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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2
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1answer
87 views

Is this correct usage of the word 天资?

I have tried to find example sentences using 天资 tian zi (talent) online with no luck. I f I were to write 'he is a very talented pianist' or something of the sort, would it be correct to say ...
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2answers
55 views

Can't discern how a set of clauses function

In the following sentence: 外交部发言人耿爽14日就两名中国公民在日本不幸遇害答记者问时表示,中国驻日本使馆已要求日方全力破案,缉拿并严惩凶手,还受害者及家属公道。“我们对两名中国公民遇害表示沉痛哀悼,对其家属表示诚挚慰问,对凶犯的残暴行径予以强烈谴责。”耿爽说。 If I understand it correctly, the main clause in ...
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3answers
759 views

Does 出太阳时候不能吃饭 (chū tàiyáng shíhòu bùnéng chīfàn) express “I can't eat when the sun is out” appropriately?

I'm Muslim and fasting for Ramadan (斋月 zhāiyuè). I often explain this to people by saying 出太阳时候不能吃饭 (chū tàiyáng shíhòu bùnéng chīfàn) which is an attempt to say "I can't eat when the sun is out". I'...
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4answers
424 views

how to use 对此 in a sentence?

What do you think should be done about it? 你觉得对此该做什么? this is the translation online I found for this English sentence. The translation makes some sense, but I'm not quite sure what the point of "对此" ...
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4answers
158 views

Is it correct to say 人在中国喜欢乒乓球比踢足球, 但是人在美国喜欢踢足球比乒乓球?

你们好! I'm a student currently studying Chinese. We have an oral assessment where we will need to compare Chinese culture and China to the culture of the Western world. I was wondering if it is ...
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1answer
738 views

How do you translate “could have been” sentences?

For example, how do you translate this: "All his wife wanted was a peaceful life. When he returned from the war, their lives could have been peaceful, but the government situation at that time ...
4
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1answer
124 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 ...
2
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1answer
88 views

Use of 还 in reference to “on top of that, also”

I'm just wondering whether I'm allowed to use 还 to mean, "on top of that, also". Here's the context: 在经济方面,新思维能提高生产力,而且还能产生创新和发明。As in, "in the economic sense, new ideas can increase productivity, ...
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2answers
62 views

How do waves relate to this?

Please write using simplified Chinese characters. I've been reading a short story in Chinese, with the task to translate it. Here's the passage I'm having trouble with: ‘看了,看了,他的那个女朋友真不像话,...
3
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1answer
259 views

Can I use 告诉 to quote what someone has said? Please help!

I'm wondering whether the use of the word 告诉 is restricted to certain places in a sentence. I'm wondering whether this sentence would be correct: 今年初,我的朋友告诉我他这个学期每个星期要打工三十个小时。Is 告诉 allowed to be ...
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2answers
1k views

How to say “at the start of the year” in this context?

I'm currently trying to figure out how to begin a sentence in Chinese with, "at the start of the year", my friend told me... etc. I've heard that "at the start of the year" is 今年伊始。But can you ...
2
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1answer
82 views

Is the following correct ? (sign in Chinese seen in Thailand)

It says: 请勿餐和饮料进来 Personally I would say: 请把餐和饮料拿不进来
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1answer
165 views

Placement of object with adverbial phrase

I am wondering about the placement of "这件事" in these two sentences: 1) 这件事你做得越快越好。 2) 你做得越快越好这件事。 In English: "The faster you do this, the better." #2 makes more sense to me since the object comes ...
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3answers
144 views

sentence structure: location of object after action applied to it

Which of these sentences is correct? Or are both acceptable? Which sounds more natural to a native Mandarin speaker? 他把书放在桌子上。 他在桌子上放书。 他把书在桌子上放。 他放书在桌子上。 I guess 在桌子上 is not where the 放 is ...
2
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1answer
730 views

