Questions tagged [usage]

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

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11 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
51 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
104 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
44 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
51 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
97 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
691 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
92 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
176 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 ...
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3answers
287 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 ...
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6answers
171 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
179 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
193 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
390 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
88 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 ...
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2answers
98 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? ...
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2answers
173 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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3answers
109 views

Why is 很早 after the verb in 我起床很早?

I came across the following sentence: 今天我起床很早。 Jīntiān wǒ qǐchuáng hěn zǎo. Today I wake up very early. I am confused about 很早 appearing after the verb. I think here 很早 (very early) indicates the ...
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3answers
927 views

What is 吗 doing in 你有什么事吗?

In a Chinese lesson, I came across these sentences: 你有什么事吗? Nǐ yǒu shénme shì mɑ? 你有什么事? Nǐ yǒu shénme shì? And both were translated as: What's the matter? I don't understand 1. Without 吗, I ...
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3answers
561 views

Can an adverb modify another adverb in Chinese?

I was wondering if an adverb in Chinese can be used to modify another adverb. I looked some resources but I could not find it. For example, in Adverb in resources.allsetlearning, they just say "...
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7answers
198 views

How to translate “something separates me from other people” in Chinese?

I'm trying to translate a song lyric that reads "something separates me from other people". My translation is " 我从别人点儿什么分开“. Is this correct? Thanks in advance for your help!
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2answers
82 views

Difference between 问 and 让 “to ask”

How do 问 and 让 differ in meaning and in what sort of situations would you use either of them? In chinese.yabla.com there are a lot of different verbs with the meaning 'to ask'.
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4answers
204 views

Trust/Believe : “信任” vs “相信”

How is the usage of 信任 and 相信 different ? According to my understanding the scope of 信任 is more than the scope of 相信 . For example if we are talking about a person or a few people , we might say 我相信你 ...
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1answer
30 views

Placement of duration complement 很长时间 before a negated verb 没看?

I found the following sentence: 我很长时间没看电影了。 Wǒ hěn cháng shíjiān méi kàn diànyǐngle. I haven't watched a movie in a very long time. I believe 很长时间 (very long time) is the duration of the action 没看 (...
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3answers
85 views

Passive object position in 是…的 structure?

I came across the following sentences: 1. 电话是谁打来的? Diànhuà shì shuí dǎlái de? Who was calling? 晚饭是妈妈做的。 Wǎnfàn shì māma zuò de. Mom made dinner. Which literally is something like: The phone call ...
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1answer
58 views

If I go to a store and the cashier asks “有會買嗎?” what does that mean?

For example, if a cashier rings me up and says "這樣一共是五百元, 有會買嗎?" What does the "有會買嗎" mean and how would I respond? Thank you.
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2answers
61 views

Is it okay to use stative verbs in Topic-Comment?

In the topic-comment structure, I notice that action verbs and adjectival verbs often appear in the comment part. This makes sense because the topic is typically an object: with action-verbs, you can ...
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4answers
107 views

Why 了 in 走+time+就到了?

I came across the following sentence: 她的家很近,走五分钟就到了。 Tā de jiā hěn jìn, zǒu wǔ fēnzhōnɡ jiù dào le. Her house is very close, only need to walk for five minutes to arrive. Question: Why is there a ...
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3answers
117 views

Meaning of 的 in 真的?

Question: Is the 的 in 真的 a modal 的 [see resources.allsetlearning.com]? How does 的 change 真? Does it bring some emphasis? I guess the purpose of 的 in 真的 is the same as in 好的 or 有的? See Is each 的 in 有的 ...
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1answer
39 views

可以 altering time words order?

In this site they say time words can only appear in two possible positions in a sentence, either before or after the subject: Time + Subj. + Verb + Obj. Subj. + Time + Verb + Obj. But I came across ...
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2answers
62 views

How to proceed after forgetting to include time-when/location/adverb phrase before main verb?

In English (and other languages), I commonly do this in conversations: I'll say a short + simple sentence (subject-verb-object), but moments later, I'll want to add a detail to the statement. ...
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2answers
58 views

播出,廣播,轉播 :哪裡不一樣?

