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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
59 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
59 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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3answers
152 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: ...
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5answers
715 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
54 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
55 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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4answers
1k views

爱老虎油 - is it slang?

Seen this phrase written by a Chinese person: 爱老虎油 [ài lǎo​hǔ yóu] What does it mean? Failed to find it in dictionaries. Is it some slang or 白话?
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2answers
84 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
74 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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8answers
284 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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8answers
26k views

Does 危机 really mean both crisis and opportunity?

A lot of people, mostly those who haven't studied Chinese, like to claim something along the lines of "In Chinese, the word for crisis 危机, also bears the meaning of opportunity." This is usually ...
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1answer
36 views

Chinese phrase for 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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2answers
111 views

What is the right translation for “replacement class”?

I wanted to say the sentence "I have a replacement class this Saturday". I translated "replacement class" in Google translate and got 替换课程. But when I typed the full sentence on Google translate it is ...
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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: ...
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2answers
256 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
109 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
129 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).
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1answer
65 views

What is this proverb?

I met someone who told me a proverb which in English read as follows: Wake up late and you lose the morning. Wake up early and you lose the whole day. She repeated it in Mandarin very quickly ...
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2answers
89 views

Chinese honorifics + thanking familiar elders

From here. Honorific Verbs Like nouns and proper nouns, some Chinese verbs can also be complemented with an honorific modifier. For example, the verbs 告gào ("to tell"), 还huán ("to return"),...
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5answers
1k views

Is “我爱辣” (Wǒ ài là) a correct/understandable/idiomatic way of saying I like my food spicy?

When I'm buying food in China, especially in the street but sometimes also in restaurants, people often ask me if it want "là". I know that means "spicy" and I really enjoy spicy food. As there's not ...
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1answer
237 views

Which is better, 其他所有 or 所有其他?

其他所有 or 所有其他,which word order is more natural and ”合乎中文的习惯” ? For example, as in 其他所有内容 or 所有其他内容, 其他所有人 or 所有其他人, etc.
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71 views

Is the phrase “因为爱所以爱” a tautology?

I heard a song named "因为爱所以爱", literally it means "love because of love". Though logically true, is it not a tautology here? Do we really say phrases like the following ones in everyday Chinese? ...
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4answers
145 views

How to use the phrase “尝一尝”?

Recently I encountered the phrase "尝一尝" in a sentence. I need some advice on the way to use it and when to use it. And is 尝一尝 similar to 试一试?
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3answers
451 views

“母牛流产了“ - ”The cow cast her calf"? HSK Anki flash cards

I'm reviewing the HSK1-limited-part1 flash card deck on Anki, and I keep coming accross this one flash card. On the front, it says 母牛流产了 and for the definition, The cow cast her calf What does ...
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4answers
80 views

“That's so like you!” or “That's typical of you” in chinese

I'm having trouble formulating "That's so like you!" or "That's typical of you" in Chinese. I'm trying to write a dialogue where a friend responds to someone who lost their phone, by replying "That's ...
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1answer
181 views

Why is 狗屎运 a commendatory term?

When we use 狗屎 (dog's excrement) to describe a thing, it is definitely negative. Sometimes it can also appear as a bad word. Also, 踩到狗屎 is obviously a bad thing. But, 狗屎运 (good fortune) is used ...
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2answers
176 views

Is this a Chinese symbol? Cufflinks that belonged to my uncle

This pair of cufflinks belonged to my uncle who worked in California. I recently was given the cufflinks and to date have not been able to figure out what they represent. I have included a picture, ...
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2answers
159 views

What does “三魂去了两魂半” mean?

It's used to describe an expression so I guess it's close to being shocked or frightened from the context it's used in but I don't really understand why it means that. So a detailed explanation will ...
3
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2answers
249 views

How to translate “路人缘” or “观众缘” in English

In this context, 缘 = potential relationships, connection 路人 = average Joe, random person, total stranger 观众 = audience, viewer 路人缘 (路人緣)and 观众缘 (觀眾緣) pretty much means the same thing. They are used ...
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3answers
61 views

Is there a Chinese variant of the expression "and the list goes on and on“

Is there a Chinese variant of the expression "and the list goes on and on" or something simillar to it?
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4answers
282 views

Chinese quotes for tattoo

I am looking for Chinese quotes or phrases about love, yuanfen, destiny or something along those terms for a tattoo. It’s really hard to find sayings that are really used.
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4answers
140 views

How to phrase “You know what they say? [quote]” in Chinese?

