Questions tagged [vocabulary]

It's the set of words used by a language, but also all of the words within a language known by a single person.

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What does 软文 and 小号 mean in internet slang?

Just like the title says, what does 软文 and 小号 mean in internet slang? For example: 还有就是严禁那些动不动就说是软文或小号的人发言
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What does 怎么不是司机不是娃呢 mean?

The literal meaning seems to be : How could it not be a driver not a baby ? I presume it has another meaning. Any ideas ?
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Could you give me some examples of work slangs?

I'd like to know some idioms that are used at work by workmates or bosses.
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Ways to politely insult somebody's intelligence in Mandarin?

I know of many words to insult people and call them stupid, but a majority of them are incredibly offensive. There are more polite phrases, such as 真笨, which I've seen used within families (as a plain ...
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Site for reading the same news article in English and Chinese (简体中文)

Previously I used to regularly go to a news site that had articles in English that allowed you to immediately switch to Chinese for the same article. It also had good information on the Chinese side ...
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Why did she choose 姐姐?

Parents in China routinely introduce me to their children as 爷爷.  Okay.  Adults usually do not use family terms with me.  There was one case that I wonder about.  In a fish restaurant where they had ...
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What is the purpose of 并 in 他虽然并不聪明, 可是很努力?

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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Why do we use 做 in 我太喜欢和他做朋友了 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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How to use 弄 in a sentence?

On some of my Chinese school worksheets, we're supposed to use "弄" in the following sentences: Don't make the child cry. Loosen the belt. There is one more problem that has yet to be clarified. I'...
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Is there a difference between 回转 and 掉头?

Is there a difference between 回转 and 掉头? I have heard them both used to describe a U-turn, so are there any subtle differences between the two words?
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How would you translate 魔都 in English?

I know it is referring to Shanghai, and Baidu has a handy explanation of its origins here, but how would you translate it? "The Mystic Capital"? "The Devilish Capital"? In the theme of 帝都 to describe ...
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Difference between 想 and 要?

I know both of them mean "want to" but have usage in different contexts. When should I use each one? For example: 我要去上海市 and 我想去上海市 What's the difference in the meaning between them? Also, I've ...
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How do I say “part time study”?

I'm having trouble finding out how to say 'part time study' in Chinese. Or anything like that e.g. part time degree etc. There doesn't seem to be any generic word for 'part time' and there isn't a ...
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《你有什么打算》跟《你有什么计划》一样的吗? [duplicate]

最近我对《打算》和《计划》有问题。如果我同事问我《这周末你有什么计划吗?》的话这有《你有什么打算吗?》的意思吗?如果不一样这两个句子有什么不同? I am a little bit confused on when to use 计划 and when to use 打算. My understanding is that both mean "plan" but they seem to be ...
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“easily fooled” in Chinese(slang)

例如, 一个人无论如何也学不会1+1=2怎么计算的时候可以说: 那个人智商 (真是) 低的发指, 怎么教都教不会. 问题: 汉语中有类似的句子描述一个人很容易上当受骗吗? 句型: 这么简单的骗术你都信, 你 (真是) XXX. XXX中不能有人身攻击, 必须切实到被描述者的真实情况. 在上面句子中"那个人智商 (真是) 低的发指, 怎么教都教不会"前半句"客观"的描述了后半句的起因, ...
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Does “尚” mean studying or learning?

在中国大陆, 有一些非学历教育机构的名称都用了"尚"字. 例如: 尚学堂, 尚硅谷 (前两者都是Java编程培训机构); 尚德 (成人学历提升) "尚"字在汉语里有类似教育, 学习之类的意思吗? 为什么这些教育机构会想到这种字起名呢? 当然, 在百度汉语中有: 加上, 往…上补充东西 尚之以琼华乎而. --诗·齐风·著 又如: 尚絅 (穿锦衣时加上罩袍, ...
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跳马猴子 What does this mean?

Literally some kind of monkey jockey riding a racehorse. I’m guessing “lunatic”. I can’t find it in any dictionary. Any ideas?
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炼功夫 or 练功夫 ? Which ''lian'' is correct or are they both accepted?

Practice kung fu 炼功夫 or 练功夫 锻炼的炼 or 练习的练 ? I've seen both versions floating about online but I've a feeling only one of them is correct and the other is just a common mistake, possibly even among ...
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Different types of rain in Chinese?

Inspired by this question on the Spanish stack exchange Things like drizzle, mist, or downpour?
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Function of some words in the following sentence (cantonese)

In the sentence: 我諗聽日先買飛嘅話一定買唔到。 What is the function of “先”? The original translation from a reference is “I don’t think you’ll be able to buy a ticket tomorrow.” I do not understand the role of “...
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Is there a difference between 杀害 and 杀死?

I have tried browsing examples, but the only potential difference I see is that you can say "它也会杀死庄稼", but I am not sure if 杀害 also refers to plants.
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1answer
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这回事 - what does the 回 do here?

I have come across quite a few instance of 这回事(儿) instead of 这件事 - is there is a real difference between these or is it just a syntactical preference of the speaker?
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What is the difference between 保持, 维持 and 维护?

I know you can say 维持治安, but not ie. 保持治安, yet other examples seem to be very similar in terms of use—is that a collocation issue or different meaning? Sources so far: https://hinative.com/zh-CN/...
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How to say 'to keep' in Chinese?

