Questions tagged [preposition]

For questions about Chinese prepositions, some times also called coverbs, e.g. 在,往,对, etc.

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preposition structure

Are the following sentences correct? a请你给她带来书。 b请你带来书给她 c请你把书给她带来 These are some examples that I've found in which the preposition 给's structure seems to change,if all of them are correct which one is ...
0 votes
1 answer
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The use of 就 in a sentence from a drama

For listening immersion purposes, I supplement the other elements of my Mandarin study with an episode of a C-drama each day. In the first moments of the first episode of the series "Begin Again&...
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2 answers
56 views

Can something be inserted between "你能借我橡皮" and "用一下吗?"?

你能借我橡皮用一下吗? 你(you)能(able)借(lend)我(me)橡皮(an eraser)用(which is to be used)一下(for a moment)吗(ok)? I have 2 translations against the original sentence. Can you lend me an eraser for a moment? (free ...
3 votes
1 answer
79 views

How to do the naming "of" construct in Chinese?

In English (or Spanish), you use "of" (and other prepositions), for doing complex names, such as people or place names in some cases: The seat of the great rock of the north. The man of the ...
0 votes
1 answer
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How to say "cross across the crossy cross" in Chinese, or other "preposition-dense" phrases?

Chinese uses Coverbs for a lot of prepositions, and has compound/serial verbs, which is different coming from English. So I have phrases like this in English, how would you translate them to Chinese? ...
4 votes
5 answers
441 views

Phrase structure for "餐厅是在周边一个靠海的小城市。"

餐厅是在周边一个靠海的小城市。 (1) I don't know what to make of the presence of 是 in the above sentence, which is obviously not saying that the restaurant is a small town in the periphery. (2) I don't understand the ...
1 vote
1 answer
101 views

Word order and such for saying complex phrases without verbs in Chinese?

I am starting to understand how to say basic noun phrases and such in Chinese, and have seen this article on Chinese word order, showing word order with verb being something like: But how do you ...
3 votes
3 answers
930 views

How would I say "I'm going to be living here for a year"?

Would 我要住这儿一年 be the most acceptable translation?
2 votes
3 answers
75 views

Is it grammatically correct to omit 在 in prepositional phrases

In the sentence below, it seems like 在 has been omitted. 我们留学生楼两个人住一间。 (Two students live in a dormitory in our international student building.) I guess the original sentence was: 在我们留学生楼两个人住一间。 Is it ...
1 vote
3 answers
95 views

Structure for the phrase 尾班車開出前5分鐘

In this phrase: 尾班車開出前5分鐘, is meant to signify “5 minutes before the departure of the last train”. I find the structure a bit strange for me. In my mind, I would have thought of something like: ...
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2 answers
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Are the words 心里, 街上, and 夜里 nouns or prepositional phrases?

Are the words 心里, 街上, and 夜里 nouns or prepositional phrases[1][2]? - I can not tell if 心里 means 'heart', or 'in my heart'. It is possible to have 心里 or 心 in front of a verb, giving the impression that ...
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2 answers
128 views

Is it grammatically incorrect to use 问 with the prepositions 向 or 对?

The grammar surrounding 问 seems to be a gap in my knowledge. Using "two objects" seems okay: 我问了他一个问题。 他问那女孩:“你结婚了吗?” But judging from a lack of examples online, using the prepositions 向 ...
2 votes
2 answers
363 views

How to more carefully explain how coverbs work in Chinese?

I learned that Chinese uses coverbs instead of prepositions. But it's not 100% clear to me what the difference is between coverbs and prepositions, as the Wiki page and several sites are hand-wavy, ...
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3 answers
271 views

As 閣下 = at the foot of the pavilion, why not 閣上 for Your Excellency?

ZDIC defines as "楼阁之下"。 Wiktionary (archaic) at the foot of a tower or pavilion. Usage notes Originally a term of respect toward members of the nobility; became a more generic term of ...
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5 answers
438 views

What is the difference between 于 and 以 to express "a certain time" or "a fixed date"?

I learned that 以 can also function to mean "a certain time" or "a fixed date", for example: 我以三月一日返。 However, I also know that 于 can work in the same purpose, for example: 生于上海 ...
4 votes
2 answers
645 views

I do not really understand the word order in these four examples

这个故事发生在上个世纪末. I wonder if 发生 could be placed after 在上个世纪末. Shouldn't time be placed before a verb? 电梯已经可以正常使用了 正常 is an adjective, and adjectives describe nouns? Can't 使用 work as a noun? ...
1 vote
2 answers
60 views

Can 之间 be equivalent to 之内 in some contexts?

I am struggling with a sentence that I am trying to translate: 很多的发展过去是在一个行业之间的,我们觉得互联网金融的时代更多机会是在跨业的。 How would you translate the opposition between 一个行业之间 and 在跨业 in this context? It would seem ...
17 votes
6 answers
767 views

Why isn't 到 (dào) used in 某天我去北京?

Earlier while chatting, I wrote a sentence and a native speaker told me it was correct. The sentence was: 某天我去北京。= Someday I'll go to Beijing. (mǒu tiān wǒ qù Běi jīng) I noticed that no ...
4 votes
6 answers
176 views

上的: What is it function in 中国历史学上的夏、商、周属于考古学上的青铜时代?

In the following sentence, what does 上的 mean? 中国历史学上的夏、商、周属于考古学上的青铜时代。 I translated it as "Archaeologists know the Xia, Shang and Zhou collectively as the Bronze Age." I think I have the gist of ...
4 votes
3 answers
208 views

A city is located east/north/west/south of a country; what is the correct Chinese grammar for that?

