Questions tagged [usage]

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

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0answers
34 views

Are verbs more difficult than nouns in Chinese?

Generally speaking,verbs need more grammar explanations, but nouns don't. Does it mean that verbs are more difficulty than nouns or vice vasa?
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3answers
59 views

Is the 了 in 你几岁了? a change-of-state 了?

There's a simple question we ask kids: 你几岁了? How old are you? It's possible to ask it without the 了, i.e., 你几岁?. This makes me think this 了 is a change-of-state 了. It may just be a kind of "...
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5answers
59 views

How do you ask “How old is it?”

When commenting on a used article for sale, how do you simply ask how old the item is? Is "它多大了?" Correct?
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2answers
125 views

Is “贪得无厌” the best choice for this sentence?

This is the original text: Drifters of this world are the collectors of forgotten knowledge, lost technologies and broken histories. Our Drifter is haunted by an insatiable illness, traveling further ...
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1answer
56 views

Is “毁灭” the best word to use here?

I am trying to translate this sentence: Explore a beautiful, vast and ruined world riddled with dangers and lost technologies. After consulting Google Translate, this is what I came up with: 探索一个美丽,...
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3answers
109 views

Did I use 的 correctly for 少的孩子?

'因为父母不用花钱给很多小孩,他们可以花多一点钱给少的孩子。" The sentence does not sound correct. I want to say "spend more money on fewer children," but I don't know how to do it?
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2answers
48 views

What is so problematic about the homophones 预订 and 预定 when negotiating contracts?

I was talking to one of the staff members at LTL Mandarin, and she mentioned that when negotiating contracts (e.g. when moving house) there is an important difference between the following homophones: ...
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1answer
133 views

How Did 是 Come to Mean “To Be”?

I have been looking into the etymology of the character 是. The site Chinese Etymology notes that this character was: "originally meaning straight or correct. The sun 旦 rises or 早 in the correct 正 ...
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2answers
215 views

What is the difference between 吃不消 and 受不了 to mean “I cannot bear”?

I came across these two expressions "吃不消" and "受不了", both translated as "cannot stand / cannot bear". My impression is that 吃不消 refers more to physical circumstances, ...
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1answer
78 views

What is the function of “一” in the sentence 要上山,只有这一条路?

I came across this sentence: 要上山,只有这一条路 Is there a rule when to throw in a 一? In detail: What exactly is the function of 一 in this sentence ? Could I also simply say 要上山,只有这条路 ? Sometimes I come ...
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2answers
53 views

Difference between 现在几岁 and 今年几岁

Are these two expressions considered different? Because my birthday is at the end of the year, I always considered 今年几岁 to be age at the end of the year, whereas 现在 is age from the most recent ...
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4answers
127 views

Is the term 有色人种 (“colored races”) normally used by Chinese people?

和奥巴马一起帮民主党候选人拉票的还有佐治亚州前州长候选人艾布拉姆斯。拜登能在此次大选中让佐治亚州“翻蓝”,艾布拉姆斯功不可没。她在2018年的州长选举中惜败,之后一直在佐治亚州多个地方组织动员新选民,特别是鼓励有色人种选民投票。此外,拜登表示他将参与佐治亚州参议员的竞选活动,但没有指明具体时间。 美两党为控制参议院再战佐治亚,2020年12月07日 I was reading the ...
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1answer
187 views

When should one use a mixture of simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese?

See the photos above. Both simplified and traditional Chinese are used. Is there a general rule regarding when should one use a mixture of both? Or is it always a bad practice to mix these twos?
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2answers
133 views

Confusions about 虽然 and 即使

I'm a Chinese native, but even though I can't figure out the differences between 虽然 and 即使 clearly. Here're definitions of these two words in 现代汉语词典 (Modern Chinese Dictionary) (Edition VI). 【虽然】...
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3answers
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What’s the difference between 二五 and 二十五?

Can I just say 二五 when I’m talking or counting instead of 二十五? Will it make a difference between the two of them? Or is it because 二五 is like everyday speech (informal) and 二十五 (formal) for writing? I ...
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2answers
108 views

In a 还是 question, do I need to repeat the verb?

I'm learning Chinese from a book, and there are some examples regarding the use of 还是. In some cases, the verb is repeated, like in 你喝茶还是喝咖啡? (note the two 喝 here). In other places, the second ...
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5answers
1k views

Outside of Chinese class, do people ask 你家有几口人?

Among one of the earliest questions people learn to answer when studying Chinese is 你家有几口人? How many people are in your household? However, despite living in China for years, I don't recall a ...
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1answer
165 views

How do you know when will the verb be paired with 对?

