Questions tagged [usage]

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

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59 views

How widespread is the idiom 蘑菇?

I have seen the word for mushroom [蘑菇, mógū] to be an action such as dilly dally. Is this an inherent idiom in the written language apparent across a large spectrum of dialect, whereas the word ...
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3answers
86 views

What exactly does 拆开 mean and is it commonly used?

I've been trying to figure out how exactly to use 拆开 and what it means since I saw it in a song: Mine, Mine by 周杰伦. In the song, the translation i got was disassembling which i would think to be like ...
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1answer
110 views

Why is 砼 considered to be dated?

I saw the word 商砼 written all over a large vehicle but Pleco Basic Chinese-English Dictionary defines 砼 as: NOUN DATED concrete I'm curious as to why they say 砼 is dated, I couldn't find a ...
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3answers
55 views

遮 versus 捂 versus 盖 in terms of usage

Let's say I want to cover my ears. Is it 捂住耳朵, 遮住耳朵 or 盖住耳朵? And then if I want to say cover up a situation, is it 遮住事情 or 遮盖事情?
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1answer
31 views

What is the proper order to list the noun and adjective when using 的

I've learned that 的 can be used to say that some noun has some quality, for instance 你说的太快了 is saying that 你说 (your speech) has the quality of being 太快了 (too fast) or in other words "You speak too ...
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2answers
82 views

What are the differences between 本 and 版 when it comes to edition

I’ve found that 本 and 版 can be used to describe the edition of a published material, but do they have any differences between them? If they have, please give some examples
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3answers
97 views

How to say 反常识的 in English?

How to properly translate 反常识的 to English in academic writing? I want to express a surprising and unusual phenomenon that shouldn't appear in an experiment, which is not expected and against the ...
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2answers
223 views

Usage of 能骗就骗 (if you can cheat, then cheat)

There is a Youtube video by a popular Youtube blogger who lives in China and is married to a Chinese woman, and he says in that video that the Chinese language has the idiom 能骗就骗 ("if you can cheat, ...
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2answers
45 views

敢于 vs 勇于 difference in usage

may I ask if 敢于 and 勇于 are interchangeable words? In English, both of them mean dare to, have the courage to do something. I looked up some sentences involving both words and it seems to be used in a ...
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1answer
35 views

Why is there repetition of the measure words in 一把把小扇子 and 一枚枚邮票? [duplicate]

This is from my 3-rd grade Chinese 语文 book (transcript is here): 秋天的雨,有一盒五彩缤纷的颜料。你看,它把黄色给了银杏树,黄黄的叶子像一把把小扇子,扇哪扇哪,扇走了夏天的炎热。它把红色给了枫树,红红的枫叶像一枚枚邮票,飘哇飘哇,邮来了秋天的凉爽。金黄色是给田野的,看,田野像金色的海洋。橙红色是给果树的,橘子、柿子你挤我碰,...
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1answer
38 views

What are the differences between 违犯 and 违反?

Both 违犯 and 违反 share the meaning to violate. What are the differences between these two?
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2answers
49 views

Differences between 移民 and 移居

The two words 移民 and 移居 are really confusing to me, I’ve searched the dictionary but they are still vague to me. Can someone help me with the use of these 2 words and add some examples?
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2answers
69 views

孤单 vs 孤独 vs 寂寞 usage

so far I went through a few forums to look at existing questions on 孤单 vs. 孤独 vs. 寂寞 usage. The answers from each person have a bit of difference so I would like to check if what I understood so far ...
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2answers
52 views

Various uses of the English “for” to indicate purpose

The sentences below all use the word "for" to indicate purpose. I tried to think of a few sentences that may use "for" a little bit differently. Can you help me understand how to use "for" in Chinese? ...
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3answers
129 views

无聊 vs 闷 differences in usage

I have been trying to figure out if 无聊 and 闷 have some difference in terms of usages. So I have thought of some scenarios below. "Decribing an activity". If I want to say this activity is very ...
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1answer
74 views

Is 来自 a 口语 or 书面语?

Is 来自 used in daily conversations? For example, if I want to say "I come from Malaysia." Should the sentence be 我来自马来西亚。or 我是从马来西亚来的。?
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2answers
63 views

Why do we use 做 in this sentence as “being”?

