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Questions tagged [verbs]

Questions about verbs, their characteristics and their specific use.

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61 views

Using a verb as a habitual thing vs Chinese

I have noticed perhaps that in English we could say a sentence like ‘you think I sleep?’ And it could be referring to (in a comical way of course) that fact of me not sleeping in general or at all. ...
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3answers
90 views

Chinese expression for “go out early and return early”

I'm Looking for a Chinese expression that means something like "go out early and return early" or "the sooner you leave, the sooner you can come back". It expresses a wish for a person who is leaving ...
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3answers
129 views

Why does 他没看书 use 没 and not 不 in this dialogue?

I was reviewing some old Anki cards that I created from HSK Standard Course 1 by Jiang Liping and I came across this dialogue: A: 喂你在做什么呢 B: 我在看书呢 A: 大卫也在看书吗 B: 他没看书。他在学做中国菜呢 A: Hello, what are you ...
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2answers
106 views

What is the phenomenon of putting a verb twice in a sentence called?

Disclaimer: I am not asking about reduplication nor separable verbs! I have noticed that the Chinese often use the same verb twice as if deconstructing a sentence into smaller clauses. I have also ...
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3answers
100 views

Can I use 在 with 一边… 一边?

我一边吃饭,一边做作业 I do homework while eating 我一边在吃饭,一边在做作业 I'm doing homework while eating Is the second sentence correct? Can I use 在 or does 一边...一边 already imply that the action I'm talking about ...
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53 views

How does the grammar of 拿把伞 work?

This sentence is taken from lesson 2 of HSK3 and apparently it means "get an umbrella". The full sentence is 我下楼去给你拿把伞 which should mean "I will go downstairs to get you an umbrella". My IME is ...
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3answers
44 views

What is the verb of 要回过头来走老一辈的路?

In the following sentence: 奏月家从爷爷那一辈就开始做豆腐,奏月的父亲不能理解,女儿读完大学,为啥要回过头来走老一辈的路,干这种苦差事呢? I think the sentence would mean something like the following: 奏月's family started the tofu business from ...
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2answers
60 views

Two word verbs with adverb

I was just working on a Chinese review app and came across the sentence: 他游泳游得很快。 And I was wondering if the doubling of the first character is unique to certain kinds of verbs or all 2 character ...
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1answer
71 views

Should I use 为 instead of 是 to mean “is” on a date?

Suppose that the following example: 报名截止日期为2月17日。 In these cases that take a date as the predicate, I usually see 为 instead of 是. Both mean "is" and I already learned 为 is more formal than 是. ...
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43 views

Main verbs for to think

想, 觉得,以为 all mean to think. But is there any subtle difference between the three or tense difference? When would you be more likely to use them in context?
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5answers
257 views

Do I drink (喝) or eat (吃) a soup in Chinese?

In English you say eat soup, not drink soup. But how about Mandarin? Drink 這個菜湯很香! 你喝喝看! (This vegetable soup is really tasty! You try it!) or eat? 這個菜湯很香! 你吃吃看! (This vegetable soup is really ...
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2answers
107 views

Which online resources (preferably open source / cc) does contain info on which Chinese verbs is separable?

Some Chinese verbs are separable (also called verb-object compounds), that is: 他今天上三個鐘頭的課 (He/she had three hours of class today) Where 上課 is a separable verb. As there is no rules on which verbs ...
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3answers
108 views

How can I use 有点 or 一点 to add “a little” to a verb?

According to Chinese Language grammar wiki: Used with Nouns 一点 (yīdiǎn) can be placed before a noun to mean "small quantity," like 一点水,一点钱 while 有点 (yǒudiǎn) can't be used this way. Used ...
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4answers
805 views

Is there a way to respond to 你做什么工作?starting with 我做…?

For many questions in Chinese, it's best to respond by repeating the verb. Here's a few I just made up: Q: 你是哪儿国人? A: 我是中国人。 Q: 刘老师找什么? A: 刘老师找她的老公。 Q: 她有老公吗? A: 对,她有老公。 Q: 小王怕什么? A: ...
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2answers
144 views

Flexibility of word classes in Chinese

I have just started learning Chinese and I know that 姓 can be both a verb and a noun. I wondered whether there are a lot of other Chinese verbs that can also be used as nouns. For example, is a ...
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2answers
139 views

In what kind of contexts should you use 处于/处在?