For example: 我对父母很体贴(✓) 我很体贴我的父母(x) 我很关心我的父母(✓) (The example is given by my teacher but i don't know the reason) Hope you understand my question 🥺
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1answer
60 views

In 林业、农业、草原、海洋、资源、环境等行业, what industries does 草原 (“grassland”) and 海洋 (“ocean”) refer to, and why not use 农业 (“agriculture”) and 渔业 (“fishing”)?

“一箭九星”包含B站视频星 记者了解到,本次发射的“吉林一号”高分03-1组卫星由长光卫星有限公司自主研发,包括3颗高分03C视频星和6颗高分03B推扫星,视频星中包括将用于科普的哔哩哔哩视频卫星。该组卫星将与在轨的“吉林一号”卫星组网,为林业、农业、草原、海洋、资源、环境等行业用户提供更加丰富的遥感数据和产品服务。 海上飞天!一箭九星!我国首次海上商业化应用发射成功!,2020年09月15日 ...
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2answers
325 views

What's the difference between 让, 令 and 使?

I am in doubt whether 让, 令 and 使 are interchangeable, and if not, how to differentiate their use. What I understood so far: 让 tends to be used in spoken language and it's pretty universal, meaning to ...
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1answer
50 views

What's the difference between 一下子,一刹那,and 一时

I know the usage of 一下子 but I don't really understand about 一刹那 and 一时
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2answers
111 views

Why "我想了退这件新买的毛衣。” is wrong?

The correct sentence is "我想退了这件新买的毛衣。" But why? Please do not use grammar jargon because I seldom understand them. I have been teaching Mandarin with grammar included but never mention and ...
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2answers
80 views

Why can some words such as 安宁 be either a noun or a adjective?

This is just one of the many examples where I noticed this, but with these words, does that mean I can say something like: 我找到我心里的安宁 or something along those lines and treat it as if it were a noun, ...
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4answers
91 views

Why does 中 come first in order when it is in the middle (i.e.: 中小、中前)?

The following phrases sometimes give me pause: 中小学 中前期 The first phrase, 中小学, is a backwards(?) combination of elementary and middle school. The second phrase is seemingly another backwards(?) ...
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1answer
65 views

What are some examples of stative -le and iterative aspect in Mandarin?

I'm a graduate student studying how bilinguals interpret certain aspectual expressions in Mandarin. I'm currently preparing all of my stimuli, but I'm hoping for some help from native speakers since I'...
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2answers
67 views

Why is 都 placed after a verb in “什么时候还都可以”?

I found this example: 你拿着用吧,什么时候还都可以。 Nǐ ná zheyòng ba, shénme shíhòu huán dōu kěyǐ. You can have it as long as you want. I am confused about the grammar structure behind 什么时候还都可以 (literally: any ...
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3answers
232 views

What is the difference between 还是 and 还?

What is the difference between 还是 and 还? Is 还 the short of 还是 and, consequently, they are interchangeable in every situation, only in some cases or never? For reference, I will list the different ...
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2answers
84 views

Is it possible to combine 起来 and 住在?

I came across the following sentence: 这个房子住起来不舒服。 Zhège fángzi zhù qǐlái bu shūfú. This house seems uncomfortable to live. I think in this sentence, 起来 indicates an initial judgement, i.e. like in ...
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2answers
117 views

Differences between “Verb + Adj”, “Adj + Verb”, “Verb + 得 + Adj” and “Adj + 地 + Verb”?

I am having some difficulties understanding the differences in meaning between the following structures (the examples are from Line dictionary): Verb + Adj e.g: 走快了她会累。 Zŏu kuài le tā huì lĕi. ...
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5answers
228 views

Difference between using 被 and the object in the topic position?

I just learned about the preposition 被 bèi to express passive voice. If we have a S-V-O sentence, we can reexpress it using the 被 structure as O-被-(S)-V. This introduces a passive voice into the ...
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1answer
79 views

When does 一会儿 go before / after the verb?

I have seen some sentences where 一会儿 (yīhuìr), meaning in a while / in a moment, is placed before the verb and in some others, after the verb. Is there some rule for deciding the position, are both ...
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1answer
71 views

Why 这么 / 那么 are placed before the action verb?

I have some confusion with the use of 这么 (this, so) and 那么 (that, so). I found these examples (from Pleco): 大家都这么说。 Dàjiā dōu zhème shuō. Everyone says this / so. 你不该那么做。 Nǐ bù gāi nàme zuò. You ...
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3answers
71 views

What's the difference between 开 and 举办 when used for the meaning “to hold an event”?

