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
89 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
2
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1answer
69 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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4answers
384 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 ...
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6answers
571 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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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 ...
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4answers
882 views

In 虽然练习做 ( ) 很多,但是我还是不懂, should we use 的 or 得?

In the following sentence: 虽然练习做 ( ) 很多,但是我还是不懂。 We have a small discussion with our teacher. Which one should be used in the bracket and why?
2
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3answers
223 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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5answers
1k 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 ...
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5answers
1k views

How should I use 哟?

Here is the conversation with my Chinese friend: I: I passed the application! She: 你申请过啦 She: 恭喜哟 According to Pleco: 哟 [at the end of an imperative sentence] [as a syllable filler in a song] ...
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5answers
335 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 ...
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3answers
205 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
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1answer
36 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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3answers
144 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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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
240 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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6answers
111 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 ...
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2answers
88 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
300 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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1answer
75 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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3answers
494 views

Questions ending with 么: Do 么 and 吗 have the exact same meaning?

I was chatting online with a Chinese person and he sometimes added 么 at the end of questions: 你觉得汉语难么? 是因为声调掌握不好么? Can 么 and 吗 be used interchangeably? Do they have the exact same meaning?
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4answers
133 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 ...
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3answers
940 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 ...
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6answers
405 views

How to use 得 without single-character verbs (e.g. 我旅行得很快)?

I've been taught that ‘得’ can be used in situations such as, “我打篮球打得很好”, to describe the "degree" that the action has. But I've also been told that ‘得’ only works with single character verbs-- so ...
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3answers
713 views

Why is 得 in 多得做不完?

My understanding of 的-地-得 is the same as what's here: 的-地-得, when do you use which? -- which is summarised as: “地” usually appears before the verb while “得” appears after the verb. However, I found a ...
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3answers
169 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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1answer
42 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?
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2answers
78 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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3answers
536 views

Why does 他吃了饭 sound incomplete?

As I study usage of different aspects markers in Chinese, I started to realize that my problems with those markers come from simple fact that: "I don't see any use in them." Reason for this is: ...
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1answer
90 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. ...
2
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1answer
47 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
164 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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2answers
203 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 ...
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5answers
126 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
74 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
181 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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3answers
195 views

When 了 has the same verb before and after it, is it reduplication combined with 了1?

Some sentences that I have seen contain the pattern "verb + 了 + verb". An example of this is: "他們碰了碰杯子。" [1] Since in all examples that I have seen the verb before and after 了 is the same, I ...
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2answers
61 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: ...
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3answers
286 views

What is the grammatical reason for 的 at the end of short responses such as 好的, 是的 and 會的?

I've always been curious about this: What is the grammatical reason for 的 at the end of these short responses? Q: 這樣好嗎? A: 好的。 Q: 你是美國人嗎? A: 是的。 Q: 你會彈鋼琴嗎? A: 會的。 Can someone shed some light on it ...
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2answers
787 views

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 have the following sentences: 你是哪一天出生的? (sentence 1) I'm trying to understand why 的 is being used in this sentence. I know it is used to express possession, but I'm not sure that's the case is ...
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1answer
186 views

When do you need the 的 at the end of sentences? E.g. 你是从哪里听到这个消息的?

I learned the following sentence. 你是从哪里听到这个消息的? Is it possible to omit 的 here? So is 你是从哪里听到这个消息? wrong? I know that the particle is used to signal ownership, but is it necessary to use it here? ...
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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
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? ...
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2answers
350 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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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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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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7answers
188 views

Should I use modal (语气) “了” in: 我去抽烟 vs. 我去抽烟了?

If I say "I'm going to smoke" I would say "我去抽烟", right? Or would I say "我去抽烟了"? In this case, 了 represents a change, so I suppose 我去抽烟了 makes sense. Any difference in nuance between the two?
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3answers
1k views

Why is 之 used in 忍耐是幸福之门的一把钥匙?

Why is 之 used in this sentence? 忍耐是幸福之门的一把钥匙. Cant it just as easily be substituted with 的?
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2answers
82 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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2answers
2k views

What does 了mean in 衣服也落在了房间内, and is it pronounce le or liao?

Could someone please explain this sentence structure? 衣服也落在了房间内. What does the 了 mean here? Is it pronounce le or liao?
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3answers
455 views

What does 了 mean in …这份工作让我认识到了团队合作的重要?

Is it a verb? A past tense maker? Which is its function of 了 in this sentence? 曾在新西兰Burger King做过汉堡,当过收银员。这份工作让我认识到了团队合作的重要