I just read the article titled 睡眠时间男女不同 日本女性很难入睡, and in the article, I read the following sentence: 据《读卖新闻》下属的网络媒体报道,在几乎所有主要国家中,女性睡眠都比较好,尤其是北欧国家的女性处在容易睡眠的环境中。 Then I learned that 处在 is a synonym ...
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88 views

The difference between 选择 and 选取?

In Chinese so many words look like the same and I could not understand which one to use. Now, I wonder in what kind of situations I should use 选择 or 选取 over the other to express "choose" or "select". ...
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104 views

What is the meaning of 躺着躺着?

In the following sentence: 昨天晚上我们在一起聊天,___忽然停电了。 To fill in the blank, I picked up 说着说着, but the correct answer was 躺着躺着. The other two candidates were 跳着跳着 and 走着走着, and I even think these are ...
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141 views

Is 拿 only used to take “thing” and not “person”?

I recently took a Chinese test on EasyMandarin website. One of the question is the following: 明天晚上我___你吃饭。 They ask me to pick up a word that is suitable to the blank area, and I picked up 拿. ...
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2answers
94 views

Why is 的 used in this sentence?

你想要什么喝的吗? I've seen 的 used after a verb like this in other sentences. The only thing I could find about 的 after a verb was when it's used with 是.
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226 views

How to translate 撒娇?

In the context of: 你能向他撒娇。 How would 撒娇 be translated? If 撒娇 is translated as flighty in the context of the sentence, it sounds a bit unnatural: You can get flighty with him.
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1answer
99 views

How to translate 谈情说爱 in English?

The definition from Yabla (which is prettier in Ninchanese ): to discuss passion and talk of love (idiom); to express love with terms of endearment billing and cooing And to translate the sentence: ...
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6answers
273 views

Using 得 without single character verbs

I've been taught that ‘得’ can be used in situations such as, “我打篮球打得很好”, to describe the "degree" that the action has. But I've also been told that ‘得’ only works with single character verbs-- so ...
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1answer
107 views

What is the semantic relationship between the verbal phrases of a serial verb construction?

The general syntax of a serial verb construction sentence type is: S VP1 VP2 VP3... wherein S stands for Subject and VP for verbal phrase. As far as I know, the sequence of verbal phrases express ...
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972 views

How to define this usage of '以'"?

“时间给勤奋者以荣誉,给懒汉以耻辱.” This is a quote from Gao Shiqi. I understand the basic meaning of it, but what is a good way to define the usage of 以? It can mean many different things in Chinese and is ...
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3answers
184 views

The difference between 送 ,带 and 捎

I know that they all mean something like "to bring something to someone" and 送 also means "to see someone out" and "to give sm a present" but what is the difference between these three verbs in these ...
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2answers
160 views

Using SHI4 for noun and adjective, exceptional rules

I have noted the confusion for using "SHI4" and too struggle to grasp the difference. Common rule for learners is that Noun + Adjective is never linked with "SHI4". As in "He is tall" etc. However, ...
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2answers
110 views

How do you express intention (for + gerund English structure) in Chinese?

As I've said before I'm completely illiterate in Chinese but I'm struggling to do some vital translations for my job. I am trying to make the following noun phrase in chinese: a proposal for ...
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1answer
75 views

When 了 has the same verb before and after it, is it reduplication combined with 了1?

Some sentences that I have seen contain the pattern "verb + 了 + verb". An example of this is: "他們碰了碰杯子。" [1] Since in all examples that I have seen the verb before and after 了 is the same, I ...
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109 views

When to use of 买

I teacher mine told me that 买 could be use to buy/purchase but also to "to decide to buy", or "go shopping", other teacher told me the first one was wrong. Who is right?
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1answer
267 views

Are both 他游了三个小时泳 and 他游泳游了三个小时 fine?

I've learned about separable verbs, 离合词. I learned that separable verbs such as 游泳 must be divided into the verb (游) and the object (泳) when particles like 了, 过, 着, etc. are attached to the verb or ...
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1answer
406 views

Differences between 喜欢, 要, and 想? [duplicate]

Could someone explain to explain me the difference between the three verbs 喜欢 (xihuan), 要 (yao), and 想 (xiang)? 我喜欢喝一杯啤酒。 (wo xihuan he yi bei pi jiu) 我要喝一杯啤酒。 (wo yao he yi bei pi jiu) 我想喝一杯啤酒。 (wo ...
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1answer
216 views

To add: which should I use 新增, 添加or增添?

I mostly hear 增添 in most contexts, but lately have come across 新增 and 添加. What are the differences in tone and register?
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4answers
670 views

Do I have to include 是 in 你的生日(是)什么时候?

