Questions tagged [usage]

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

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2 votes
3 answers
133 views

Is 綴飾 being used naturally as a verb in 這件衣服綴飾了許多亮片?

Is the following sentence natural for native speakers of Mandarin? 這件衣服綴飾了許多亮片,適合在晚宴上穿著。 Is "綴飾" used naturally? I thought it's supposed to be used as a noun.
1 vote
3 answers
67 views

Honorifics used by students the same age

Can anyone tell me honorifics that would be used by high school aged students who are the same age? More specifically, is there any honorific that would be used by a student being extremely polite to ...
6 votes
3 answers
445 views

What is the function of 已 in 好像她已出去好几天了。

What is the purpose of 已 in the following sentence? 好像她已出去好几天了。 The English translation given is: It looks as if she's gone away for a few days. Or is this an incorrect-character, supposed to ...
9 votes
5 answers
3k views

A Complex Chinese Character (Characters Identified: 招財進寶)

I randomly saw this character on the blog a while ago and saved a image of it as shown below. Is this even a character? If so, what does it mean? When is it used? What was the origin of it? How do ...
2 votes
5 answers
736 views

Can “懂” be used (as a verb) before a place name?

For example, could the sentence ”我懂四川“ sound natural at all? If so, could it mean you know the place very well, possibly even in a nostalgic or essential sense?
1 vote
4 answers
245 views

What does 行文至此 mean in 行文至此,北京市职业介绍部门传来令人欣喜的消息……?

行文至此,北京市职业介绍部门传来令人欣喜的消息:在招聘的85名保洁员中,有50人是北京人。 Short Term Reading Chinese (2nd edition): Advanced; photo (alternative site) I'm confused about why this sentence from my textbook begins with 行文至此. CC-...
1 vote
2 answers
88 views

How is the expression 恪尽职守, from a short story by Diao Dou, used? Is it used ironically?

恪尽职守 How exactly is this used? Is it often used ironically? I ran across it in a short story by Diao Dou 蹲着.
3 votes
5 answers
2k views

Does Chinese have 单词 ("words")?

This may seem like a strange question coming from someone who has studied Chinese for a number of years now, but I recall a teacher long ago saying I shouldn't call Chinese words CC-CEDICT: 单词 (dān​...
4 votes
2 answers
75 views

Differences with 呢度,喺度,and 喺呢度

Can anyone explain any differences in usage between the three ways of saying 'here' in Cantonese? I anticipate that in many cases, these will be exchangeable. I'm looking for examples of sentences ...
1 vote
4 answers
137 views

这段课文写对了没有? 请你们检查一下。谢谢

Please help me to check if my text for the video is correct. 大家好! 我是_, 我来自俄罗斯, 今年20岁。 目前还是一个_大学外国语学院的学生。 我是一个渴望知识的人, 学得很认真和努力。 我家不太富裕, 我从中学工作和帮助解决金钱问题。 从那时起,我试图了解金融和经济学是如何运作的, 觉得很有意思。 在我上学期间, ...
2 votes
3 answers
123 views

What does 兮兮 mean?

According to the dictionary, 兮兮 means: 词的后缀。用在某些词后,表示一种情态。 脏兮兮 | 可怜兮兮 | 神经兮兮 I'm not sure what this has over just using the word (how can 情态 express adjectives to express a state, not people?). Does ...
7 votes
5 answers
5k views

what's the difference between 羡慕 and 妒忌?

Can someone tell me the difference between these to words. Are they both regularly used? They seem to both indicate jealousy. I've seen 羡慕 on different occasions and I'm used to that one, but I've ...
2 votes
3 answers
649 views

Localization between Mainland China's 姑娘 and Taiwan's 小姐

In Taiwan, we call women 小姐 and this is often used in everyday situations including calling for a waitress or anyone in the service industry. However, I have heard this is rude to call a woman a 小姐 ...
4 votes
4 answers
212 views

When is it appropriate to use 剩女?

For the average Chinese woman approaching the age of 27-30, getting married is a fairly high priority, and a large motivating factor to this is the cultural pressure of avoiding becoming a 剩女, or ...
4 votes
4 answers
129 views

Do people say 有能力 <do something> or 有 <do something> 的能力

I've always been a bit confused about the order of using 有能力 and I'm hoping someone can clarify. Do people say "有能力 do something" or "有 do something 的能力"? For example, could I say "他没有能力写代码?”
0 votes
3 answers
142 views

To be good at something. Is 很會 appropriate?

