Questions tagged [synonyms]

Questions about two or more expressions with a similar meaning.

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20 votes
8 answers
10k views

What's the difference between 星期X and 周X?

When accepting an answer, I noticed that the example used the word 周三 for Wednesday, but in my grammar, the days of the week are 星期一, 星期二, etc... They seem both correct but, what's the difference? ...
Alenanno's user avatar
  • 6,485
12 votes
7 answers
10k views

What is the difference between 餐馆 and 饭店? Is 饭店 used for restaurant or hotel?

饭店 and 餐馆 can both mean restaurant. My Chinese friend here in Dongguan tells me 饭店 is not commonly used to mean hotel. I want to understand in what contexts both of these words are used. 谢谢.
amorimluc's user avatar
  • 749
2 votes
2 answers
242 views

What's the difference between 扣好安全带 (kòuhǎo ānquándài) and 系好安全带 (jìhǎo ānquándài), which both seem to mean "fasten seatbelt"?

On the plane I see 就座后扣好安全带 (jiù zuòhòu kòuhǎo ānquándài) which is translated to "fasten seatbelt while seated". On the bus I see 上车请系好安全带 (shàngchē qǐng jìhǎo ānquándài) which I think translates to ...
Becky 李蓓's user avatar
  • 16.2k
21 votes
5 answers
10k views

Confusion about bian 邊 and miàn 面

I'm having a little trouble with learning directions and positions. It seems that most often the word bian is being used to indicate a position: front side 前邊, back side 後邊, etc. But then I see stuff ...
Kevin Thompson's user avatar
16 votes
3 answers
1k views

Do 之 and 的 come from the same word?

In modern Chinese 之 is thought of as the literary genitive particle and 的 as the colloquial. In most reconstructions of Old Chinese 之 looks very similar to the way 的 is pronounced now. For example in ...
HAL's user avatar
  • 1,084
16 votes
5 answers
5k views

Difference between 特色, 特點, 特性, 特質, and 特徵

Looking up these five words in dictionaries gives results that are almost identical. In Chinese-English dictionaries, I find explanations identical or very close to: a characteristic; a ...
Olle Linge's user avatar
  • 3,047
1 vote
3 answers
1k views

What's the difference between 周 and 星期? [duplicate]

From a dictionary lookup, it seems that both 周 and 星期 can mean "a week"—is there any difference in usage?
MrVocabulary's user avatar
38 votes
9 answers
11k views

What is the difference between 狗 and 犬?

狗 (gǒu) and 犬 (quǎn) both mean "dog" and both seem relatively common, but is there any difference between them? When should I use one and when should I use the other?
laurent's user avatar
  • 2,116
22 votes
8 answers
14k views

Difference between 如果 and 要是?

In the Pimsleur Mandarin course it uses 如果 (rúguǒ) to mean 'if', but the dictionary shows 要是 (yàoshì) to have a similar meaning: 如果: if; in case; in the event that 要是: if Are there any ...
Cocowalla's user avatar
  • 3,445
18 votes
8 answers
3k views

Why is 两 used for quantities of two rather than 二?

I understand that 两 is used instead of 二 when dealing with quantities of two. However, my question is - why? What are the historical reasons behind this? I looked at Wikitionary but it only had ...
Jimmy S's user avatar
  • 271
13 votes
4 answers
2k views

Difference between 同一 and 一样

I would like to know when to use 同一 and when to use 一样 when describing items or people as similar? What is the difference in usage between these two phrases?
Lynn's user avatar
  • 131
11 votes
4 answers
542 views

What's the relationship between 炮 and 砲?

炮 and 砲 both mean "cannon", but it seems the former is much more common, and the latter only really seen in Xiangqi. Is there a difference in meaning? For example, on wikipedia it is said that 砲 ...
congusbongus's user avatar
  • 8,557
9 votes
7 answers
7k views

How to distinguish between rat and mouse in Chinese?

I know there are two words here: 老鼠 and 鼠. However, the dictionary states that 老鼠 (rat) can also mean mouse; how do you specify rat? I imagine that 仓鼠 (hamster) and 沙鼠 (gerbil) are often abbreviated ...
jsj's user avatar
  • 3,455
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

斯 vs 这 vs 此 for the meaning "this"?

What are the differences between these three, 斯 vs 这 vs 此, and any other characters or words for "this" in Mandarin Chinese? I'm just a beginner and I've noticed at least these few characters are in ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 4,015
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is it 說 /说 / shuō or 講 / 讲 / jiǎng for "to speak a language"?

I've realized that I still don't know the way to talk about "speaking a language", for instance the Chinese equivalents to sentences like these: Do you speak English? I can speak a little Chinese. ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 4,015
3 votes
5 answers
2k views

What does “大概” mean? Are there any words with the same meaning?

I looked up in the dictionary, there are 12 meanings for it! well aiblins anywhere belike supposedly probably prob. maybe mayhap presumedly presumably ordinarily somewhere easily mainly Just wonder ...
user4457's user avatar
  • 517
2 votes
1 answer
185 views

How to deal with elasticity/flexibility in HSK vocabulary? [closed]

I'll be concise for those knowledgeable, and refer to brief and basic bibliography for those who are not. The Chinese elasticity/flexibility is a lexical property of Chinese terms, two sides of the ...
GJC's user avatar
  • 381