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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1answer
67 views

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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1answer
48 views

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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3answers
76 views

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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2answers
74 views

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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6answers
693 views

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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3answers
125 views

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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2answers
138 views

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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2answers
49 views

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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2k views

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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4answers
294 views

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
63 views

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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76 views

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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1answer
37 views

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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1answer
83 views

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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5answers
184 views

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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1answer
53 views

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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3answers
74 views

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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1answer
39 views

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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2answers
83 views

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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2answers
37 views

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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3answers
80 views

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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5answers
64 views

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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2answers
75 views

What is the purpose of 并 in this sentence?

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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2answers
63 views

Why do we use 做 in this sentence 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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1answer
77 views

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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3answers
165 views

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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4answers
338 views

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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2answers
77 views

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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3answers
626 views

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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4answers
64 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 ...
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1answer
61 views

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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1answer
63 views

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 ...
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3answers
473 views

What does the 过 mean in 我有点过厌他?

I came across this sentence and the translation is roughly "I'm a little tired of him." but I'm curious as to what purpose 过 serves here? Am I right to think that 我有点过厌他。 also means "I'm a little ...
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2answers
1k views

What is the idiomatic way to say “clothing fits”?

There are various ways to express the verb "fit" in Mandarin, such as 適合,配合,對 and so on. I'm not sure which one to use when expressing sentences like: The clothes no longer fit me. I need clothes ...
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3answers
188 views

Chinese modern vocabulary 包饺子

What would be the correct translation for 包饺子 ? Is it a word of 3 hanzi, or just a sentence wrap... dumplings ? 包 is used as a verb or a name ? Many dictionaries give " to wrap meat dumpling ", and 包 ...
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3answers
195 views

What is the difference between 翼 and 翅膀?

As far as I know, both 翼 and 翅膀 mean "wing". I've heard people say "雞翼", "雞翅膀", "固定翼飛機", "鳥翅膀". All of these are wings, so what is the difference between 翼 and 翅膀? When should one be used over the ...
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1answer
66 views

Benefeciary : 受益者 vs 获得者

What is the accurate word for Beneficiary (Eg. A beneficiary of a bank account) in Mandarin Chinese ? What is the difference in usage of 受益者 and 获得者 ?
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1answer
61 views

How to say “If you would like to know any updates , you can always call or message me”

According to my understanding, “update” is translated to “更新” . But this seems to be in the context of Software。 Eg. Software update, OS update ,etc. But how would you convey update in the following ...
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6answers
2k views

Does Chinese have an equivalent to “Person A”?

In English, sometimes we'll refer to a person whose name is unknown or undisclosed as "Person A" particularly in hypothetical scenarios. Does a similar thing exist in Chinese that doesn't make use of ...
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1answer
56 views

What's an effective way of explaining the difference between 思想 and 想法?

They both connotate a way of thinking. It is my understanding at 思想 os a more broadly encompassing term, like "mentality", or an overarching mindset, whereas "想法" is an individual idea. But what if ...
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2answers
82 views

What does the 呢 in “你听什么呢?” mean?

I know that it means "What are you listening to?" but I'm curious as to what the 呢 is supposed to do.
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2answers
57 views

what does 革去功名 mean?

I am watching 天下一碗 , in this link, ChengXi says that his friend HuaQiang 革去功名 Does it mean that he got famous in a revolution or reformist group? as he got involved in a political movement? and that ...
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3answers
201 views

Can 把握 mean “self control”?

I'm trying to figure out what ”把握“ actually means (it seems to have a number of meanings that don't align with any translation in english). One sentence, that I thought was interesting was "她的把握全失去了" (...
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5answers
11k views

茶 - How to identify varieties of tea?

I'm looking for vocabulary to help puzzle-out the kind of tea contained in various packages from the Chinese characters on their labels. So far I recognize 茶(tea) and 叶(leaves). (Apparently these ...
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12answers
4k views

Are there word games in Chinese?

Do Chinese characters make it a lot harder to create or play word games in Chinese than it is in English? I have seen a few Chinese crosswords, but it seems like they aren't as densely cross-linked as ...
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2answers
64 views

Not sure what I should use for “when”?

Could I say 当我回家的时 for "when I was coming home"?
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2answers
196 views

How to say “oink!” in Mandarin in a family situation?

This may not be on-topic for the next 4383 days, but hopefully today someone will help me out. Last year was the year of the dog, and a common way to write (in English) the Chinese version of what ...
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3answers
96 views

How to say “martlet” in Chinese?

A martlet is: ... a heraldic charge depicting a stylized bird similar to a swift or a house martin, with stylized feet. "Martlet" is not present in my Chinese dictionary, and Google Translate ...
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3answers
385 views

What is the use of 色 in color names?

I thought that the proper way to use the basic color names is generally with 色, i.e.: 这件衣服是蓝色的 But recently I have come across such a sentence: 我不喜欢黄的,我喜欢白的。 Is the 色 optional, or is the ...
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2answers
246 views

辩论 vs 吵架 - both mean to argue?

for some reason, I imagine the difference is quite significant, but in which two directions do these verbs (辩论 and 吵架) go? How do they differ? Hashamyim