern Chinese

There is a recent Chinese Stack Exchange question on the significance of 其 in 尤其, given the meaning of the word is largely contributed by 尤. I am quite confident that some of the answers in the thread ...
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Using this Cantonese particle to indicate past tense

I ran across this 'conversation piece' in a Cantonese study material. 填好地址未? 填好晒。 郵票貼好未? 貼好咗啦。 I found the usage of 晒 strange, because 填好 already indicated the action is done. The same is true with ...
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In the novel 猫城记, why does 老舍 use 的 (instead of 地) for adverbs?

From the first chapter of 猫城记 by 老舍, we see examples where 的 is used where I would expect to use 地 (to indicate an adverb): 我应当先去挖坑,但是我没有去挖,只呆呆的看着四外,从泪中看着四外。 动是我自己不能负责的,现在想来,这或者是最近情理的解释与自恕。 鸟儿下来一只。...
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Is the 了 in 你几岁了? a change-of-state 了?

There's a simple question we ask kids: 你几岁了? How old are you? It's possible to ask it without the 了, i.e., 你几岁?. This makes me think this 了 is a change-of-state 了. It may just be a kind of "...
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When translating “he thinks I bought three books, but I didn't buy anything”, do we add a completion 了 for “bought”?

When learning about when to use 了, we're typically given simple examples with clear-cut answers, such as the following: 我买了三本书。 I bought three books. Expressing completion with "le" We are ...
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躺着 can be used for persons laying on an object. What can we use for an object laying on another object? …着?

What verb can one use to describe an object laying on another object. I know that one can use 躺着 for a person laying on/in a bed... what about an object laying, for example, on the table? ...着 I ...
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1answer
93 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
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
137 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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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
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121 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 ...
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160 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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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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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 ...
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309 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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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 ...
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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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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?
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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 ...
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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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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
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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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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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150 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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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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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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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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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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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: ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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130 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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105 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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166 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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79 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 ...