Questions tagged [particles]

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

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2 votes
3 answers
258 views

Placement of 了 in 停在了离小岛不太远的地方

The sentence is from Mandarin Companion's "Journey to the center of the Earth". 我们把船停在了离小岛不太远的地方,晚上我们还是在船上休息。 I know that the rules of 了 are tricky, but I dont understand what its doing ...
3 votes
6 answers
836 views

Can we simultaneously use the particles 地 and 得 with a single verb, e.g. 他高兴地跳得高?

I'm sure 他高兴地跳着 and 他跳得高 are fine, but I'm not sure if we can combine them, like in: 他高兴地跳得高。 He happily jumped high. Here we have the grammar structure: Subject + adv. + 地 + verb + 得 + complement. ...
2 votes
6 answers
273 views

Why not put 了 after 看到 and how to understand that the action is completed in 我在报纸上看到一篇关于她的新闻?

听说,我在报纸上看到一篇关于她的新闻,他现在已经是一个有名的作家了。 When should I not use 了? It's especially strange because the 了 at the end means a change in state, right? But I have seen explanations that it also refers to some ...
1 vote
2 answers
106 views

What function does 了perform in this sentence 我忘问她要电话了 ?

It's a change of situation, isn't it? But what has changed? Why is 了 not used after the verb?
2 votes
2 answers
131 views

When to use or skip 的 between two nouns?

Please helpme to understand the grammatical difference when using or skip 的 between two nouns。 What I know is that 中文, 西班牙 and 书 all are nouns. But in some cases thy become attributes Case a) 中文书 ...
1 vote
1 answer
39 views

Le aspect or modal particle

In the sentence “即使在教室,他们仍然保留了自由散漫的天性”, is 了 an aspect particle or a modal particle? I thought that the modal particle needed to be at the end of the sentence, but I’m not sure why it would be an ...
2 votes
3 answers
67 views

How to specify colors etc. attributively

I’ve been using Duolingo and Google Translate (definitely not the most authoritative of sources) and have seen constructs like 红色的书 and 红车 Is there a difference in meaning depending whether one ...
1 vote
2 answers
89 views

Is 的 Here An Emphasis or Just A Nominalization

我觉得这句话哪里怪怪的 I guess 的 can be nominalizing since it would be something weird. But every time I see 的 by itself at the end of a ssntemce I struggle to tell whether or not it's emphasizing since I'vs ...
0 votes
4 answers
148 views

In "Nǐ jiā yǒu jǐ kǒu rén", why is it "Nǐ" and not " Nǐde"?

Nǐ jiā yǒu jǐ kǒu rén? Why "Nǐ" and not " Nǐde"? Since Nǐde is possessive.
0 votes
3 answers
96 views

的 in the “你们是坐飞机来北京的吗?”

Some sites said 来的 can be used for an emphasis but here it s separate. Can it have the same meaning or something other here?
1 vote
4 answers
65 views

了 in the “小王不能参加这次招待会了”

That's the mean have 了 here? I've heard it can be index for changing, like before he could came bit now he can't, but I'm not sure. Does it work here? Have it any other meaning(exept the index of past ...
2 votes
7 answers
1k views

What is the function of 了 in 我现在养了一只狗和一只猫?

Presumably the 了 cannot mean a "completed action" since this is cancelled out by the 现在? Additionally, if the meaning is I raised (completed action) a dog... and I still have it now (现在) - ...
1 vote
2 answers
172 views

Meanings and roles of 要 inside 信用卡比现金要方便多了。

信用卡比现金要方便多了。 I think that 要 can be removed from the above sentence to convey the same meaning of the original sentence. I looked up for several online dictionaries but still haven't got the meaning(s)...
3 votes
2 answers
276 views

Use of 要...(了) to indicate future

This is a question about the use of 要 yào as a verb to indicate immediate future ('going to') and its common complementation by 了 le. 要 is a confusing word for learners because of its various meanings....
2 votes
2 answers
174 views

Use of final 的 (de) with the verb 會/会 (huì)

A use case of the particle 的 de that I've always found odd is the way it can be added at the end of a sentence where 會/会 huì is the main verb. I've seen this explained as a form of 'emphasis', but I'...
1 vote
3 answers
82 views

Is 今天的日是什么 ever used as substitute for 今天是星期几吗, or is it grammatically incorrect/improper?

