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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3answers
155 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
117 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
121 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
54 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
84 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
96 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
182 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
33 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
197 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
78 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
76 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
78 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
79 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
728 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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65 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
70 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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118 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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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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3answers
159 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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8answers
306 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
119 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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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
973 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
122 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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153 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
66 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
119 views

Is there a way to say “I respectfully thank you” to 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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1answer
256 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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85 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
295 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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4answers
118 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
284 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
182 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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174 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 ...
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2answers
312 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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65 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
191 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 ...
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378 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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68 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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71 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
82 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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2answers
302 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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1answer
187 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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1answer
436 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
322 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 ...
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2answers
720 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 ...
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4answers
76 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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4answers
122 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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1answer
323 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 ...