When I started learning Chinese, my language partner (from Taiwan) taught me that the phrase 很會 can be used to indicate ability. I don’t use it all the time, because in Chinese there are alternatives ...
7 votes
8 answers
2k views

What is the difference between 看不起 and 看不上?

The two have very similar meanings and can both be used to mean "detest, despise, look down upon" but there seems to be a subtle difference. According to these entries: 看不起 http://www.zdic.net/c/b/...
1 vote
4 answers
80 views

Can 同学 really be used as a separable verb?

Online, you can find this example of 同学 being used as a separable verb: 我和他同过三年学。 He and I were classmates for three years. I'm skeptical this is correct. (Sometimes databases have errors, and ...
1 vote
2 answers
110 views

How to say wow in chinese and stretch it out? Woooaaaaah

How do you say "waaa~" in chinese? Woooaaaaaa~ To express being dazed by awe. I know 哇 exists but I'm not sure how to exaggerate it.
4 votes
8 answers
2k views

Why is there a 零 in 三年零九个月?

……大王,您所期待的长恒纪元就到来了,这个恒纪元将持续三年零九个月,其间气候温暖,是一个黄金纪元。 刘慈欣,《三体》 This is from the novel The Three Body Problem. I'm a little bit puzzled as to why there is a 零 added in 三年零九个月 = "three years and nine ...
2 votes
1 answer
86 views

Can kan4 be used to mean "to look after"? Or must it be first tone?

看 is a 多音字. With fourth tone it has many different and very common meanings. With first tone it is defined as "to look after", "to take care of", "to watch", and "to ...
1 vote
2 answers
148 views

Difference between 一下(儿) and 一下子

The Commercial Press' 现代汉语词典 and many places on the internet say that 一下 and 一下子 are the same thing/meaning. But that's false, since the biggest use of 一下 is as a measure word and 一下子 is an adverb. ...
3 votes
2 answers
113 views

What is the function of 得 in 我聽日仲有得面試添 in Cantonese?

I would like to ask about the function of 得 in this sentence: 我聽日仲有得面試添。 I understood the sentence as: "Tomorrow I still have an interview (additionally, on top of something else that might not ...
1 vote
1 answer
81 views

Usage and grammar points involving 嚟講

I would like to request for some insights on the usage of the phrase “… 嚟講”. I have heard this being used in so many ways, one being “對我嚟講” as speaking for myself. What could be other possible uses ...
1 vote
2 answers
95 views

What is the semantic history of 会?

According to BCLCU's Chinese Grammar for Foreigners, auxiliary verbs cannot be followed directly by nouns. This makes sense with most auxiliary verbs, but there is one glaring exception: 会 when ...
9 votes
5 answers
3k views

When to use "们"

In Chinese, using "们" after a noun is, in some sense, equivalent to adding an "s" after an English word. Yet I find the rules in Chinese of using 们 to be very puzzling; I am a native speaker yet I ...
1 vote
4 answers
642 views

Is it acceptable to teach 看书 as a generic verb "To read"?

Of course there is 阅读, which specifically means "to read" and satisfies the prosodic preference for disyllabic words. However, if someone asked me what my brother was doing in the back of ...
0 votes
3 answers
296 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
9 votes
4 answers
3k 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'...
1 vote
4 answers
272 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 (...
3 votes
3 answers
75 views

What, if any, are the different usage cases for 就像 vs. 正如

I have always used 就像 when trying to say "just like" but recently came across 正如 while studying the various ways to use 如. According to the dictionary definition and some of the examples, it ...
2 votes
5 answers
159 views

Difference between 還沒 & 還不

For example, when you're talking to someone and asking them why they're still awake when it's really late. 你怎麼還沒睡覺? 你怎麼還不睡覺? I know both convey some meaning of asking the other person why they aren't ...
2 votes
2 answers
107 views

Can 呻吟 ("moan") be used to describe sounds resulting from pleasure?

CC-CEDICT: 呻吟 (shēn​yín​) to moan / to groan In English the word "moan" can be used in both painful and pleasurable situations. In Chinese, I've seen examples of 呻吟 being used in painful ...
1 vote
6 answers
1k views

What's the difference between 之间 and 中间?

之间 means between (no more than 2), so these are acceptable: 我和他之间 我们之间 (between us two) Not acceptable: 学生们之间 中间 means among (more than 2), so this is acceptable: 学生们之间 And this isn't: 我和他之间 I'...
1 vote
3 answers
63 views

Can you use 或者 to express alternatives between more options than two?