Expressing 'about' in Chinese

Please use simplified characters. In English we sometimes say: 'My teacher taught us about Chinese' ‘My friend was telling me about Chinese' 'You're not intelligent enough to talk about complex ...
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5answers
189 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 ...
2
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2answers
463 views

Structure <verb> 一 <verb>

I met with a structure of this type many times during last days, so I wonder: What is the meaning of "[verb] 一 [verb]"? For instance: 想一想 看一看 等一等
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2answers
156 views

Structure: X is the most Y of Z

I have come across the following sentence: 波兰是欧洲最漂亮的国家。I reckon it means "Poland is the most beautiful country in Europe". Is this how sentences of such type are normally made? Is 的 here "of" or part ...
2
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3answers
341 views

Chinese word order assistance

I'm struggling with where some time phrases go? I understand that 'when' comes before the verb and 'how long for' goes after. However I have found sentences using 很久 and 整天 that seemingly break this ...
4
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1answer
757 views

Combining sentences: use of conjunctions, omission of subject and verb

In some languages, like English, sometimes, it is possible to combine sentences by using commas, conjunctions and omitting subjects and verbs to avoid repetitions. In some languages, avoiding ...
2
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3answers
472 views

Spoken Cantonese | using '緊', and difference between continuous and progressive aspects

I'm told that 緊 serves the general purpose of '-ing' (according to HK native speaker, who also uses '梗' to represent this idea in text). This is supported by what I've found online, except with a ...
2
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2answers
1k views

Chinese verb 'to become'

I've found no leads as to this on the internet, and also have been unable to ask my teacher about this sentence struture. So, I hope this isn't a duplicate! I was wondering, how do I say become in ...
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1answer
194 views

Give further examples of morphological alternation patterns such as Verb/Noun (处 chu3 / chu4) and Active/Inactive Verb (好 hao4 / hao3)

In this answer, a few examples of morphological alternation patterns are provided, like Verb/Noun (e.g. 处 chu3 "to dwell" / chu4 "a place") and Active/Inactive Verb (e.g. 好 hao4 "to like" / hao3 "to ...
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3answers
223 views

Example cases with 了

I'm learning some grammar and there are many rules with 了, to express action completion or change of state. My book examples seem strange for some Chinese people, so I made those small following ...
2
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1answer
107 views

How do I say “convince (someone) that (something)”?

Convince -> 说服 How do I phrase a sentence, such as: I should convince her that it is not her fault. Does this work (sounds odd): 我应该说服她,这不是她的错。 Or is there a more understandable / grammatically ...
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2answers
3k views

Breaking a single line Chinese sentence into multiple lines for design purpose

I don't speak or write Chinese, but currently working on web project for my client. The site is available in four languages. The translated content for Chinese is given to me in word doc. The ...
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1answer
217 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 ...
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2answers
836 views

Sentence Structure for past tense

If I want to say "we were in(at) the shop on Saturday" would the translation be 星期六我们在了店。(xingqiliu wo men zai le dian) ? Same for this past tense, If I want to say, "we were happy" would ...
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4answers
516 views

Use of the word BOTH in Chinese.

I've always been wondering how you would say, "I went to china both for travel and to study Chinese." So if someone asked you, "你是去中国旅行的还是去学习汉语的?" (Did you go for travel or for study?), and you ...
2
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2answers
226 views

Structure of sentence with 喜欢+V

I would know what is the correct place of 喜欢 in my sentence, or if the both are valids what are the differences. 1/ 我喜欢坐飞机去 2/ 我坐飞机喜欢去
2
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2answers
462 views

How to express “I think” (not I feel)

I'm wanting to say, "I think China is the world's second biggest country." As, in, "I'm pretty sure this is the fact." I would have originally used 觉得. But apparently this is only for opinions? As ...
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1answer
82 views

Using 当然 as an exclamation?

