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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2answers
51 views

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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5answers
973 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 ...
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2answers
37 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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2answers
57 views

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
72 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 ...
3
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2answers
65 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
104 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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3answers
369 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
198 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
954 views

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
337 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
2k views

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
243 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
390 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
1k views

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
112 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
564 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
555 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
92 views

Passive object position in 是…的 structure?

I came across the following sentences: 1. 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 ...
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1answer
110 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
235 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
104 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
202 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
126 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
136 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
61 views

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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3answers
88 views

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
127 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
212 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
211 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
96 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
77 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
83 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
98 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
733 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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3answers
78 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
86 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
130 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 ...
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3answers
75 views

Asking where something is

I have heard people use 不好意思,请问厕所在哪里?for 'excuse me, where is the toilet?', and also 对不起 for 不好意思, although I think 不好意思 sounds more natural. My question is (and notice the pun): what is the role of ...
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3answers
160 views

“管你是[surname] + [name]还是[same surname] + [different name]”

There's a set phrase that goes something like: (我)管你张三还是李四 I've seen variations on it like: 我管你张静还是李静呢 I'm trying to remember one where the surname stays the same though, something like: ...
3
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8answers
316 views

Meaning of repeated “什么”

I'm genuinely confused about this. Does repeated "什么" have special meaning? Or are they just wordplay? I've read something like this "那什么什么" but I can't comprehend it at all. I tried looking for ...
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1answer
223 views

Chinese phrase for a physician's “residency program”?

I am looking for a phrase in Chinese which means the residency program that physicians go through after graduation from medical school. See here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Residency_(medicine)
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5answers
1k views

What does 算不上 mean in 算不上太美好的日子?

This is from the book 我是马拉拉 (the Chinese version of I am Malala). I transcribe it to: 2012年10月9日,星期二那天发生的事情,改变了一切。那天原本要大考,对学生们来说算不上太美好的日子。但和大多数同学不一样,我号称“小书虫”,感觉考试并不是什么大事。 I translate this to: ...
3
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2answers
979 views

Is `方法是通过xxx` a correct sentence? i.e. 中文中,介宾结构能作为名词(宾语)使用吗

The phrase often appears in english-chinese translation. For example: If you want to become a better photographer, the only way is through repetition. 如果您想成为一名较好的摄影师,惟一的方法是通过反复练习。 The ...
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4answers
130 views

Is 想必一定 a wrong usage?

There are many example sentences (763,000). Such as 你这么成熟懂事,想必一定没人疼你. Intuitively I think it's fluent. But think carefully, 想必 means "presumably, most probably," is this wrong?
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2answers
163 views

Is “空时间” a valid phrase in chinese? If not, why not?

For example, "你有没有空时间呢"? In my intuition, 空时间 is most likely a physics terminology (though it isn't).