Sentence: 我太喜欢和他做朋友了 How can we use 做 in this meaning in other sentences? Where can I read more about it and what is the name of this "rule"? And what is the meaning of the 了 in this sentence?
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3answers
84 views

忍耐 vs 忍受 usage/difference

Based on the dictionary, 忍耐 = endure, bear with, restraint oneself while 忍受 = bear, endure. But when I look at sample sentences, the usage of both words sort of overlap each other. So how do I use ...
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2answers
49 views

之后 vs 过后 usage & differences

Based on the dictionary, 之后 = after, afterwards while 过后 = afterwards, after. I wanted to find the difference in usage between those two words, so I analysed some sample sentences. I feel like 过后 is ...
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2answers
59 views

倔强 vs 固执 vs 顽固 usage

The dictionary says that 倔强 = stubborn, 固执 = stubborn, 顽固 =obstinate, stubborn. I looked up some sample sentences and felt like 倔强 and 固执 are synonyms. So are 倔强 and 固执 synonyms or do they have some ...
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2answers
85 views

脑袋 vs 脑子 vs 头脑 vs 脑筋

Based on the dictionary, I get the meaning that all 4 words mean brain, mind, head. So what's the difference between each of the words? And what is the usage of each word? It will be really helpful if ...
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5answers
171 views

What's the difference between 兵器 and 武器?

According to the dictionary, 兵器 = weapons, weaponry while 武器 = weapons, arms. It sounds like they are synonyms to me so I was wondering if those two words are synonyms or do they have some difference ...
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2answers
61 views

The word for clean (verb)

I usually see adjectives like 干净 and 清洁 for clean but I couldn't find a general verb for clean in Chinese. Let's say I want to say. "please clean your room before you leave". What's the right clean(...
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3answers
326 views

Usage of 万 (wàn): ten thousands or just a great number?

I noticed that very often the word 万 (wàn) occurs in poetry (e.g. poetry of the Tang dynasty). My dictionary reports its meaning as "ten thousands", but it looks like it's used in place of a generic "...
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2answers
82 views

He “looks like”

In my Chinese class we’ve recently had a chapter quiz. I missed the following question: Translate “He looks like Guan Gong” into Chinese. My response: 他看关公一样。 Teacher’s correction: 他看起来像关公一样。 So ...
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3answers
74 views

大半 vs 多数 usages

So far I know that 大半 = most, most likely while 多数 = most, majority. I've heard people say "我多数会来". And this sort of confused me since I thought 大半 is the word that means most likely instead of 多数. ...
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5answers
61 views

Usage of 就 after a noun and before a verb

So this is actually the third question I've asked regarding 就... It's quite difficult for me to grasp. I've gained a lot of insight from the past two question (Usage of 就 in these two examples and ...
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2answers
74 views

What is the purpose of 并 in this sentence?

I have a sentence that I can't quite grasp the meaning of. The sentence is: 他虽然并不聪明, 可是很努力。 It's an example from a Mandarin Chinese textbook I'm using, teaching the usages of 虽然 ~ 可/但(是). I ran ...
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4answers
64 views

What's the usage/meaning of 就 in this case?

I've asked a question regarding 就 before here and the answer helped a lot. But I'm a bit confused regarding another example sentence that I came across. The sentence is: 大的行李托运了,这个小的行李就随身带着。 The ...
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7answers
3k views

What does 丫 mean? 丫是什么意思?

I'm currently watching a TV show called ”匆匆那年“, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0Tub19BTX4&list=PLn8V6LgDVrvJ3SAHEtI4i6hEL_ODIulko&index=7. I've only watched half an hour of the seventh ...
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2answers
61 views

What is the right translation for “replacement class”?

I wanted to say the sentence "I have a replacement class this Saturday". I translated "replacement class" in Google translate and got 替换课程. But when I typed the full sentence on Google translate it is ...
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2answers
145 views

When did 方便面 become 泡面 and why?

I've noticed people avoid the word 方便面 these days, instead opting for the word 泡面. I'm not sure exactly when this switchover occurred but it does seem very pervasive at the moment. KEY does define ...
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5answers
78 views

躲 vs 藏 usage in terms of objects and timing

I just want to confirm if my research on the usage is correct or not for these two words. So based on my research so far, 躲 means hide (people) while 藏 means hide (objects). The thing I'm not sure ...
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7answers
142 views

敌人 vs 冤家 difference

All the time, I've only heard of 敌人 = enemy, in TV shows and dramas. Yesterday I saw the word 冤家 in a folk song which apparently also means enemy in the dictionary. So I was wondering what's the ...
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1answer
203 views

What is the difference between 元 (圓), 幣, and 金?

