Questions tagged [usage]

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

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4
votes
2answers
359 views

How to use 了 as a modal particle?

I'm having a hard time understanding when to use 了 as a modal particle (instead of as an aspect particle). For example, what is the difference between the following two sentences. 现在几点? 现在几点了? ...
4
votes
1answer
240 views

Can I use a verb+的 construction to imply an item/noun?

I'm often don't which noun to use, but I can think of a verb to describe it. I know that 吃的 (to eat + 的) means food, so I was wondering if I can use it with other verbs as well, like 洗澡的 (to bathe + ...
4
votes
7answers
2k views

What does 起来 mean in this phrase?

把被子收起来吧. Translation: Let's put the quilt away. In other circumstances, 起来 means to get up but here there is a different meaning, and from the definitions I can't decide which definition is used ...
3
votes
5answers
274 views

Can you apply 男子汉 and 女汉子 to non-Chinese?

The term 汉奸 probably only works for Han Chinese traitors, but what about other '汉's?
3
votes
4answers
498 views

“She” (她) for inanimate objects in Chinese(?)

She in English (as this is the main language of the site) sometimes has the following function: Used in place of it to refer to certain inanimate things, such as ships and nations, traditionally ...
3
votes
3answers
405 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 "...
3
votes
3answers
147 views

Use of 了 - when is it necessary?

我走到海滩边,看到一幢房子前有一块写着“旅馆”的牌子. I went to the seaside and saw a building with sign in front of it which said 'hotel'. Authentic Chinese with my translation. This is in the past. But there is no 了. Is ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Can I use 兼 for more than two positions?

兼 takes two objects that are in the same category. For example, 一般来说,在IT行业一个中小企业创始者担任CEO兼CTO是常见的。 在我的家庭,妈妈是个厨师兼清洁工。 However, can I add one or more, and make it more than two positions, such ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

Is 未長未短 grammatically correct (in classical Chinese)?

Is 未長未短 grammatically correct (in classical Chinese)? The article http://www.hainan-today.com/2012/201201/web/201201_28.htm uses “未長未短”: 但与大门前的“翻天覆地”相比,作为景区主体之一的“雨林谷”变化却“含蓄”许多,景观还是两年前的样子,没多没少,...
2
votes
2answers
76 views

Why are the two 才s used in 很多小朋友以为长大了以后才能自由自在。他们不知道,他们才是最自由自在的?

The page I followed on Instagram uploaded a picture complete with its caption that says : 很多小朋友以为长大了以后才能自由自在。他们不知道,他们才是最自由自在的。 They also provide this translation : Many children think they can ...
2
votes
4answers
615 views

不比 vs 没有 comparison usage

If my understanding is correct, then: 他没有我高。= he's not as tall as me, i.e. he is shorter. 他不比我高。= he's either as tall as me or shorter, i.e. he's at most as tall as me. Is that correct? If so, in ...
2
votes
1answer
113 views

爱、采 ( A trivalent verb takes 2 objects )

(my 1st post) Could someone give me a sample sentence containing 爱 taking 2 objects? I'm guessing it's << I'd love him to [do ...] >> type of construction? Thank you. HH (from Wikipedia)...
1
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5answers
304 views

兆 as (part of) a number

CEDICT shows 兆 as "… / million / mega- / trillion / tera- / billion (old)". Is it ever actually used numerically, or is it standard to use Arabic numbers (or M/T for prefixes) to eliminate ambiguity? ...
1
vote
2answers
161 views

What is the function and/or meaning of the 2 '以‘ in this phrase?

I came across this phrase but I cannot really see the function or point of the 2 '以‘。 Must be old Chinese. 授人以鱼不如授人以渔。 (Translated maybe: "Knowledge is the best charity.") What are the 2 '以‘ doing ...
1
vote
2answers
168 views

Is 用一下 preferable to 用用 or 用一用?

Our Chinese book contains this problem: I'm interested in the first example. 我不认识这个字,我想用你的词典。 Wǒ bù rènshì zhège zì, wǒ xiǎng yòng nǐ de cídiǎn. It translates to "I don't recognize this ...
0
votes
1answer
35 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
86 views

Why does 兴奋 (excitement) not mean what I think it means?

I wrote this: 我觉得小夏后悔过去的比赛,小夏回忆没进球也也许让一个好机会错过。所以小夏在房间里老坐着。马克想帮助小夏带他去足球比赛再体验足球的兴奋,让小夏高兴点儿。 My teacher made the following corrections (my question relates to the 5-th item below): she deleted the ...
0
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4answers
66 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 ...