Questions tagged [phrase]

A phrase is a group of words that form a single unit in the syntax of a sentence.

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4answers
78 views

What four directions which are not described by 四处 are described by 八方?

I have a hunch about the difference between 八方 and 四处. 四处 includes north, south, west and east. 八方 includes these four + up, down, forward, backward. Three questions: Is my assumption correct? Do ...
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Is 令人 necessary in 最令人满意. vs 最满意

This came from a native speaker : 在广州生活最令人满意的是这一点. But if I formed the sentence myself, it probably would not include 令人 as in 在广州生活最满意的是这一点. Google translated both are the same. So, would my ...
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71 views

How to translate “engage in healthy behavior”?

The full sentence is .... there are 40 building blocks every child needs to grow and mature. And the more of these Assets a child has in her life, the more likely she is to engage in healthy ...
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3answers
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“Are you up to the challenge? “ phrase

Let’s say I want to ask someone if he is up to the task (swimming in freezing temperature, climb the mountain, etc.) Google Translate gives this 你准备好挑战了吗? Is this correct?
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1answer
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How should I rewrite 我昨天卖了我的电脑给他 using 把 and 了?

The goal is to re-write the sentences using 把. Example 1 那个字,他写错了。 Rewrite: 他把那个字写错了。 Example 2 你的学生证,你没有给我。 Rewrite: 你没有把你的学生证给我。 Question 我昨天卖了我的电脑给他。 Rewrite: ? Should it be 我把我昨天卖了我的电脑给他? It ...
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2answers
95 views

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Which of the following is better to use? Or it depends on the context of the conversation? 美在旁觀者的眼睛 情人眼里出西施 So just to clarify, I am looking for something generic as close to as possible to the ...
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Changing order of a phrase

So I watched a movie. I thought would be fun to see if I could re-order the phrase. Phrase 1 original: 不能说的就不要说. To: 就不要说不能说的. Phrase 2 original: 阻止他说不该说的话. To: 不该说的话阻止他说. Are the two re-order ...
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What does the phrase “要衝一波囉” mean?

(Alternatively: 當然要衝一波囉) It shows up a lot on the web but I can't find the meaning of it anywhere. Thanks!
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How can I say the phrase “go places” in Chinese?

I need a translation for the phrase as a whole not two words separately. I need it in common Chinese if that’s a thing, but I mean the most general simple Chinese there is.
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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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40 views

How to translate properly 还是 and 算了 in this sentence?

唉,以前挖门打洞,清苦死了,还是城市好,干脆留在这儿享福算了. This is a sentence said by a village mouse which came to the city and realised how wonderful the life in the city is. 还是城市好 - how to translate 还是 here? I believe the ...
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Why is 都 placed after a verb in “什么时候还都可以”?

I found this example: 你拿着用吧,什么时候还都可以。 Nǐ ná zheyòng ba, shénme shíhòu huán dōu kěyǐ. You can have it as long as you want. I am confused about the grammar structure behind 什么时候还都可以 (literally: any ...
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1answer
73 views

Can I say 又可爱又恐怖?

可爱 is positive whilst 恐怖 is negative. For 又A又B , do A and B have to be both positive or both negative? Or can one be positive and the other negative? I want to say ''these pictures are kinda cute and ...
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2answers
73 views

Translating the phrase “I can't confirm nor deny etc.”

If someone were to ask something about you, what would be the most common way of saying "I can't confirm nor deny that". I tried looking it up and my conclusion is "不能确认也不能否认". I ...
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2answers
114 views

Do 和 and 跟 have different grammatical functions?

Thinking about the Difference between 与,和 and 跟?, I was wondering if it can be argued that 和 (hé) and 跟 (gēn) have different grammatical functions. I understand 和 corresponds in English to the ...
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373 views

What is the subject of 其他的都很满意?

I found the following translated example: 除了没有电梯,其他的都很满意。 Chúle méiyǒu diàntī, qítā de dōu hěn mǎnyì. I am satisfied with everything except for there is no elevator. I have a question about the ...
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1answer
221 views

Use 我对你想说 or 我想说对你 to say: I want to talk/speak to you?

