Questions tagged [particles]

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

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13
votes
3answers
959 views

Do 之 and 的 come from the same word?

In modern Chinese 之 is thought of as the literary genitive particle and 的 as the colloquial. In most reconstructions of Old Chinese 之 looks very similar to the way 的 is pronounced now. For example in ...
10
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7answers
605 views

Is 了 optional when a time word is present?

In sentences that already have a point in time word that indicates that the event happened in the past, is 了 optional? Or could there be some additional meaning with it present? For instance: ...
9
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5answers
495 views

Why use 了 in saying I'm hungry?

Why do you use 了 after 我饿? I thought it was used to denote completion or the past tense of something, but isn't being hungry present tense?
8
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3answers
1k views

What's the difference between 了, 著 and 到 when used as verb complements?

I need help with sorting out the difference between 了, 著 and 到 when used as verb complements. I have learnt most of my Chinese in Taiwan and in my experience, Taiwanese people don't use 著 as a verb ...
8
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3answers
919 views

How to properly use 掉?

I am referring to the usage as defined on zdic.net 用在动词后表示动作完成:改~。戒~ Does 掉 often have the connotation of falling or missing? What is the difference between (verb)掉 and (verb)了 and(verb)掉了? I've ...
7
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3answers
465 views

Why there is no 的 after 你 in 你国家的医院好吗?

I got a translation of “Are hospitals in your country good?” from a native speaker of Mandarin as: 你国家的医院好吗? Why there is no 的 after 你? It is after a pronoun for instance in such a sentence: ...
7
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3answers
185 views

What is the function of 了 in the sentence 我最怕去西单了?

Received this in a text from a Chinese friend. I want to say that "了" here is not part of the verb phrase but instead just an emphatic particle, same as if you said something like "我最怕蜘蛛了"。Then again, ...
7
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3answers
446 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
6
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3answers
6k views

Proper way to use sentence-final particles (like 啦 or 喽) in spoken Chinese

I know it's very common for Chinese speakers to add special particles to the end of their sentences to enhance the tone a little bit, such as adding 啊 to show excitement or 啦 to sound cute. Just to ...
6
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2answers
601 views

To 了 or not to 了

I'm Chinese learner and as everybody else I'm puzzled by the verbal aspect 了. My research into the subject gave such results: 了 belongs to a class of perfective aspect markers just as many other ...
6
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2answers
690 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 ...
5
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7answers
1k views

When to use “他的太太” and when “他太太”?

I've read the two different sentences, of which one uses "他的太太" and the other uses "他太太". How can I tell the difference between the two? For example, in the following sentence: 现在他想他的太太。 现在他想他太太。 ...
5
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7answers
571 views

How exactly do time and “tense” work in Mandarin REALLY?

I am trying to figure out what the most proper way for one to say something simple like if someone asked, "How do you know that?" and then I say, "I read it in a book". Now what I'm wondering about is ...
5
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1answer
887 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。 ...
5
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2answers
196 views

Proper use of 吧 in questions

I am trying to better understand the use of 吧 in a sentence where I am asking a question. For example, could the particle be used in the following way: 这是你的咖啡吧? My understanding is that the particle ...
5
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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?
5
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2answers
153 views

他很慢地走: why there is 地 if the adjective is monosyllabic?

I can't use 地 after the adjective if the adjective is monosyllabic (so 他慢地走 isn't acceptable). Then why in this sentence is there 地 after a monosyllabic adjective? 他很慢地走 Is it because I can use 地 ...
4
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3answers
987 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?
4
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5answers
171 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...
4
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4answers
3k views

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 ...
4
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2answers
923 views

啊,诶,喔,哦:compare and contrast

The characters in the title are, FWIK, all exclamatory sentence-final particles, though I'm not too sure about ei. So I was wondering what the difference was between the three. Is there a difference ...
4
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2answers
362 views

How to use 了 as a modal particle?

I'm having a hard time understanding when to use 了 as a modal particle (instead of as an aspect particle). For example, what is the difference between the following two sentences. 现在几点? 现在几点了? ...
4
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1answer
257 views

What is the meaning of “一把把” on "他更是一把把她的书包给枪了过去“?

I think that I understand the overall meaning of the sentence: He forcibly stole her bag and ran away. But I'm not sure about that part (一把把), neither its meaning nor its grammatical function (I'm not ...
4
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3answers
165 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 ...
4
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3answers
187 views

How to distinguish between 吧 and 嘛, 罢 and 嘛

At the end of a sentence in a conversation, how does one distinguish between 吧 and 嘛, 罢 and 嘛?
4
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6answers
473 views

Is “之” usually used as a possessive pronoun (attributive) in Classical Chinese?