I would like to know if the verb 是 (shi) is optional? 你的生日是什么时候? (Ni de shengri shi shen me shi hou?) 你的生日什么时候? (Ni de shengri shen me shi hou?) Which of those two sentence used more?
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2answers
230 views

What is the function of 是 in this sentence: 你是怎么学习英语的?

Am I right to assume that the question is about the other person's personal method of studying English? And would omitting the 是 make the question more general? (Is this an example for the topic-...
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1answer
110 views

Translate “feature” as a verb to Chinese

How would one translate "feature" as verb to Chinese? e.g This album features all the new artist from NYC. or This frying pan features all new design allows the user to cook in their sleep ..
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1answer
99 views

Verbs of two words

In 你想走的时候就走吧。 it seems 的就 is supposed to be taken as the verb. At my current knowledge level, I wouldn't know how to match those two together and recognize 时候 as modifying the verb. How can I learn ...
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What is the meaning of 背会?

I have encountered the following sentences in my textbook, which use 背会. 我还没背会这篇文章。 今天不背会这篇课文就不回家。 But what does 背会 mean? The textbook seems to say it means memorize, but of all the ...
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3answers
561 views

When to use 住在 and when to use just 住?

I have encountered the following sentences: 以前人们住这样的房子 现在人们住这样的房子 Why do these sentences NOT use 住在? I have learned that 住 takes 在 in order to take the location noun after that. Or maybe is ...
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1answer
292 views

What is the difference between 穿 and 穿上?

I found the following sentence: 我正在穿上毛衣。 In this sentence, can you rephrase it as the following?: 我正在穿毛衣。 If you can rephrase it as such, is there any difference between 穿 and 穿上? I also ...
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4answers
1k views

How to say lived vs. have been living somewhere?

I want to say 1) "I lived in Beijing for six months." As in, I was there last year for six months but I am not living there anymore. Furthermore, how can I distinguish it from 2) "I have ...
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235 views

Why does the `请` take two duplicate words on its verb occasionally (e.g. `请洗洗你的袜子`)

I've read these sentences in my Rosetta Stone courses: 请洗洗你的袜子 请洗一下楼梯 However, why does the first sentence use two 洗 consecutively before taking the object? Also, how can I tell when to use one verb ...
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196 views

Subjunctives in Chinese

I'm trying to render a song in Chinese from Spanish, precisely this one – lyrics here –, but I'm not sure how to translate the subjunctives at the start. The beginning reads: May the infinite become ...
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1answer
886 views

Are there transitive/及物动词 or intransitive/不及物动词 verbs in Chinese?

Problem: Lately I started to get concerned if there are pure transitive or intransitive verbs in Chinese. At first look, there are many verbs that do not require an immediate object/宾语 like 睡觉 or 吃饭. ...
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3answers
874 views

Is there a comprehensive list of separable verbs/离合动词 anywhere?

Problem: I need to find and compile a list of separable verbs/离合词. Searching the internet I have managed to collect a list of 65 verbs which of course is not enough. Separable verbs/离合词 are: 睡觉,决口,...
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1answer
112 views

verb. “to shoot” (weapon): difference between 射击,开枪, 击中, 射中

The verb shoot appears often in Chinese international news. But I am unclear about the different words for it. 射击 and 开枪 seem to be the firing of a gun and 击中,射中 hitting with a weapon, but could ...
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4answers
145 views

Can you combine sentence structures to denote an extremely short duration?

So I learned recently that you can do two things in Chinese repeat the verb (such as in 看看) append 一下 to the verb to denote a shorter duration (in this case, look for a moment). I was just wondering,...
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3answers
2k views

Is there a significant difference in meaning between “欢迎你到中国来” and “欢迎你来到中国”?

I've asked quite a lot of native speakers about this and the general consensus seems to be that there is no significant difference in meaning between "欢迎你到中国来" and "欢迎你来到中国" (and similar sentences), ...
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3answers
629 views

Is it 說 /说 / shuō or 講 / 讲 / jiǎng for “to speak a language”?

I've realized that I still don't know the way to talk about "speaking a language", for instance the Chinese equivalents to sentences like these: Do you speak English? I can speak a little Chinese. ...
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5answers
2k views

Various ways of saying OK?

I mean OK as in said in agreement with what someone has suggested. A: We should go to the park. B: OK. If someone used the verb 不 verb structure I would think you should use the same verb in ...