I'm wondering... To answer someone's question as to whether something is so or not, can you simply reply, "of course it is!" just as we do in English? Example: Can you swim? (你会游泳吗?) Of course I ...
2
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2answers
714 views

Starting a sentence with “actually…”

I'm wondering how to express a certain function of "actually" in Chinese. Up to now I've always used 其实。But I'm not sure this is right for what I want to express. How would you translate this: A: ...
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2answers
296 views

What is the correct sentence structure in pinyin? [closed]

I'm a little confused wrt to the basic sentence structure: Is "Nimen he shenme?" correct. Also can someone point out what is the basic structure for sentences and questions as in: Subject + Verb + ...
5
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1answer
520 views

How to tell when one word starts and another word ends?

I am doing some work with scanning Chinese text with my computer and I have run into a problem that I do not have with other languages. Because there are no spaces between characters, I cannot tell ...
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2answers
84 views

Negative sentiment for text

Could someone please explain why would the following text have negative sentiment? Is there any specific word or hidden semantics that makes it negative? Is completely subjective? Text: ...
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3answers
349 views

Is There A Way To Say “Fro” (as in afro/fro) In Traditional Chinese?

Are there any kanji that could be used to say afro and/or fro in traditional Chinese? If not, what about simplified Chinese? What are the characters?
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8answers
704 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 ...
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2answers
2k views

“Topic-comment” structure

Can someone help me with these? I don't quite understand the topic-comment structure, and I have been trying to look it up but I can't find any good explanation with examples. I have to change the ...
2
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3answers
424 views

What does this structure (有 … 才有 …) mean?

My book says the 有 … 才有 structure is the same as 只有 … 才, but it doesn't give me any examples. Are the following both equivalent and correct? 只有他才知道怎么解决这个问题 有他才有知道怎么解决这个问题 If not, how should I use 有 …...
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2answers
651 views

What does this pattern (由 … 而) mean, exactly?

My book says that this structure is used to express the change of something, and it gives me this example: 他脸色由白而红 But I think I didn't understand this structure really well. When should/shouldn't ...
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4answers
3k views

How to use 像…似的?

Can someone explain me the comparison structure 像 … 似的? Why in this sentence there is 得 after 红? 他脸红得苹果似的 Couldn't I have said this instead? 他的脸红像苹果似的 Is there a pattern/scheme that I can ...
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3answers
281 views

What Different Patterns Are There To Make 不如 Sentences?

A 不如 B+object+verb+得+adjective example: 玛丽不如保罗法语说得流利 A 不如 B+Verb-object+verb+得+adjective example: 玛丽不如保罗说法语说得流利 Are these two patterns correct? Some say it's correct, some says it's wrong, I'...
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5answers
249 views

What is “一” doing in “事情一开始进展得很顺利,但后来我们遇到了困难”?

事情一开始进展得很顺利,但后来我们遇到了困难 I understand the meaning of the sentence, but I don't understand what is "一" doing in there? Could it be dropped? Would it change the meaning? Is it a part of the "一开始" as a ...
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3answers
258 views

How do you 'second best'?

To say something or someone is the best or most we use 最, but how about second, third, fourth best/most etc? For example: He's the second most expensive player in football history. He kept the third ...
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3answers
423 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?
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1answer
229 views

Forming sentences with resultative and directional complements

When studying Chinese, I've often found that there are different ways to say the same thing, for example using a verb with a directional complement rather than a verb with resultative complement or a ...
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2answers
999 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 ...
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3answers
194 views

What is the meaning of 这是给谁的礼物?

Yet another sentence where I know all the words but can't work out the correct meaning! In one of my textbooks I have a series of phrases: 给我礼物 给谁的礼物 这是给谁的礼物? Would I be correct in translating ...
2
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1answer
189 views

Translation of “想要买什么东西吗?”

According to tatoeba translation of "Is there anything you want to buy?" is "想要买什么东西吗?" Is there use of 什么 and 吗 in one sentence? If there is not how can I translate"Is there anything you want to buy?"...