Questions tagged [particles]

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

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49 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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67 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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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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189 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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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 ...
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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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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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75 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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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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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 ...
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(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 ...
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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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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 "...
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了 particle usage

I've been taught that 了 particle is not used in a negative sentence, but I'm confused with this one. “我以前很忙,但是现在不忙了。” Is this right? I would say this. 我以前很忙,但是现在有空了。 Help please
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Existential sentences that used to be but are no longer

I'm trying to construct a sentence along the lines of, "There were two hard parts...," where I use the existential 有. The issue I'm having is how I convey the meaning that this 'existence' is confined ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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891 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。 ...
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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...
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260 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?
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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 ...
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What is the difference between these sentences? (过 vs 了) [duplicate]

What is the difference between: 你最近看过电视吗? 你最近看了电视吗? and 你最近去过杂货店吗? 你最近去了杂货店吗? And similarly, if I want to say "recently I went to my favourite cinema and found it's closed down" ...
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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".
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686 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 ...
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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 ...
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51 views

Can 奉 be attached to verbs I want to use?

When 奉 is used as the sense of "politely", as the words 奉托, 奉告, which are usually used, can I attach 奉 to every verb that influences the other person? For example, what about 奉给 or 奉按摩?
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In Taiwanese, what can the erhwa be replaced with when it means something?

For example, in Chinese, the erhwa changes a verb into a noun : 吃儿 (something to eat), 喝儿 (something to drink). In Taiwanese, except for disyllabic words like 饮食 and 食物, how can I express something ...
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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)...
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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 "...
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142 views

Why must 到 be chosen in the following sentence?

I just took an EasyMandarin test, and one of the questions is: 飞机票买得___吗? The possible candidates to fill in the blank is: 了,去,过,and 到. I picked up 了 but the correct answer was 到. Now, according ...
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147 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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Structure and Interpretation of 走得到吗?

In a dialogue of a certain Chinese text, after being told the location of the nearest post office, a lost international student asks, "走得到吗?” While I've found the meaning online to be something ...
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114 views

Particle to express pride or accomplishment / 自豪感的助词

What is the way to emphasize personal pride or accomplishment in Chinese without sounding arrogant -- is there are a particle for this to put at the end of the sentence? For example: I just had a ...
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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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575 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 ...
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468 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: ...
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101 views

Sentence with demonstrative without explicit subject - de required?

I am unable to understand, whether the sentences below require the particle de? Zhè ge hěn hào chī (literally "this piece of food delicious". I guess there is no "de" in the end, although it is an ...
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264 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 ...
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167 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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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?
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216 views

Looking for a legit place for Classical Chinese grammar rules

Here is an example of my problem. I came across final particle 乎 in a classical text by 孟子. I know from a short description in a unreliable resource that it is similar to 呢, 吗 and 吧。 The thing is, I ...
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57 views

Usage of 我的太太 or 我太太 [duplicate]

When I want to say "my wife" - is it just "我太太" or is it "我的太太"? I've read both and wonder what the difference is, if there is any. Or are both used equally?
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241 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 ...
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200 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 ...