In all the examples I have come across, 或者 is always used to express the conjunction or between two options in statements. My question is if you can still use it between three or more options. That is,...
0 votes
3 answers
117 views

Can 陷害 ("to frame") be used to express e.g. "framed for murder"?

CC-CEDICT: 陷害 (xiàn​hài​) to entrap / to set up / to frame (up) / to make false charges against The example sentences I see are like: 被告说他被人陷害了。 The accused man said that he had been framed. 他被仇人陷害。 ...
0 votes
3 answers
82 views

Exact meaning of 都 in 刚刚你的担忧,我都听见了?

In 李芳,实不相瞒,刚刚你的担忧,我都听见了。 What is the real meaning of 都? Cause i think it can have the 都...了 pattern wich means "already" so the sentence can be translated as :李芳 ,to be honest i already ...
-1 votes
3 answers
117 views

Can I call my game 三棋 Sān Qí?

I have created a board game based on the epic 'Three Kingdoms' by Luo Guanzhong. I can't call it 'Three Kingdoms' because there are too many games called that. I want to call it Sān Qí 三棋 because it ...
0 votes
1 answer
58 views

What is the function of “而” and “使” in this sentence?

all. I'm reading through a textbook and came across this sentence: “那些得益于畜牧农耕而使人类实现了定居的地方,大都成为人类文明的摇篮。” Overall, the sentence doesn't really give me much trouble except for that “而使” in the first ...
3 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
126 views

When is it okay to say 在……的时候 instead of 当……的时候?

I always see 在……时/的时候,but whenever I try to use this phrase, natives tell me to say 当……时/的时候 instead. Examples of 在……时/的时候 from natives: 如果我在讲话的时候用到这些词的话…… 在阅读某些文章的时候…… 我觉得在我给你发了修改的文章时说会更好一点。 在上班时…… ...
8 votes
6 answers
903 views

Phrases to acknowledge being corrected in Mandarin

When I lived in China, I was often corrected for using grammar improperly or translating too literally. I don't think I ever learned a good response to this. I usually wanted to be courteous and ...
5 votes
8 answers
410 views

Why is 上下 used in 这套房子是上下两层的?

I am confused by the use of 上下 in the sentence: 这套房子是上下两层的,楼下是客厅,楼上有三个房间。 This house has two floors, the living room is downstairs, and there are three rooms upstairs. I understand 上下 as up and down,...
7 votes
1 answer
16k views

The slang meaning of "Seven/七" in Cantonese

I have heard a few Hongkongers saying seven in a similar, likely identical, context. I assume they are addressing a person because when they say it, they make the L hand gesture. I could be wrong, but ...
0 votes
1 answer
70 views

Please help me change these sentences using 不止

I'm not sure what I changed are correct or not. 我看陳太太那麼老,恐怕不會只有70歲吧? -> 我看陳太太那麼老,恐怕不止70歲吧? 愛闖紅燈的,並不是只有騎摩托車的,開車的也一樣。 -> 愛闖紅燈的,不止是騎摩托車的,開車的也一樣。 王小姐家不但她能幹,她兩個姐姐也是女強人。 -> 王小姐家不止她能幹,...
0 votes
3 answers
93 views

Does this phrase 斩草除根 exist in dramas only?

So, I have been watching quite a bit of 古代 dramas。 I will say most if not all of them have the situation where this phrase comes up. Does this phrase exist in the dramas only or did this actually ...
1 vote
3 answers
120 views

using 值得 in a phrase

I have seen the usage of 值得 (deserving) in the following way (Cantonese, colloquial) 值得一來 值得買 I wanted to ask why there is a '一' in the first phrase, and not 值得一買? What other alternatives are there to ...
0 votes
4 answers
108 views

How would you translate "for just a moment" in Chinese?

I am wondering if there's a more accurate way to say "for just a moment", or "if not for just a moment" in Chinese? I am not certain because the translations I found sounds ...
0 votes
3 answers
75 views

The usage of 於 in this title

May I ask what function does the word 於 have in this title: 台北兩日兩夜「帶於媽遊台北」. I get the general idea of this title: Two Days and Two Nights in Taipei // Bringing my mum to travel around Taipei. Please ...
17 votes
7 answers
3k views

Is 下个星期三 (xiàge xīngqīsān) = "next Wednesday" ambiguous like in English?

In English, we tend to avoid saying "next Wednesday", etc., because it's ambiguous. It humorously arises in a Seinfeld quote: Sid: No, next Wednesday, [the] week after this Wednesday. ...

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