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Questions tagged [usage]

Questions that concern the use of expressions, parts of speech, words, verbs, etc.

2
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2answers
72 views

Can “秀气” be used to describe objects that aren't people?

So there are 3 main translations for 秀气: Delicate Elegant Graceful Which makes it seem like it could be used to describe really anything-- However I have a friend who is saying that it is ...
1
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2answers
61 views

Using a verb as a habitual thing vs Chinese

I have noticed perhaps that in English we could say a sentence like ‘you think I sleep?’ And it could be referring to (in a comical way of course) that fact of me not sleeping in general or at all. ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

What is the meaning of 要 in these sentences?

While doing exercises on my book I found some sentences with a use of 要 which I've never seen before and I can't figure out the meaning. The sentences are the following: 他很忙,但是他应该要来参加我的生日晚会 ...
3
votes
6answers
139 views

Difference between 客气 and 礼貌

On New Practical Chinese Reader 4, workbook, page 7, there's a story about Scott and a Chinese person discussing about manners. The Chinese person says 客气 and 礼貌 are different, and that he/she feels ...
3
votes
1answer
55 views

The position of 已经 in “have been doing something for some times already”

Since 已经 is an adverb I thought I'd always have to put it before the verb like in: 1) 这对老人已经相爱三十多年了 2) 他已经睡四个小时了 But I found a sentence on my book that say: 他们恋爱已经一年多了 It should translate ...
1
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2answers
89 views

Is it 在桌子上面 or 在桌子的上面?

A Google search of both exact phrases turns up both: 在桌子上面 在桌子的上面 There are about 10x more without the 的. Do they mean the same thing?
3
votes
2answers
76 views

What is the difference between 收了 and 收到了?

What is the difference between 收了 and 收到了? 1. We say 我收了他的錢 2. But we don't say 我收了他的信, We say我收到他的信了 When do we use 收了 and 收到了?
3
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2answers
137 views

Interesting tongue-twisters like these?

Is there any reduplicate tongue-twister like these? 1. 校長說:「衣服上除了校徽別別別的。」 (The principal said, "Don't(別) pin(別) other(別的) badge except the school badge.) 2. 雨天騎腳踏車,車輪打滑,還好我反應快,一把把把手穩住了! It's ...
2
votes
3answers
445 views

Encountered usage of 为

接受函数为参数,返回值为函数 I can vaguely translate this as Gets function as parameter, return value is function. but that's only due to my domain knowledge. I am confused by the use of 为 here. The only 为 I ...
0
votes
3answers
61 views

Need help completing this sentence using 打折

I want to say a sentence such as: They discount so much I can't help but buy! I went as far as 这家商店打折那么多, but need help with finding a Chinese expression that has the same impression as "can't ...
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9answers
1k views

Why is 7元/并 written instead of 7元/瓶?

A photo from the campus shop: (large image) I transcribe and translate this to: 纯享促销 7元/并 Purejoy promotion: 7 yuan/bottle (Here, Purejoy (纯享 chúnxiǎng) is a brand of yogurt.) I'm ...
1
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4answers
84 views

What is 那种带有 doing in 我喜欢喝农民那种带有苦味的茶水?

From the third sentence in the book 活着 我喜欢喝农民那种带有苦味的茶水 Wǒ xǐhuān hē nóngmín nàzhǒng dàiyǒu kǔwèi de cháshuǐ This translates to something like I [我] like [喜欢] to drink [喝] the farmers' [民那] ...
2
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4answers
85 views

Under what circumstances can you use 又…又…?

Can you only use 又 with adjectives, or can you also use it with verbs, verb phrases, and nouns? I want to say, "Summer this year is rainy and cloudy.", so I wrote, “今年夏天是又雨天又云天。” Is this correct, or ...
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2answers
2k views

Why is 把 in 我去洗把脸 (wǒ qù xǐ bǎ liǎn) = I'm going to wash my face?

YouDao has an example of 我去洗把脸: 知道了,妈。我去洗把脸,让自己清醒一些。 Zhīdàole, mā. Wǒ qù xǐ bǎ liǎn, ràng zìjǐ qīngxǐng yīxiē. I see, Mummy. I'm going to wash my face and wake myself up. and I just ...
1
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2answers
58 views

Are my answers to this question about 不仅 appropriate, and how can I make them more elaborate?

This is an exercise in the book 标准教程HSK4上 about using 不仅 (bùjǐn; "not only") together with 也, 还, or 而且. I transcribe it below: 练一练 Practice 完成句子 Complete the sentences. (1) 李老师不仅喜欢看电影,...
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3answers
96 views

Can 从来 mean since forever?

