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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22
votes
5answers
41k views

What is the exact meaning of 吃豆腐, and where does the expression come from?

I'm not talking about eating tofu, but the expression that means something more like taking advantage of someone. What exactly does 吃豆腐 mean, and where does this expression come from?
4
votes
6answers
573 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
5k views

What's the difference between 对不起, 对不住 and 不好意思

When I was in China, I heard people using 不好意思 to apologize casually. I also heard the expression 对不住 in TV series and movies. Is there any differences?
8
votes
4answers
482 views

Does Chinese have a phrase equivalent to “For all I know”?

There is an expression in English: "For all I know, ...." The following clause often has a modal expressing uncertainty or the hypothetical nature of the assertion, like "might", ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

犬子: who's the dog?

犬子 (literally, dog + son) is an archaic, self-depreciatory term to refer to your son (occasionally it's used to insult other people's sons). This answer raises a question though; who is the dog ...
3
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
409 views

我昨天去的图书馆: “The library I went to yesterday” or “I went to the library yesterday”?

Not long ago (a week at most), I bumped into this post by Qiong Woo on Quora. There, she says the two sentences 我昨天去图书馆的 and 我昨天去的图书馆 both mean "I went to the library yesterday", and, from the way she ...
2
votes
3answers
128 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
186 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).
1
vote
2answers
73 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 ...