It seems like when there is the word 对 in the sentence, you need to move noun/verb to the end of the sentence, but I am not sure. So here is my question. I want to say I want to talk/speak to you. Is ...
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5answers
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The meaning of 打卡

The primary meaning of 打卡 is to swipe a card, clock in, punch a card, etc. But I see it used in another context which I can't quite put my finger on and when I ask Chinese people about it they don't ...
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5answers
359 views

见马克思 (“to meet Marx”): is it used today?

I am writing a paper about machine translation and I am looking for a phrase in Chinese that is ambiguous and cannot possibly be translated correctly without knowing the correct context. I found this ...
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11answers
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What is the purpose of 是 in “我应该是感冒了”?

I came across the following translated example: 我应该是感冒了,耳朵也有点儿疼,不过没发烧。 Wǒ yīnɡɡāi shì ɡǎnmào le,ěrduo yě yǒudiǎnr ténɡ,búɡuò méi fāshāo 。 I think I caught a cold, and my ears are a little painful, ...
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6answers
2k views

How to understand “你怎么了?”

I understand 怎么 generally means "how". However, I came across the following translated example: 你怎么了? 说话声音这么小! Nǐ zěnme le ? Shuōhuà shēnɡyīn zhème xiǎo! What happened to you? You are ...
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10answers
2k views

What is the meaning of [你说什么是什么]?

A Chinese friend sent me this sentence with a smiley emoji. I feel like it means ''Whatever you say.'' or ''Sure'', sort of agreeing with someone in jest. But I could be completely wrong. What does it ...
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5answers
247 views

Where to put 从头到尾 in a sentence?

我从头到尾把他的电影看了一遍。 我把他的电影从头到尾看了一遍。 Which of the two sentences above is more idiomatic?
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2answers
392 views

What is 要 doing in 每天她要慢跑?

In an exercise, I came across this sentence with the translation: 每天早上她都要慢跑一个小时。 Měi tiān zǎoshɑnɡ tā dōu yào màn pǎo yí ɡè xiǎoshí. She goes to jog every morning for an hour. What is the meaning of ...
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7answers
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Can I use 我的上一辈子 when talking about an earlier part of my life which I almost don't recognize as mine anymore?

Context: I posted a photo on WeChat of an event that happened a long long time ago to me. I was living a completely different life back then. Different country, job, I was much younger etc. It's ...
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3answers
120 views

Why is 很早 after the verb in 我起床很早?

I came across the following sentence: 今天我起床很早。 Jīntiān wǒ qǐchuáng hěn zǎo. Today I wake up very early. I am confused about 很早 appearing after the verb. I think here 很早 (very early) indicates the ...
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3answers
573 views

Can an adverb modify another adverb in Chinese?

I was wondering if an adverb in Chinese can be used to modify another adverb. I looked some resources but I could not find it. For example, in Adverb in resources.allsetlearning, they just say "...
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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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3answers
120 views

Passive object position in 是…的 structure?

I came across the following sentences: 电话是谁打来的? Diànhuà shì shuí dǎlái de? Who was calling? 晚饭是妈妈做的。 Wǎnfàn shì māma zuò de. Mom made dinner. Which literally is something like: The phone call was ...
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1answer
111 views

How do I pronounce 用勿着 in Shanghainese?

There isn't a pronunciation for it on Wiktionary, and I don't know whether it is a fossilised or an analysable phrase, so therefore I don't know whether or not right-prominent tone sandhi applies. My ...
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4answers
250 views

“That was too Easy.” phrase

Very simple, the phrase is a sort of mocking one that you would say to someone else, implying that it was no challenge to you at all. Example, a friend challenges you to a game of chess and you win ...
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2answers
106 views

Is it possible to know what 都 means in “Subj + 都 + Predicate + 了”?

In my lessons, I came across two different meanings for the adverb 都 dōu: "Already" with the structure: Subj. + 都 + Predicate + 了, where 了 stands for completion of the predicate (see ...
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3answers
233 views

Which is correct: 已经毕业了两年大学 or 已经大学毕业了两年?

I know 大学毕业 is a verb phrase that means "graduate from university". I have 2 questions. (1) In expressing the duration of completed action, which is correct: 他已经毕业了两年大学 or 他已经大学毕业了两年? (2) If I ...
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2answers
131 views

How do you say weekend in Chinese using the 星期 form?

I know that weekend in Chinese is generally translated as 周末. Is there a way to say weekend by adding something to 星期 like 星期末? Or the only phrase for weekend is 周末?
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3answers
142 views

Why is 人口 in this sentence 多, not 大?