When giving some kind of saying or folklore knowledge, in English we often say e.g.: You know what they say? Two heads are better than one. I want to say something similar in Chinese: You know ...
3
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2answers
240 views

How many different types of adverbials exist in total?

At first I learned: The most frequent sentence pattern in Chinese is S V O e.g. 你 打 我 Next I learned: There are fixed places within this pattern, where one can put adverbials,namely ...
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1answer
229 views

What is the meaning of 臭石头 (slang)?

I remember that my dad used this occasionally when he was arguing with my mom. Google translate just returns smelly rock, but I know it's gotta be some sort of slang, as whenever my dad said it, my ...
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2answers
65 views

What does 风轻发自然 mean here?

At the beginning of this video, there is an introduction to the story of the singer, Lin Zijun. Here it is: 客家新流行乐创作歌手 2007[天黑黑]获苗栗客家音乐歌唱比赛    第三名 2006[匍背]获台湾创音乐大赛    客语首奖 ...
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3answers
65 views

Is this correct? 用实际行动来(回馈)父母的期待。

Is "用实际行动来(回馈)父母的期待" correct? I think "回馈期待" is unnatural to me. If it is wrong, would "回报" be correct? What other words can be used here? Thank you!
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2answers
66 views

How should I understand “~长~短” phrase in English?

I learned the phrase of "~长~短", and it means "~怎么样,~怎么样", though I feel it is difficult to understand it in English. For example, the following sentences are examples of using "~长~短": 这两个老太太一见面,...
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1answer
140 views

What does this phrase mean? 有你真好。

After exchanging thank you and your welcome for doing something nice that I did for someone I received this phrase 有你真好。on WeChat. Google translate says “nice to have you” What does this mean? How ...
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2answers
86 views

Is '我还需要多加练习' okay as a dance video caption?

I want to upload a video of me learning a dance but I make several mistakes so I want to say something like 'I need more practice' or 'more practice needed'. is 我还需要多加练习 a natural way of saying this ...
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1answer
260 views

Can you say "好久不看“ in written conversation?

大家好, I know the expression "好久不见". In written conversation (chatting to Chinese people I have never met in person but am regularly chatting with), is it possible to use "好久不看" (~"long time no read")? ...
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2answers
274 views

戴绿帽子 as based on a pun?

Having come across the association of green hats with unfaithful spouses a few times, I tried to learn the original of this practice. A few sources (e.g. here) mention that the origin of this phrase ...
2
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2answers
511 views

Asking someone's age

There are several expressions to ask someone's age. That which I am most familiar with is “他几岁?”. However, I am informed that this can only be used for children (I think the problem is the 几, which ...
2
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4answers
117 views

Does A而B且C mean “A and B and C”?

In the following sentence: Rossum创造的Python语言自1991年发布以来已演变为程序员强大而灵活且易于学习的“瑞士军刀” The meaning of 而且 is generally "but also", and used as the compound. But in this case, they are separated and used in ...
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4answers
70 views

Is it ok to say “发达的教育”或者“先进的教育”?

可以说“发达的教育”或者“先进的教育吗? 比如:......的教育是民族兴旺的标记。 What word would be appropriate to use in the above sentence?
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1answer
210 views

Bad word that will curse a family

Background So my friend, who’s Chinese, cried a few weeks ago. Apparently, a boy(let’s call him Bobby) in our class said a ‘bad word that will curse a family and their generation forever’. I asked ...
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3answers
741 views

hao de pengyou vs huai de pengyou

Could somebody please explain what the following statement means, if possible paraphrasing and adding examples? "hao de pengyou" is grammatical when used contrasting hao to huai in "huai de pengyou" ‘...
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2answers
112 views

Correct usage of 「您是指?」

When someone responds to something I've said with「您是指?」is it accurate to assume they're saying: "What do you mean?" - As in they want me to explain/give more info on something I've just mentioned, ...
3
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3answers
1k views

Is 你是哪个人 the correct way to ask where you are from in China?

I saw one of my friends used "你是哪个人" to ask where you are from in China. I thought it is the valid expression to date. However, I just used it to a Chinese people and she didn't understand it. So I ...
6
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7answers
957 views

In this sentence “请问,哪里可以买到票?” is the character 到 necessary?

And can I just say: "哪里买票?"? This is what I used when I was in China and everyone seemed to easily understand. Is this shorter sentence incorrect or non-native sounding? How do native speakers ask ...
2
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3answers
81 views

Alternative expression for 二位小姐

In the text for lesson 20 in New Practical Chinese Reader, 林娜 and her friend 王小云 are waiting for 丁力波 (another student). They plan to take a taxi to somebody else's house, where they have been invited ...