Is 今天的日是什么 ever used as substitute for 今天是星期几吗, or is it grammatically incorrect/improper? This may seem like a stupid question, but I'm not the smartest (Hence why I haven't fully learnt Chinese ...
1 vote
1 answer
167 views

What is the etymology of the different sentence final particles?

I'm curious about the etymology of 吗,吧, 呢,and 了. Does anyone have theories or sources on the subject?
0 votes
1 answer
42 views

Using 那 particle similar to how 所以 is used when asking series of questions?

I watch a lot of Mandarin Corner on YouTube and the style of her videos are to basically interview subjects in Mandarin dialect. I notice when she goes from questions to question, she will use 那 and ...
10 votes
3 answers
884 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: ...
3 votes
3 answers
250 views

Confusing 了1 and 了2

One of the functions of 了 is marking the completion of an action. (了1) Another function is marking a change of state. (了2) Personally it is sometimes difficult for me to distinguish between these two ...
2 votes
3 answers
85 views

What is the function of 了 in 请告诉她我不能跟她去看电影了?

Is it the "change of state" sentence-end particle? If so, can you say this sentence without it? And if not, how do you convey the difference between: (She already knows, the situation hasn't ...
1 vote
3 answers
121 views

What is function of 的 in 挺.......的?

I am understanding 挺。。。的 to mean "quite" I don't get the sense that the 的 is nominalizing an elided phrase particularly, or is this wrong? If yes/no, how/why? Additionally, why/when is it ...
2 votes
2 answers
147 views

What is function of 了 in 太……了?

I am understanding 太……了 to mean "really/very/too/excessively" I don't get the sense 了 is either a completed-action or a sentence-end change-of-state - would this be right to assume? If yes/...
5 votes
8 answers
2k views

Why is 我把一本书买来了 wrong?

This Facebook post says: The object behind “把” should be a specific person or thing. Example: “我把那本书买来了” cannot say “我把一本书买来了”. Judging from context "behind" here should be "after&...
4 votes
6 answers
2k views

Difference using 的 here 1) 这道菜味道很好 and 2) 这道菜的味道很好

What is the difference between 这道菜味道很好 and 这道菜的味道很好? How does this grammar point work?
1 vote
3 answers
221 views

Using 了 about future events

I've come across some sentences, in which the particle 了 is used about future events. 晚上我们请他们去吃了北京烤鸭。 下个月我就回美国去了。 现在该去海关办你的事儿了。 I don't know what kind of 了 is this? Is it 了1, marking the completion ...
2 votes
3 answers
102 views

Is it possible to put 了 in 昨天上午你去哪儿了?after the verb 去 instead at the end?

This question example is from the book "HSK Standard Course 1 (2014)". According to the Chinese Grammar Wiki: When time, place, manner, or purpose are specified in a sentence, 了 can be used ...
7 votes
4 answers
400 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 ...
4 votes
3 answers
297 views

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 ...
8 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
43 views

translations and 了

I was practicing translating the following sentences: Relax, this problem has already been solved! 放輕鬆吧,這個問題已經解決了。 That foreigner hasn’t taken a bus for a long time. 那個外國人很久沒有搭巴士了。 I feel I added 了 at ...
4 votes
1 answer
232 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 ...
12 votes
7 answers
914 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: ...
2 votes
4 answers
516 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 ...
0 votes
4 answers
95 views

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.
4 votes
3 answers
100 views

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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
150 views

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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
118 views

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 ...
0 votes
3 answers
100 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
101 views

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", &...
2 votes
1 answer
144 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 &...
1 vote
4 answers
113 views

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 ...
0 votes
3 answers
290 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 ...
6 votes
3 answers
629 views

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 ...
2 votes
5 answers
2k 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] ...
1 vote
3 answers
219 views

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。...
1 vote
3 answers
560 views

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 "...
3 votes
1 answer
82 views

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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
106 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 votes
4 answers
404 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 ...