中国是世界上人口最多的国家. Why is 人口 in this sentence 多, not 大? In English way of thinking (or my English way of thinking), a population is something that can be "huge" rather than "much"/ "many". Is Chinese way ...
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2answers
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Can separable verbs be with 得?

I have two question involving 得. Please help me out. I wonder if separable verbs (verb + object) can be with 得 without repeating the first verb. For example, 她吃饭吃得很多。or 她饭吃得很多。 Because 吃饭 is a ...
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Is the 个 required here?

A: 我老师是个中国人 B: 我老师是中国人 I feel that A says ''My teacher is a Chinese person.'', and that B says ''My teacher is Chinese.'' But I feel that A carries an impolite nuance for some reason. Am I ...
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2answers
154 views

How do you ask “Who is your dad” in Chinese? [duplicate]

I am learning Chinese on Duolingo and recently saw a translation of "Who is your dad?" as 谁是你的爸爸. When I used Google translate I got a similar answer. I have learnt (in the basics) that we put the ...
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6answers
233 views

Is「天佑美國」the correct translation for “God Bless America”?

Look at this mural from Chinatown, San Francisco: Attribution: American flag in Chinatown San Francisco by Pedro Lozano. License: CC BY 2.0 It says「天佑美國」, but is that correct? Shouldn't it be「天祐美國」...
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1answer
46 views

what are 词 whose whole word meaning is different from meaning of its components called?

I'm thinking of 词 such as 天真 = naive, but 天 = sky, 真 = real 马上 = immediately, but 马 = horse, 上=up also, if you could please provide any resource or insight on why these 词 are the way that ...
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1answer
35 views

How to say “can't distinguish”?

About a year and a half ago, I remember learning a Mandarin phrase for "can't distinguish between", but I don't remember what it was and I no longer have my textbook. In my mind, I'm getting it mixed ...
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5answers
223 views

What's the structure of this word / sentence? 搬进、走出、跑回

What's the structure of these words? 搬进、走出、跑回...... I think both 搬 and 进 can be verbs but when used together, it means 'move in'. What's the relationship between the two characters in phrases like ...
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1answer
97 views

What is the origin of 火黑暗?

What is the origin of 火黑暗? According to wikipedia it comes from the Zangshu, "Book of Burial", but no where in that book (or anywhere else) can I find this supposed phrase: "Qi vapors in the fire, ...
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4answers
81 views

Happen to (in questions)

I'm aware that you can use 正好 or 碰巧 to express low probability in statements, equivalent to English "happen to" . 我正好是有你要的那种啤酒。 我发现他碰巧就是我的一个远亲。 How can you use this same idea in a question? "Do ...
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4answers
98 views

Is there an idiom that means to make big claims but have little evidence to support them?

Is there an idiom that means to make big claims but have little evidence to support them?
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3answers
99 views

Does 慢一点 mean “be careful” even in a general context?

I've been told by a native speaker that 慢一点 is functionally the same as 小心一点, which in english is essentially "be careful". Can someone else confirm? I find it a little odd and would consider this a ...
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5answers
743 views

Why do 可不 and 可不是 by themselves imply agreement?

It seems a little strange that 可不 and 可不是 (by themselves) imply agreement (something like 就是). The textbook 标准教程HSK4上 has some examples, e.g.: A: 没想到咱们毕业都已经十年了。 B: 可不是!时间过得太快了,真想大家。 I'm ...
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87 views

Is 跟他交朋友 ambiguous: can it mean both “become friends with him” and “with him, make [other] friends”?

We have the phrase 跟他交朋友 Make friends with him However, I'm wondering if it's ambiguous: You go from a state of non-friendship with him, to a state of friendship. A: 你想成为我的朋友吗? B: 好的! You ...
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2answers
109 views

Is it essential to highlight the use of a metaphor with 像…那样 or something to this effect?

In the 标准教程HSK4上 book, chapter 6, 课文1, I felt 张远 was being annoying by asking a lot of questions about why 李进 didn't answer his phone. So I wrote: 如果别人不想接电话,不用审问TA。 My teacher was surprised by my ...
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2answers
158 views

how to translate this slogan '向前一小步,文明一大步' and the like in almost every public toilet in China

the other one is '靠近方便, 贴近文明', both of which have different versions of English translations, most of them, though, suck. they go like: One small step forward One giant leap toward civilization A ...