从来 is usually translated to "always, at all times, all along, from the past till the present". But it's usually used in the negative sense, which makes it more like "never". I have been searching for ...
0
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4answers
75 views

What is the meaning of 磨练?

When researching online, finding an exact definition was hard. Does it mean to make oneself hard? Or like to harden yourself? Could you give me a few examples?
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3answers
109 views

What is the difference between 挣扎 and 奋斗?

When I search both online I get the same definition of to struggle. What is the different use of them then if the meaning is the same?
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3answers
59 views

What are the different uses of 体会?

While trying to understand the complete meaning 体会, the examples I found online had many different uses when translated into English. 体会 to know from experience; to learn through experience; to ...
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3answers
184 views

How to correctly use “多” to say “more than”?

I know a similar question has already been answered but I still have a lot of doubts. To my understanding if a number is ≤9, you need to put "多" after the measure word (or after the name if it doesn'...
0
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3answers
69 views

还是付了吧,要不忘了。了 is …?

还是付了吧,要不忘了 This sentence probably means That's exactly I'll pay for it , not to forget to do. I know 了 has many aspects. What's difference between "first 了" and "second 了"? I think "first 了" is ...
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3answers
181 views

What is the difference between 因为 and 应为?

They are pronounced similarly and are both translated into "because". What is the difference in their meaning? When should I use one over the other?
2
votes
1answer
39 views

给 with inanimate objects

I'd like to ask "Can I take a picture of the menu?" at a small Chinese restaurant. Normally, I've seen "take picture of X" translated as 给X拍照, but I'm reluctant to use this translation in this context ...
2
votes
2answers
117 views

Question words at the end or beginning? Shei (very confusing)

So far, question words in Chinese have always appeared at the end.. but with "shei" I saw sentences like "Shei shi nide baba?" So it can be used at the start or end of a sentence? We could say, "Nide ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

How do you say “Where is Beijing?”

In Chinese will we say, "Beijing zai nār/nali?". Because I just learned to say, "Lundun zai Ying Guo." Plus, "Where is your home?" is, "Nide jia zai nar?" So using these rules, is it acceptable? ...
1
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3answers
67 views

Are they in Britain?

In Chinese it will be "Tamen zai ying guo ma?" But I studied that we use shi to connect nouns, so can we also say: Tamen "shi" zai ying guo ma? Is it also grammatically correct? It's just easier for ...
1
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2answers
55 views

Difference between “游泳” and “游水”

I've been learning with a course, and one of the lessons said: 这个男人在游泳, but the same sentence with a dog was: 这只狗在游水. I presume that both were doing the same thing: swimming. So, can I use 游泳 with ...
0
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2answers
54 views

What are these Chinese character stamps?

I found these stamps in an old book, what are they I can hardly make them out? And what do they mean.
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4answers
159 views

“How are you this morning” in Chinese?

Is "Ni jin tian zao shang zen me yang?(你今天早上怎麼樣?)" ok? Can we also say, "Ni zhe ge zao shang zen me yang? (你這個早上怎麼樣?)" Cux we do say, "Ni zhe ge xing qi zen me yang? (你這個星期怎麼樣?)" for how are you ...
3
votes
3answers
568 views

人摔了出去 人 is my body. Is it common?

不料,一天早晨,我骑自行车,被一个人撞倒,人摔了出去,左手骨折。 "Unexpectedly, One day in the morning, when I rode my bicycle, I ran into a person and (I or my body) was thrown out of, my left hand was broken." 人 is used instead ...
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3answers
756 views

Jin tian ji hao?

I learnt to ask weekday as, "Jin tian xing qi ji?" With an optional "shi" after jin tian. So I want to know if the shi in "Jin tian shi ji hao?" is also optional. Also, can I say, "Jin tian ji ri?" ...
2
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3answers
98 views

How do I use the character 当, pronounced as a 4th tone?

When pronounced as a 4th tone, this character has the meaning "to think/regard as/replace, suitable/adequate, at or in the very same". It's the first meaning I'm interested in. My dictionary gives the ...
4
votes
3answers
100 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 ...
0
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2answers
55 views

When should I exchange nouns to pronouns?Is there a obvious rule in it?

父亲今年65岁了,他以前是一名律师。父亲的爱好是旅行,经常去旅行。 This sentence is strange to me. First, 父亲 Second,他 Third,父亲 I often hear that the English speakers avoid the duplications of noun. Is it also in Chinese? ...
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2answers
101 views

Are 仙草, 毒草 and 良草 broadly-used idioms?

