Questions tagged [semantics]

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3 answers
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why is "象" meaning representation, form, shape etc.?

character early writings is derived from the elephant by I can't find an explanation to why it became also use for this other meaning.
Nora Tjevcoviv's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
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Does omitting pronouns change the relationship between sentences?

Compare the following sentences: 妈妈昨天喝茶,今天喝咖啡。 妈妈不喝茶,她喝咖啡。 Sentence (1) seems quite straightforward: the pronoun is omitted because it is clear who is being talked about and there is no need to ...
Buddy L's user avatar
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3 answers
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Is there a difference in word stress between 会 as a time marker and 会 as an auxiliary verb meaning "to know how to"?

”他会看书“ could have two meanings: 1. "He knows how to read", and 2. "He will read". Context in most situations would make it clear which is meant, though I've noticed that there is ...
Buddy L's user avatar
  • 892
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4 answers
209 views

Why does 是 not go with 会 when talking about the future?

The premise of my question is wrong, and was based on spending too many hours trying to explain the ins and outs of Chinese verb structure to a colleague. I'll leave the question here anyway, though, ...
Buddy L's user avatar
  • 892
6 votes
3 answers
289 views

What is the history of 要?Did it first mean "to want" and then get extended to mean "to be gong to"? Or was it the other way around?

要 can mean both "to be going to" and "to want". So the sentence: 我要看电视 would probably mean "I want to watch TV", but "(明天)我要上学“ would probably mean "I am going ...
Buddy L's user avatar
  • 892
4 votes
3 answers
286 views

”我只会说汉语“ — Would this come off more as “I can only speak Mandarin” or “I will only speak Mandarin”?

It seems as if it would literally mean both (regardless of what is assumed). If so, how would one normally distinguish, in Chinese, both English sentences when translated?
Octopodes's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
166 views

What does 肯 mean, in the word 肯定?

肯: Archaic: bone on marrow ----> 中肯=essence Agree, consent Be willing to, be ready to Often, tending to Which of these meanings gives us the word 肯定?
Buddy L's user avatar
  • 892
2 votes
1 answer
155 views

What is the semantic extension of 成?

How can we correctly think of the history of 成? It is used as a result-complement as well as a meaningful bound form (成人,成长,成功,etc.). Which usage is original and gave rise to the other?
Buddy L's user avatar
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