True or False Question: In classical Chinese, “之” is usually used as a possessive pronoun (attributive), “其” is usually used as a subject, and “彼” is usually used as an object. a. True b. ...
3
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3answers
264 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 ...
3
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2answers
232 views

When should 之 be used as a particle?

When should 之 be used as a particle? There doesn't seem to be a straightforward answer on Nciku. On Wiktionary, the entry states: Indicates that the previous word has possession of the next one. In ...
3
votes
4answers
314 views

Possessives in Chinese

I used Google Translate for these sentences but I'm not sure they are correct: Mom 's white dog 妈妈的白狗 My mom's white dog 我妈妈的白狗 And it is possible if I say Mom 's white dog 妈妈的白色的狗 My mom's ...
3
votes
3answers
174 views

Are too many 的s for multiple adjectives a problem?

This is from my talk slides (which I'm revising): 每一个PLR(r,s,n;m)是具有m个顶点的n着色的Kr□Ks的诱导子图,例如:... (I have some students here helping me debug this.) I'm concerned about the three 的s being ...
3
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4answers
500 views

Is it possible to use 过 with specific time words?

This is somewhat similar to this question: When to use 了 and when to use 过 to express past actions or events. I understand that the 过 particle helps express the idea of having had the experience of ...
3
votes
2answers
185 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 "...
3
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1answer
84 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
258 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?
3
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1answer
116 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 ...
3
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3answers
760 views

好久不见+了=OK or wrong? What does the “le” add?

"Long time no see" is 好久不见 in Mandarin. I would be inclined towards adding a 了 at the end. Would that be all right? And in that case, what does the 了 add?
2
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2answers
84 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? ...
2
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2answers
97 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.
2
votes
3answers
113 views

吧 with the passive voice

I'm curious if it's grammatically correct to make suggestions with passive verbs. Like "Let's get killed". All I can think of is a suggestion with the causative verb "让我死吧".
2
votes
1answer
113 views

Is it OK to use the word 了 on 很 + adjective phrase, to emphasize?

The typical 很 + adjective phrase example is: 俄罗斯女人很漂亮。 In these sentences, is it OK to add 了 to the end of the sentence, to emphasize the adjective? 俄罗斯女人很漂亮了。 I understand that if you like to ...
2
votes
3answers
346 views

Is there a “better” translation for “你我还没完呢”? Why is it “你我” without a possible “和”? And please can anyone confirm the function of “呢” in this one?

I was watching an American TV show with Chinese subtitles on. There was a scene where a character said, "You haven't seen the last of me, Ms.Ellison.", and the Chinese subtitle for it was,"你我还没完呢 ...
2
votes
1answer
87 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
679 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

Difference of 了 and 過's usage

What among these sentences are correct, acceptable, or wrong? The marks in the parentheses are my intuition. (1)我看這本小說了。(?) (2)我看了這本小說。(✓) (3)我看這本小說過。(✘) (4)我看過這本小說。(✓) (5)我看了這本小說過。(✘) (6)...
2
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3answers
202 views

Does “太 + adjectival verb + 了” mean the change?

I just learned that if you end the sentence with adjectival verb + 了, it means indicating a change. For example, 你高了。 This means "You got taller.", which is different from 你很高, which just means "...
2
votes
2answers
240 views

了 as “perfect” aspect vs 了 as “actual” aspect theory

Couple of times in my research on Verb+了aspect, I've stumbled across really interesting nonstandard ideas about what this particle really means. Only one theory strikes some notes in my mind. Namely ...
2
votes
1answer
144 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? ...
2
votes
1answer
455 views

What is the difference between 穿 and 穿上?

I found the following sentence: 我正在穿上毛衣。 In this sentence, can you rephrase it as the following?: 我正在穿毛衣。 If you can rephrase it as such, is there any difference between 穿 and 穿上? I also ...
2
votes
3answers
436 views

When to omit the modifying 的?

他给她买来了一个戒指。 He gives her a ring that he bought. I assume that this sentence should need 的 before "a ring that he bought" to be modifying, as below. 他给她买来了'的'一个戒指。 So I think 的 is somewhat omitted. ...
1
vote
2answers
321 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 ...