Seems like an easy question, but there doesn't seem to be an easy answer! If I have three apples in my hands and I give you two, I could say 'I'll give you these two apples, but I will keep this one'. ...
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What's the difference in use between 教 and 教给?

At first it seemed like 教给 is just a verb and a preposition, but 教 can be used directly: 我可以教你。 Is that a separate piece of vocabulary?
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Difference between 肯定 and 确定

Does anyone know the difference (if there is a difference) between 肯定 and 确定? I seem to have trouble in knowing when to use each of them in certain contexts.
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How does do (做) mean become (成)?

In the sentence ‘I want to be[come] a policeman’, why is the verb for ‘become’, ‘do’? 我想做一个警察。 Wǒ xiǎng zuò yīgè jǐngchá. I have seen one of the dictionary definitions of 做 to mean become, ...
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How to use “considering [that]” as a conjunction?

How do I use the conjunction "considering [that]" in Chinese? See example below. "The companies process is sub-optimal, considering the complexity of their business model."
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Is there just one word, 哈密瓜, for both honeydew melons and cantaloupes?

I couldn't find distinct words referring to green and orange melons. Would it just be 橙色的 and 绿色的哈密瓜?
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Neutral Terms for “White People”

This is always a difficult topic because racial and ethnic identities are so complex, sensitive, and dynamic: what are the best (as in the most precise and neutral) terms for "White" people? I've ...
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1answer
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Differences between 细腻, 细致, 精细 and 深入

All 4 words listed above all in some way have the meaning of fine, exquisite, detailed. So what are the differences between them? Please provice some examples
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身 as a measure word is it commonly used

My Wenlin dictionary describes 身 as also a measure word for "suits of clothing". Is it commonly used by Chinese speakers ?
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受到 vs 产生 - in terms of 影响,兴趣 etc

So, I'm struggling to see the difference between these two verb-noun collocations. In your opinion, is there are a difference between: 受到影响 and 产生影响 to (be) influenced 受到兴趣 and 产生兴趣 to (become) ...
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How to say ‘run for office’ in Mandarin?

I’ve searched dictionary and found 2 words 参选 and 竞选。I’m a bit confused since it seems 参选 is used more but in Vietnamese (my mother tongue) we used the word “tranh cử” (竞选). So what is the correct ...
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When do we use “廿”, “卅” and “卌”?

I am aware of a related question and I know that "廿" means 20. "卅" means 30. "卌" means 40. But I am wondering how to use them correctly. When and how do we use "廿", "卅" and "卌"? For example, are ...
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缺乏 vs 缺少 - differences?

Is there a meaningful difference between these two? I have seen that 缺少 tends to be used with towns (这个城市缺少一个泳池) while 缺乏 seems to be more on the small-scale (你缺乏合适的经验) but not sure if this is just a ...
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Does 害虫 and 益虫 cover different types of animals?

I’ve been looking into the word “pest”, and the dictionary showed me 害虫, but 虫 means insects, so I wonder whether the word 害虫 only means harmful insects or it also can be used to refer to other pests ...
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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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Toponims of China limitrophing countries

After studying Chinese for extended period of time, I stay perplexed with names of countries surrounding continental China: 蒙古 (menggu, Mongolia), 越南 (yuenan, Vietnam),印度 (yindu, India),印尼 (yinni, ...
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Is 呆 just a casual description or a medically-related thing

I'm not too sure about 呆. If you say 这个孩子有一点儿呆, does that translate as this child is a bit stupid (just slightly offensive opinion, like 笨), or is it more like 'this child has a learning difficulty' (...
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Does 家医院 just mean hospital?

I came across 家医院 in example sentences in an anki deck I downloaded. I know that 医院 means hospital. I tried to look up 家医院 in two dictionaries but could not find it. What is 家医院? Is it equivalent ...
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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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1answer
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我明天开始放寒假。What is the meaning of 放?

我明天开始放寒假。 My understanding of 放 is 'start', but in the above sentence 开始 means 'start', so what does 放 mean here? Thank you!
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Is there a dictionary that includes 搭配

Is there a decent dictionary that includes 搭配, or words that the searched word cannot be used with? I use Pleco, but one of my largest complaints with it is there is really no baseline for how the ...
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What is the difference between 准时 and 按时?

These both seem to mean 'on time' / 'on schedule' (compared to 及时, which I believe means 'in good time', i.e. before the scheduled / agreed time). Is there a difference between them?
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What are Chinese terms for 'androgynous', 'gender neutral', 'non binary' etc. to imply gender neutrality?

I’m currently working on a textiles project for University inspired by Asian streetwear subculture and my main focus is androgyny and gender fluidity with the aim to create a collection of unisex/...
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When to use 世界 and when to use 国际

These two terms are broadly speaking translations of "world" (世界), and "international" (国际). Recently, I've been reminded that "international" in English can be used to mean "many nations" rather than ...
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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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Chinese equivalent of eggcorns?

An eggcorn is: In linguistics, an eggcorn is an idiosyncratic substitution of a word or phrase for a word or words that sound similar or identical in the speaker's dialect (sometimes called oronyms)...
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Words related to several 成语 (via 《AB》 → 《-A-B》)

The word 颜色 (yánsè / colour; facial expression/looks) is clearly related to several chengyu: 五颜六色 容颜失色 正颜厉色 和颜悦色 怡颜悦色 喜颜悦色 I suspect that many two-character words AB are similar to 颜色, in that ...