Questions tagged [particles]

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

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14
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3answers
1k 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 ...
11
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7answers
671 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: ...
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3answers
548 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: ...
9
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5answers
527 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?
9
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3answers
2k 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 ...
9
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2answers
1k 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
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 ...
7
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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 ...
7
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3answers
193 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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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 ...
7
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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
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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 ...
6
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7answers
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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。 ...
6
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3answers
7k 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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7answers
678 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 ...
6
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2answers
239 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 ...
6
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2answers
689 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
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 ...
5
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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 ...
5
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5answers
179 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...
5
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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
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。 ...
5
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3answers
209 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?
5
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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
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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 ...
5
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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 ...
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?
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2answers
177 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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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 ...
4
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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
1k 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
410 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
326 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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6answers
531 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. ...
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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 ...
3
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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 ...
3
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2answers
246 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 ...
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4answers
358 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
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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 ...
3
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3answers
207 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 excessive ...
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4answers
559 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
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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 ...
3
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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 ...
3
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2answers
190 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
90 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
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2answers
400 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
173 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 ...
3
votes
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
3
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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 ...
3
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1answer
663 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 ...