Questions tagged [sentence-structure]

Questions concerning the types of words and phrases which are grouped and ordered meaningfully to express a statement, question, or another type of sentence

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22
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the difference in use between 以及, 和 and 与?

I have a book with the following lesson titles: 中文以及中国 聚会和饮食 交通与环境 Why are these terms connected with 以及 / 和 / 与, why not always use 和 for example? Are there any rules for proper use of these ...
14
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4answers
6k views

Why use 的 at the end of a sentence such as 我一定會去看他的?

I'm looking for confirmation of the way I'm parsing a sentence with 的 at the end, and I'd appreciate some background or other examples of this usage. I found this sentence on tatoeba.org: 我一定會去看他的。 I'...
13
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6answers
2k views

What is the difference in use between 完 and 了?

If I understood correctly, both 完 and 了 can be used to indicate a completed action, so what is the difference in use? How do we properly use 完 in a sentence? Which contexts would be valid?
10
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2answers
452 views

Is 再过[时间] the most common way of expressing “in [amount of time], something will happen”?

I ask after encountering the following sentence in Tatoeba: 再过两、三个月,你就能说得一口流利的英语了。
10
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3answers
2k views

Is there a significant difference in meaning between “欢迎你到中国来” and “欢迎你来到中国”?

I've asked quite a lot of native speakers about this and the general consensus seems to be that there is no significant difference in meaning between "欢迎你到中国来" and "欢迎你来到中国" (and similar sentences), ...
10
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2answers
336 views

Why is it possible to replace 都 with 也 in 什么都没有?

I know 也 only as "also", but I see it now and then used in ways difficult to understand, especially in some negative statements. Why is this so? Does 也 also have some meaning not mentioned in ...
9
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3answers
1k views

What is the meaning of the sentence 字了一?

I ve found this sentence between two other sentences in an article about the scholar wang li: 中国语言学家、诗人。字了一。广西壮族自治区博白县人 I understand both sentences before and after 字了一, but i am clueless what this ...
9
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3answers
371 views

我也住在這裡 or 我也住這裡

I'm quite confused with using 在 in a sentence. I learned that it usually indicates a place or a location. I'm trying to say "I also live here". I thought that since I'm referring to a place, maybe I ...
9
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3answers
2k views

When should 了 be after the verb and when should it be at the end of the sentence?

In a sentence such as "因为我去面试了,所以我刮了胡子", in one case, 了 is after the sentence, while in the other case it's after the verb, even though in both cases, 了 is used to express the past tense. So how to ...
8
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4answers
750 views

What is 人 doing in 你现在人在哪里?

I got this sentence in my "daily exercise" newsletter, and I really don't understand what's 人 doing there? Doesn't it mean the same when 人 is removed? Could this simply be a typo?
8
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5answers
489 views

What is 和 used for in 和西方人过圣诞节差不多,这是一个全家团聚的节日?

I know how to use 和 to link one or more nouns or noun phrases, but in this sentence I don't understand what purpose does it serve at the beginning of the sentence? 和西方人过圣诞节差不多,这是一个全家团聚的节日。 (This ...
8
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2answers
567 views

Why can't 去 or 回来 be used with 在 or 正在 to become progressive

So first off, I feel I should specify I am a beginner at Chinese. In my Chinese class, we were asked to write down a progressive question, using the 在...(呢) format. My question was, 你们没在去吗? which I ...
8
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4answers
762 views

What is an idiomatic way to say “This is not good” in Mandarin?

The title mostly covers the question, but some elaboration might help. In English, there is a common construction of ideas whereby the speaker makes a statement about an action or event, and follows ...
8
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2answers
158 views

Function of 开了 in 我开车开了半天了

I am currently studying Basic Mandarin Chinese by Cornelius C. Kubler and encountered the following sentence in Unit 8 Part 4: 我开车开了半天了,我们换个人开,行不行? Without 开了 the first part of sentence makes ...
8
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2answers
508 views

Is there a difference in connotation between questions ending in 吗 vs. X 不 X

Is there any difference in connotation/region/modernity/etc. between questions ending in 吗 and affirmative/negative questions? For example, does: 你很累吗? connote something different than: 你累不累? And ...
7
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11answers
2k views

What's wrong with this sentence 我终于快到中国了

It is from my correct-the-sentence exercise. 我终于快到中国了。 I asked a Chinese, he said that this sentence is understandable. In my opinion, "终于" seems redundant. If not, the original sentence ...
7
votes
5answers
716 views

What is the structure of 我吃饭的时候看了一本书?