In currency exchange booths, and in conversation, I've noticed this: US dollar = 美元, 美金. Hong Kong dollar = 港幣 Japanese Yen = 日元 Singapore dollar = 新幣 Euro = 歐元 There's also 英磅 for the pound ...
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4answers
117 views

Chinese numerals or Arabic numerals?

In formal writting in Chinese, should we write 事情已经过去了一万二千三百四十五天。 or 事情已经过去了12345天。 or 事情已经过去了12,345天。 Which one is considered more standard?
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11answers
357 views

Do Chinese people not use “和”?

I'm currently taking a Chinese class with native speakers, and one criticism I've gotten a lot on my writing is that I use “和” way too much. I understand that Americans say "and" more than would be ...
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1answer
69 views

Translation for “what a coincidence”

What's the right way to say "what a coincidence" when I see a friend? Like for example if I see a friend at a shopping mall by coincidence do I say "真巧呀" or "真巧合呀"? Or is there any better way to ...
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3answers
124 views

Usage of 理由 vs 原因

What is the difference in the usage of 理由 vs 原因? Both seem to translate to "reason." According to my understanding, 理由 is more like the rationale behind a decision, behind a move, etc. and 原因 is more ...
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2answers
66 views

Error in Book? Need help

I was reading Assimil Chinese with Ease and came across this. 你见过他? Since this is a question, is 吗 necessary for the question? Perhaps an error? Or can you omit 吗?
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1answer
54 views

Usage of 长短 vs 长度

Based in the dictionary, 长短 = length and 长度 = length. What is the usage or difference between the two words?
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1answer
91 views

How to formally say : “I am yyy calling from xxx company, how can I help you ?”

From a customer service standpoint , how to formally say : "I am yyy calling from xxx company, how can I help you ?". 1:“我是客服 yyy,从 xxx 公司 打过来的。请问有什么可以帮助您 ?” 2: “我叫 yyy , 从 xxx 公司给您打电话了。请问怎么能帮助您 ?” ...
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4answers
728 views

Thank You : 谢谢 vs 感谢 vs 跪谢 vs 多谢

While expressing gratitude in spoken Mandarin , I believe people use 谢谢 and 感谢. For example 谢谢你的时间 OR 谢谢你带我来这里 . Does 感谢你的时间 OR 感谢你带我来这里 imply a higher level of gratitude ? Is there a difference in ...
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1answer
61 views

How to say “If you would like to know any updates , you can always call or message me”

According to my understanding, “update” is translated to “更新” . But this seems to be in the context of Software。 Eg. Software update, OS update ,etc. But how would you convey update in the following ...
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1answer
66 views

Benefeciary : 受益者 vs 获得者

What is the accurate word for Beneficiary (Eg. A beneficiary of a bank account) in Mandarin Chinese ? What is the difference in usage of 受益者 and 获得者 ?
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61 views

Usage of 就 in these two examples

I'm taking an intermediate Chinese course and ran across a character whose usage I can't quite wrap my head around: 就. I believe the meaning of the character itself are "then, right away, etc." ...
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3answers
92 views

停止 vs. 停住 usage/difference?

I am quite confused with the usage of both words as the some of the meaning is overlapping based in English translations. The dictionary shows that 停止 = stop, cease, halt while for 停住 = stop, halt. So ...
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3answers
68 views

Which is used more often, 日没 and 日落

Both 日没 and 日落 express sunset but which one is often more widely used?
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1answer
186 views

“Sheng” as a male given name

Apparently there are quite a lot of characters that are pronounced as "sheng". (According to Pleco: 生、声、省、升、胜、圣、剩,盛、牲、绳、笙、甥、嵊、眚、乘、昇、晟、渑、㗂,呏,曻、泩、陞、鼪) Which of these could plausibly be used as a (...
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1answer
78 views

也许 vs 或许 vs 可能 usage

I checked the meaning for all 3 words and it appears that: 也许 = maybe, perhaps, probably / 或许 = maybe, perhaps, probably"/ 可能 = possibly, possible, maybe, perhaps. It seems to me that 也许 and 或许 have ...