Today I learned from a Chinese friend (a rather literate fellow) that you can use those words to describe books. Apparently: 仙草 = outstanding book, book as if made for Gods 毒草 = very poor or even ...
2
votes
2answers
324 views

剩一点儿都没地方搁 How is the sentence composed of?

I'm newbie in this community. My best regards. 没了冰箱还真不行,每天早上都要去早市买菜,饭也不能多做,剩一点儿都没地方搁。 The bolded sentence means "There is no place for conserving the remained foods." How is the sentence composed ...
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1answer
65 views

Difference between 大兄弟 and 小伙子

Difference between 大兄弟 and 小伙子. Under which condition should we use one of them?
2
votes
2answers
119 views

Is 用一下 preferable to 用用 or 用一用?

Our Chinese book contains this problem: I'm interested in the first example. 我不认识这个字,我想用你的词典。 Wǒ bù rènshì zhège zì, wǒ xiǎng yòng nǐ de cídiǎn. It translates to "I don't recognize this ...
4
votes
1answer
152 views

When do I have to use 做/当 instead of 是?

I know 做/当 in some contexts may mean "to be", as in: 他现在做老师了。 He is a teacher now. 她愿意做我女朋友。 She accepted to be my girlfriend. 我毕业后想做经理。 After I graduate I want to be a manager. I ...
1
vote
3answers
85 views

What does 勾过来 (gōu guòlái) mean in 你就直接勾过来,我觉得欠妥?

A Mandarin Corner YouTube video describes "3 Things Chinese Like about Foreigners" (actually it does the opposite). One snippet from this dialogue is the following: I transcribe the conversation as ...
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votes
5answers
2k views

Why do both 太 (too) and 过于 (excessively) occur in 外国人有时候太过于开放 (foreigners are sometimes too excessively open)?

A Mandarin Corner YouTube video describes "3 Things Chinese Like about Foreigners". One sentence from this dialogue is the following: 首先我觉得外国人有时候太过于开放。 Shǒuxiān wǒ juédé wàiguórén yǒu shíhòu tài ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Can I use 兼 for more than two positions?

兼 takes two objects that are in the same category. For example, 一般来说,在IT行业一个中小企业创始者担任CEO兼CTO是常见的。 在我的家庭,妈妈是个厨师兼清洁工。 However, can I add one or more, and make it more than two positions, such ...
0
votes
2answers
154 views

Can 岁数, 年纪 and 年龄 be used interchangeably?

I have learnt several words that can be used to talk about a person's age, namely 岁数, 年纪 and 年龄. I have found phrases and example sentences such as the following: 随便问别人的年龄是不礼貌的。 你父亲多大年纪了? 您多大岁数了? ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Meaning of 祝愿 as wishing or congratulating

I wrote 哇,祝愿碰运气,能碰上这个组啊. By this I meant I wish I can be lucky and end up in that group. I am worried it will be taken as congratulations on you being lucky ending up in that group (which sounds like "...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

Can 人 be used without a measure word?

I have seen sentences like 我们学校有500人。 Why doesn't it have a measure word? Can 人 appear without a measure word like the words 年 and 天?
2
votes
1answer
65 views

Do I necessarily have to use 第 when talking about a page number?

Can one say 打开书100页 or is it necessary to add 第 before 100? I was thinking that it would be the difference between saying "open the book at/to page 100" (with 第) and "open the book 100 pages" (...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

What's the difference between “现在几点?“ and ”现在几点了?”

In the textbook, I saw both "现在几点?" and "现在几点了?" I know they are both correct and "了" often indicates past tense, but what's the difference here? I think it would be really good if I can look up ...
3
votes
2answers
235 views

Do 男人 and 女人 have an unfavourable connotation?

I've sometimes earned laughter when I used 一个女人 or 一个男人. Does it have a derogative connotation? Is it better to use 女的/男的 or 女生/男生? Are there regional differences in the usage?
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vote
4answers
124 views

What situations would one use 祖父 as opposed to 爷爷?

I'm also curious about 祖母 vs 奶奶 , 父亲 vs 爸爸 , and other family words.
1
vote
3answers
95 views

行旅 vs. 流浪者 vs. 游民?

Similar meanings. What (if any) are the subtle differences? Which would be best for a self-description of someone who retired, sold his house, and has been traveling since then (this is the fourth ...