For example: I want to say that Freiburg (in Germany) is located east of France. My sentence was this: 弗莱堡在法国的东边。 This is also how we did it in class. But I'm starting to worry this sounds like it's ...
0 votes
1 answer
65 views

"以" in "敗義以求生, 豈荀巨伯所行邪"

Does "以" have the same meaning in the following sentences? 敗義以求生, 豈荀巨伯所行邪 志士仁人 無求生以害仁
11 votes
13 answers
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碗掉地下,Why not 地上?

Pleco has the example: 碗掉地下就碎了。 Why not 地上? I have been corrected many times for similar sentences, with the explanation that 地下 means „subterranean“?
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1 answer
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What does 的 mean in 表示对某人某事的亲近和关心?

In the following sentence which explains the usage of ~长~短 phrase: 中间嵌入两个相同的名词,表示对某人某事的亲近和关心。 I don't understand what the 的 here means. Does it refer to "of ~" but what should be after 的 is ...
0 votes
3 answers
395 views

How does 在 function in 男女结合在一起?

In 男女结合在一起, how does the 在 work grammatically? I'm sure it does not mean "~ing", which should be before the 结婚 (and the meaning gets awkward then). The sentence should mean: A man and woman got ...
2 votes
1 answer
65 views

The grammatical construction of 比较有名的开始

In the following sentence (from http://www.xineurope.com/thread-1371549-1-1.html): 最近正在找语言学校,发现好多人也在找,正好把信息整理出来,欢迎补充 比较有名的开始 In the last sentence, the meaning is clear from the context, which ...
4 votes
1 answer
310 views

Help translate these two sentences with 也未必 and 更何况

有时就连你的父亲也未必信得过,更何况是陌生人。 有时连陌生人你也可以相信,更何况是你的父亲。 The challenging parts for me are 也未必 and 连…更何况.
10 votes
7 answers
1k views

Is it correct to say “在手机”?

Would it be correct to use the phrase "在手机”/“在手机上” etc. to express that I am doing something on my phone? For example, could I say 我听音乐在我的手机上。 Or can 在 only be used for my actual physical location?...
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

In what contexts would I use 由?

I know that 由 means through/via or from but I'm not sure exactly what contexts to use this in. For example the dictionary has this example sentence: 运输问题由他们解决。 I understand this but I would have ...
4 votes
3 answers
245 views

美国意大利黑帮 - Expressing location without 在?

Yesterday in class I was correcting the mistakes in my translation together with my teacher. He gave us an article about the mafia in America and the Lufthansa heist at John F. Kennedy International ...
9 votes
4 answers
934 views

What is the purpose of the 中 in 在新标签页中打开?

So, I recently started using my android phone in simplified Chinese mode, to help myself internalize Chinese characters. In my browser window, when I press down on a URL, the "在新标签页中打开" button allows ...
4 votes
3 answers
3k views

When to use 住在 and when to use just 住?

I have encountered the following sentences: 以前人们住这样的房子 现在人们住这样的房子 Why do these sentences NOT use 住在? I have learned that 住 takes 在 in order to take the location noun after that. Or maybe is it a ...
18 votes
2 answers
4k views

What is the difference between 总是 and 一直?

I've always (no pun intended) wondered what the difference is between the two words. I thought they both meant always, but I've never quite grasped in what context they should be used. Could anyone ...
4 votes
2 answers
367 views

How can I negate time and when to place 在 before time?

I know we can negate place, manner, etc. by just placing a 不 before the verbs (prepositions) that introduce the clauses. 我不在中国工作。 他不坐车去工作。 But how can I negate time, since it doesn't have a verb/...
1 vote
1 answer
4k views

Take a picture of me/for me (which preposition better translates)?

As an experienced tourist in China, I know the sentence:你能不能给我(们)相的照吗? Although it gives the desired result-- someone taking a picture of me, for me, with my own camera-- I am not sure of the exact ...
2 votes
1 answer
143 views

Can 去 be used as a 介词(Preposition)?

I don't think 去 in the example below is necessary since 走 already implies, "go", unless the 去 in used as a 介词(preposition). 去故宫(我)怎么走? How should I go to 故宫? I also do not think that that sentence ...
1 vote
1 answer
137 views

What is the order of different prepositional phrases?

Chinese Syntax is: S V O there are different prepositional phrases, for instance: p.p. that express a place, time, objective, mean ... How do i know the proper order of the different prepositional ...
3 votes
2 answers
917 views

Differences Between Classes of *过 Verbs ( 通过, 经过, 透过, 穿过, etc. )

Original Question Although 通过 is the goto expression for passage through or across a space in informal, spoken Mandarin, there are specific alternatives used in more formal, spoken Mandarin as well ...
4 votes
2 answers
281 views

The tricky prepositions. . . "in my garden"

I think prepositions are tricky in every language. The other day I was trying to figure out how to write correctly : In my garden there are many fruit-trees. The first sentence I thought of was: ...
11 votes
7 answers
6k views

Two terms for "According to" - What are the differences between 根据 and 按照?

根据 and 按照 can both function as a preposition that can be translated as according to. I imagine that the translation does not capture the individual character of each term. What nuances do the two ...
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

How to say things are different from one another

Lately I have been confused on how to say different in Mandarin. I learned 不同 and 不一样 but am not confident on their usage. I am also unsure of the grammar. I found 与众不同 but this seems to also have the ...
10 votes
5 answers
1k views

When can 把 be used?

I know it switches the order of the verb and object and can be used to place emphasis on the object. 我把东西放在椅子上 And 把 should be used to indicate some kind of change is happening to the object. In ...
23 votes
5 answers
1k views

How to differentiate between "On Top" and "Above"

If I wanted to translate the prepositional phrase "on the bed" to Chinese, I know to say "床上", but I don't know what the translation would be for saying "above/over the bed". From what I can gather, ...