The sentence 我吃饭的时候看了一本书。 apparently has two verbs (吃 and 看), but I can’t see how the two actions are correlated. Could anyone explain that?
7
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3answers
700 views

Why is 得 in 多得做不完?

My understanding of 的-地-得 is the same as what's here: 的-地-得, when do you use which? -- which is summarised as: “地” usually appears before the verb while “得” appears after the verb. However, I found a ...
7
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3answers
245 views

Is the use of a conjunction between the second-last and last word in a list (A、B和C) a natural Chinese construction?

Is the use of a conjunction between the second-last and last word in a list a natural Chinese construction? Sometimes the construction feels like an Anglicism: I do not hear it in daily speech that ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

How to indicate plurality/singularity

I'm aware that basic Chinese grammar tends to lack distinction between the plural and singular forms of many nouns. For example, 我的朋友是中国人 could either mean "my friend is Chinese" (singular) or "my ...
6
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3answers
5k views

How to say: “I have been studying Chinese for 4 years.”

How can I most accurately say the simple sentence: I have been studying Chinese for 4 years. This is a very simple phrase, and I am surprised at myself for not being confident in which one of the ...
6
votes
4answers
282 views

What is the subject in 有时间到我家去

There is this sentence in a dialog from my beginner text book: 好,我走了,有时间到我家去。再见! I understand the translation: Well, I'm going, if you have time, come to my home. Goodbye. However, though I ...
6
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3answers
418 views

How to explain the structure of “将在外,军令有所不受。”

In my own opinion, this sentence should be "将在外,军令不受". I can hardly imagine any use of "有" and "所" here. Could someone explain the structure of this sentence?
6
votes
1answer
140 views

What is the role of 在 in 您要在关闭文件前保存吗?

I was using a text editor in Chinese, when I tried to exit without saving the currently opened file it showed me this sentence: 您要在关闭文件前保存吗? What is the role of 在 here? Is it related to the usage ...
5
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8answers
2k views

Is the sentence 昨天把我吃得站不起来了 correct?

I came across this example use of 把 in the sentence structure "把 + Object + Verb + 得 complement": 昨天把我吃得站不起来了 I've gotten some feedback that this sentence is not correct. It's used as an example ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Which do I use: 喜欢不喜欢 or 喜不喜欢?

I know that 喜不喜欢 and 喜欢不喜欢 have the same meaning, but in a sentence, which would look more appealing or make more sense in the sentence? In other words, which one is grammatically correct?
5
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3answers
437 views

Errors and Unnatural Language in a Translation Challenge

I was recently challenged to translate the following sentence from English into Chinese: You should stay away from that bar. A friend of mine went there before, and he ended up in the hospital after ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Sentence structure “I'm [doing something] because [reason]”?

I am familiar with the sentence structure "因为。。。所以。。。," but what is the correct way to say "I am [doing something] because [reason]"? For example, "I am asking this question because I am clueless." ...
5
votes
2answers
858 views

连。。。。都 structure

I've been studying Chinese for about 9 months now and I am a little confused as to how to rewrite this sentence using the 连。。。。都 structure. I've included what I've done but it just does not seem right....
5
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3answers
371 views

What is the subject of 其他的都很满意?

I found the following translated example: 除了没有电梯,其他的都很满意。 Chúle méiyǒu diàntī, qítā de dōu hěn mǎnyì. I am satisfied with everything except for there is no elevator. I have a question about the ...
5
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2answers
917 views

How would you say: “This is my family photo taken two years ago of my younger brother's 10th birthday party.”

I want to say This is a family photo taken two years ago of my younger brother's 10th birthday party. I think I can break it up in separate sentences, e.g. 这是我全家的合影,是两年前拍了。我弟弟的十岁生日的时候。 But is there ...
5
votes
3answers
152 views

What does the second "幅” mean in the following sentence?