So I'm studying the translation for broadcasting and three terms (well, excluding one, which I'll mention at the end) are given to me by a textbook. They are 播出, 廣播 and 轉播. For the life of me I ...
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3answers
154 views

Which one is more commonly used in Chinese speaking communities: 年轻 or 年青?

One of the elective projects on the study of Chinese culture given in my high school is as follows: 探讨中国传统文化如何助当今年青人走出困局。 I thought this was a typo so I asked our teacher to correct it to 年轻. But ...
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2answers
59 views

可以 order structure?

I have some confusion about the grammar structure of 可以 Kěyǐ. I found in this website the basic usage is: Subj. + 可以 + Verb + Obj. But then I came across a dialogue where they put it after the verb: ...
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1answer
71 views

When does an adjective require 的 to describe a noun?

In this post on the omission of the possessive 的,I came across an explanation of the adjective suffix 的 by Tang Ho. An example was: 强大勇敢 (brave + strong) = correct without 的 强大勇敢的人 (brave and ...
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5answers
110 views

What is the function of 就是

What does 就 是mean and how do we use it I have seen many times people using like in this sentence 就是关于爱情的 so what does 就是really means
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1answer
67 views

Difference between 那 vs 呢 and when to use it [closed]

What is the difference between 那 vs 呢 and where should I use it?
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4answers
124 views

How to use 一般 and examples

一般 is both an adjective and adverb that means "same". I haven't found any thorough explanations of its usage. How is it generally used and in what kind of situations? Thank you so much!
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5answers
159 views

What does 活宝 mean?

My boss is Chinese and calls a coworker and I this 活宝 . The automated translation services tend to say Living Treasure Two Big Live Treasures or Living Baby. She swears there is more to the definition ...
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2answers
169 views

Is there a usage for 𦍌 as “rèn”?

Is there a usage for 𦍌 as "rèn" ? I cannot find examples with this pronunciation. I understand the usages as yáng, jiāng, & qiāng, as explained by dROOOze and others in what-is-the-top-part-of-...
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3answers
93 views

开 and 给 as Result Complement

My textbook introduces 开 and 给 as Result Complements which are placed after verbs to indicate the result of actions. However, the book doesn’t provide any examples. Can you guys teach me how to use ...
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1answer
96 views

What’s the difference between 起来 and 上?

Both 起来 and 上 after a verb should indicate the beginning and continuation of an action or a state. Are there differences in usage? If yes when should I use one instead of the other? Examples with 上: ...
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1answer
41 views

What's the difference: 一点 or 一点点?

I feel kind of silly for asking because I doubt it's a huge difference. However, I can't seem to find any answers online. I understand that both mean a little as in 我会说一点缅甸语 or 请说一点慢 。 Is there a ...
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1answer
71 views

What's the difference between 老公 (lǎo gōng) and 丈夫 (zhàng fu)?

I understand that they both mean "husband" in some capacity; are there any differences in formality or connotation between the two? Thanks!
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1answer
54 views

How to ask a native speaker's preferred input system (pinyin, bpmf, etc)

What is an appropriate verb for asking native speakers which writing system(s) they are familiar with? I have presented the following questions to natives before, all without issues pertaining to ...
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2answers
55 views

How do you ask “Will you see your child next Sunday” in Chinese using verb not verb structure?

What will be the difference between 你下个星期天会不会见你的孩子 and 你下个星期天会见不见你的孩子 ? I am learning these sentences on Duolingo :) and was given the meaning of 你下个星期天会不会见你的孩子 as "Will you see your child next ...
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1answer
62 views

What does 为 do in 鸦片战争后,天津开放为通商口岸?

鸦片战争后,天津开放为通商口岸。 Jukuu I'm confused about 为 in this example sentence from Jukuu. I think the sentence means: After the Opium Wars, Tianjin opened "treaty ports". I understand these refer to ...
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1answer
65 views

形式,样式 and 方式 - appearance, style, form, shape…?

In terms of the appearance of something, there a lot of HSK5 words that are very similar. Here are four and the definitions I've found thus far. 表面 - 1. surface (tangible, 方面 is intangible), 2. ...

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