Questions tagged [usage]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
2
votes
1answer
41 views

Contranyms in the Chinese language

Some words in the English language are called 'contranyms', where depending on the context, the same word can have very opposite meanings. For example: leave - to go away from a certain place, but ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

是 assessing an overall situation

This is the title of a paragraph in the book "Chinese: A Comprehensive Grammar", by Yip Po-Ching and Don Rimmington, whose content I find really hard to understand. The explanation: 是 shì ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Is 今天的锻炼打卡了 correct usage of the phrase 打卡?

I've asked a question about the phrase 打卡 before. Today I was moving house and I walked in and out of the house with big boxes and bags for 3 solid hours. When I was finally done I thought to myself ''...
2
votes
3answers
129 views

Does the character 大 make a name seem “Unsophisticated”

Recently, I had someone from Taiwan help me create Chinese name for myself to use when writing/communicating with those in Chinese speaking areas. In our discussion, I had suggested 大恩 as a given/...
1
vote
3answers
48 views

Can 形象 be used as a verb?

In this definition “丑陋:难看。多形象人或事物的相貌、样子。”, 形象 seems to me functioning like a verb, but I can't find such a usage in MDBG, Wenlin, dict.baidu.com. Do I get it wrong or does it indeed function like a ...
1
vote
2answers
88 views

Is the use of 她 here unusual?

Do you find the use of 她 here unusual? 历史文化名城以她曾经有过的辉煌和今天日新月异的繁荣向世人表明, A famous city, in history known for its culture, uses its (her) former glory and today's ever-increasing prosperity to make clear ...
1
vote
2answers
73 views

How can I make sense of 落家里 within 张东把钥匙落家里了?

The following problem is from a mock exam question from HSK5级应试指南; we're meant to arrange the sentence fragments into a grammatical sentence: 钥匙、落、把、了、张东、家里 (image) I didn't get this answer correct (...
0
votes
2answers
95 views

How to use 次 with verbs

How do I use this with verbs with and without nouns, generally I can't find the grammar I tried googling and search on YouTube but I can't find anything in deep detail
1
vote
3answers
99 views

Use of 是 and 很 to express “I am not well”

Dear Chinese Language community users, I have the following question. During my learning I encountered the answer 我不是很好 in response to 你好吗?I was puzzled because I thought the correct negative answers ...
0
votes
2answers
103 views

The necessity of 的 and 是

Recently, I have been made aware of the following sentences: 这太棒了! 这是太棒了! 这真是太棒了! A native Chinese friend told me that the middle one is incorrect, but that seems very odd to me, because 是 is the “be ...
3
votes
4answers
191 views

Why add 左右 (“approximately”) to the precisely stated time 25日17时15分左右?

当地时间25日17时15分左右,…… I was reading a newspaper, and stumbled upon the above. I'm puzzled as to why someone would state a time as precisely as 25日17时15分 then add 左右 (= "approximately") ...
3
votes
3answers
881 views

Etymology of 奇 and 怪

I am going through the word 奇. Mandarin Temple had mentioned, learning hint as “a person riding a horse”. Is this only learning hint? Or is it also etymologically correct? What is the exact etymology ...
1
vote
3answers
151 views

How the meaning is derived for 得意忘形?

How the meaning is derived for 得意忘形? 得意忘形 déyìwàngxíng grow dizzy with success; be carried away by one's success so pleased as to lose one's sense of measure
2
votes
2answers
158 views

之 grammar and usage

Reading through the text as below. The zhi below is used to modify 路 of 人生? (way/road/path of life)? what exactly 之 in the two places? “每个人都有自己的人生之路,只有把握时间,勤于奋斗,不畏艰辛的人才能走好这条路。要走好人生之路,首先要懂得珍惜时间。” ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

profanities in written cantonese blurred out

I was watching a youtube video published by a famous populist news channel from Hong Kong. The topic was about food and featured comments from viewers saying that it "was F***ing delicious". ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Why 看 is used in 我看得目瞪口呆?

Going through this sentence. 我看得目瞪口呆。I was stunned/dumbfounded. 看 means see, why see in this sentence?
1
vote
3answers
93 views

Where can the phrase 给点面子 be used? I was wondering if it has a cultural element that I’m missing

我在抖音上看到一部视频说这段话的意思是“Cut me some slack”但是我觉得有点我尚未不知的文化精神,而英语翻译不完全掌握那个感觉。请说明一下这段话是否有什么特殊!谢谢~
2
votes
2answers
102 views

Why is 来 used in “因为‘东西’一般不能用来表示人”?

Why is 来 used in the following sentence? For some context, this is a line from a text used in the second workbook of the New Practical Chinese Reader series (pg. 93). In the text a teacher is ...
1
vote
2answers
147 views

What is the point of 的 in '你也是大学生?你是什么专业的'?

I'm trying to understand 是。。。的 constructions. The page on such constructions at Chinese Grammar Wiki explains one way to use 是。。。的: This is the most simple way to use 是 with 的: you drop the noun and ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

What to reply to “祝你好运” (I wish you good luck)?

Does "祝你好运!" expect any "predefined" reply? Which one? If not, what should be replied? Would just "谢谢" be appropriate?
0
votes
2answers
72 views

Why is there a 去 in 我们需要确保社交距离去保护您和我们的员工?

My friend took a photo of this Chinese sign in Australia: (click to enlarge) It's a formal, long-winded way of saying "stay 1.5 meters apart". Specifically it says: 亲爱的顾客: 根据澳洲政府规定,...
2
votes
2answers
124 views

多大 or 多少?Which should be used when and where?

多大 or 多少? Could these two terms be used interchangeably, and if not what is the difference between them? When should they be used?
1
vote
3answers
154 views

In the novel 猫城记, why does 老舍 use 的 (instead of 地) for adverbs?

From the first chapter of 猫城记 by 老舍, we see examples where 的 is used where I would expect to use 地 (to indicate an adverb): 我应当先去挖坑,但是我没有去挖,只呆呆的看着四外,从泪中看着四外。 动是我自己不能负责的,现在想来,这或者是最近情理的解释与自恕。 鸟儿下来一只。...
1
vote
3answers
72 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 "...
2
votes
5answers
72 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?
2
votes
2answers
131 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
63 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,...
0
votes
3answers
119 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?
0
votes
2answers
55 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: ...
2
votes
1answer
177 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
233 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
89 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
71 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
155 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
223 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?
4
votes
2answers
155 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】...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
121 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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
175 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 🥺
0
votes
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
460 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
68 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
1
vote
2answers
123 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
87 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, ...
3
votes
4answers
92 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(?) ...
2
votes
1answer
73 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'...
1
vote
2answers
103 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
600 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
97 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 ...

1
2 3 4 5
14