...真是一幅"幅"美丽的山水画... VS ...真是一幅美丽的山水画... I am having some problems figuring out why there is a second ”幅” in the sentence and what it means? If I took out the second "幅” what would the meaning then be ...
5
votes
1answer
211 views

A more direct translation for “I [verb] [x] more than [y]”

I don't know how to directly translate a sentence like this: I [verb] [x] more than [y] I would usually translate it like this: [x] 比 [y] 更 [some adjective that captures the same meaning as the ...
5
votes
2answers
237 views

How to write and structure a modern professional follow-up email like a native Chinese speaker?

I'm interested in how the modern professional email structures differ between Chinese and English. I'd like to create a go-to template/structure that can convert what native English speakers ...
5
votes
2answers
504 views

How do Chinese people say it when they are proud of someone?

This is not a question about the literal translation of the sentence: "I'm proud that you are my dad." The question itself is more like: what do Chinese people say when they want to express their ...
4
votes
7answers
889 views

Should Chinese text be grid aligned in game dialogs?

Title says it all, should I have my text using a variable width font, or fixed width. I didn't know if it is easier to read if its aligned on a grid? So here is my dialog with fixed width, one issue ...
4
votes
6answers
566 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
567 views

Can an adverb modify another adverb in Chinese?

I was wondering if an adverb in Chinese can be used to modify another adverb. I looked some resources but I could not find it. For example, in Adverb in resources.allsetlearning, they just say "...
4
votes
3answers
289 views

What is 被 doing in sentence “这种病在三十年前就被根除了”?

I understand that the sentence means something like "This disease was eradicated 30 years ago", but I have no idea what role does 被 have in it? Is the sentence okay if we remove it? Does it convey ...
4
votes
4answers
218 views

Is “商店里也没有一个面包” wrong?

大家好, I have two sentences. 商店里也没有一个面包。 商店里一个面包也没有。 My friend says that both are right, but their meaning may be different. In writing, only the second sentence is used. Please explain to me why is ...
4
votes
5answers
187 views

How to form a relative clause with a 是 in it?

I want to be able to translate sentences with complicated relative clauses specifying that two things are the same in a particular context. For example, "I take classes where the tests are ...
4
votes
8answers
677 views

Why is 我找不到 correct and 我不能找 wrong? Which grammatical point am I missing?

I was recently corrected by a Chinese friend. He said it's incorrect to say: 我不能找 He said the right form is: 我找不到 Which sentence structure pattern is this following. Is it used with only ...
4
votes
2answers
954 views

What does the phrase “足矣” mean?

I saw this phrase recently in a post online. The whole sentence is 人生得一知己足矣. I think 人生得一知己 means "getting a BFF(?) in one's life". (The only meaning of the word 知己 that I know of is BFF, but please ...
4
votes
6answers
546 views

Usage of 了 and 以后

For the sentence 'I watched a movie after I had food', are the following translations equivalent? Additionally, is the 3rd translation incorrect (is the ...了...以后... usage valid)? 我吃了饭看电影。 我吃饭以后看电影。 ...
4
votes
6answers
152 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
1answer
123 views

How to say “it is actually something that does something”?

I'm just wondering how to say "it is actually (insert noun) that really (insert verb). The context is this: 有些人说,梦想点亮未来。我不同意。 Then I want to say: 其实我觉得是注意点亮未来。 Is my use of 是 correct? Thanks ...
4
votes
3answers
661 views

What is the use of 的是?

I have this sentence: "我觉得奇怪的是", which translates to "I feel weird". But wouldn't "我觉得奇怪" suffice? What is "的是" supposed to do in this sentence? From my research, the best conclusion I came up with ...
4
votes
2answers
217 views

Does chinese songs have a natural word order?

In English, it is hard to rhyme. So writers sometimes resort to rather awkward sentence structures, just to get the song to rhyme. Recent example from Maroon Five: I'm at a payphone trying to call ...
4
votes
3answers
122 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
335 views

Can I use 在 with 一边… 一边?

我一边吃饭,一边做作业 I do homework while eating 我一边在吃饭,一边在做作业 I'm doing homework while eating Is the second sentence correct? Can I use 在 or does 一边...一边 already imply that the action I'm talking about ...

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