What is the difference between 开 and 举办 in the following sentence? They both mean "to hold". Can you use both for big events like 奥运会 or little events like 派对 or 聚会 ? 每年开两次运动会,一次是水上运动会,...
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4answers
118 views

What is the function of 一次 in “去一次”?

I came across these translated examples: [Talking about a place]: 明年夏天我打算去一次。 Mínɡnián xiàtiān wǒ dǎsuàn qù yí cì。 I plan to go there next summer. 三年以前我去过上海,去年我又去了一次,明年我想再去一次。 Sān nián yǐqián wǒ ...
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2answers
62 views

What's the difference between 检测 and 检查?

Google translate gives "discover" and "detect" for "检测" as well as "examination" and "checking" for "检查". When talking about COVID-19, ...
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2answers
68 views

When to use 很 vs 非常?

What is the difference between using 很 and 非常? For example: 猫和狗都非常可爱 and 猫和狗都很可爱。Is there any difference? Which one should I use with 漂亮?
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2answers
104 views

What is the difference between 几月几号 and 几号?

What is the difference between 几月几号 and 几号, when asking about the date? Like 今天几月几号? or 今天几号?
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8answers
708 views

吃 Vs. 喝 in this sentence: 既然敬酒不吃那就吃罚酒

So I watched a movie, in this sentence why did they use 吃 rather than 喝?
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11answers
2k views

What is the purpose of 是 in “我应该是感冒了”?

I came across the following translated example: 我应该是感冒了,耳朵也有点儿疼,不过没发烧。 Wǒ yīnɡɡāi shì ɡǎnmào le,ěrduo yě yǒudiǎnr ténɡ,búɡuò méi fāshāo 。 I think I caught a cold, and my ears are a little painful, ...
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2answers
97 views

When can 要 replace 需要?

In an answer to the post 要 to indicate "will [verb]" vs "need", it is argued that 要;yào;want to, need to, going to is actually the short form of either 需要;xūyào;to need, to want ...
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6answers
2k views

How to understand “你怎么了?”

I understand 怎么 generally means "how". However, I came across the following translated example: 你怎么了? 说话声音这么小! Nǐ zěnme le ? Shuōhuà shēnɡyīn zhème xiǎo! What happened to you? You are ...
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4answers
188 views

Difference between 以前 and 前 to indicate past time?

I wanted to express in Mandarin: Three months ago I started yoga classes. I thought about whether to use 前 or 以前 to express "ago": 三个月以前我开始了上瑜伽课。 Sān gè yuè yǐqián wǒ kāishǐ le shàng ...
3
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3answers
317 views

Difference between “believe” 认为 and 相信?

This question is related to: Is there any difference between 想, 觉得 and 以为? What are the difference between e.g. 想, 觉得 and 认为 when expressing opinion? In there, they mentioned both 认为 rènwèi and 相信 ...
3
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6answers
176 views

Does the word '县子‘ exist?

I wonder if the word "县子" colloquially exists in the Chinese language. I’ve probably heard this word before, and I‘m not exactly sure, but I blurrily remember it was from a conversation ...
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5answers
230 views

Where is the verb in reduplication of adjectives “Noun + Adj + Adj + 的”?

I understand the 的 from the structure: Adj + 的 Example: 高的。 as attaching the Adj to an omitted Noun. This omitted Noun can either be a general noun such as "one/s" (高的 can mean the tall ...
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4answers
253 views

What's the difference between 是不是 and 对不对?

Can you use both of these interchangeably? Is one more common than the other? I also haven't seen this pattern used with other verbs. Are there other verbs where this is commonly used as well?
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2answers
392 views

What is 要 doing in 每天她要慢跑?

In an exercise, I came across this sentence with the translation: 每天早上她都要慢跑一个小时。 Měi tiān zǎoshɑnɡ tā dōu yào màn pǎo yí ɡè xiǎoshí. She goes to jog every morning for an hour. What is the meaning of ...
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4answers
100 views

Can you still use “Number + MW + 多” when the Number can be more than one MW larger?

I have a doubt related to these questions: Does 多 always come after the measure word?, How to correctly use "多" to say "more than"? In the answers, they explain you can give an ...
2
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2answers
111 views

To make friends: 交朋友 vs 认识朋友?

I have come across some sentences where both 认识朋友 and 交朋友 were translated as to make friends (even though typically 认识 is translated in English as to know). Is there a difference between them? ...
2
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2answers
179 views

Is 各式各样 Taiwanese version of 各种各样?

I know that 各式各样 = 各种各样, but is one Taiwanese version of the other one? What I mean is: is one more frequently used in China and the other is more frequently in Taiwan?

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