Questions tagged [vocabulary]

For questions about vocabulary, i.e. a set of words, as a whole. NOT for questions about meaning or translations, even when more than one word or phrase is involved.

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0
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1answer
29 views

Cant find the characters to a phrase I heard growing up, “Gen Men”, used as “totally” or “definitely”

like let's say you're full, you could say "gen men 没办法吃饭“ I think similarly gen men would be used as 完全 "完全没办法吃饭" But I can't find the characters for "Gen Men". I think I have ...
8
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10answers
16k views

How to translate “暧昧” into English?

Many dictionaries translate it to "ambiguity",but it looks so indefinitely. I'm looking for more expressive answer.
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2answers
114 views

Could you please correct my sentences?

Could you please correct my text ? 虽然我会说一口流利的法语,但是我想说一口流利的汉语。 我的职业 是律师。 律师 的责任很大,因为他必须解决严重得实情。然后压力大。 可是在巴黎 律师逐渐增加。 因此招聘越来越少。
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3answers
63 views

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 “...
4
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2answers
168 views

Did the name “白俄罗斯” exist in Chinese before 1991?

Did the name "白俄罗斯" for Belarus exist in Chinese language before 1991 or was it created only when Belarus became an independent state in 1991?
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2answers
869 views

How to differentiate moods, characters, temperaments, etc?

It seems like there are way more words for these things than in English, and I am having a hard time figuring out the difference between them. Some adjectives can only be used to describe mood, while ...
3
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2answers
198 views

What are the most common Mandarin words for each pinyin syllable?

I've been practicing my pronunciation by reciting the different pinyin syllables described in my book. My book lists some examples of common words for some syllables. I was wondering where I could ...
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5answers
2k views

What is the English translation for 劲爆?

I saw this word in a news headline. It isn't found in any of 4 dictionaries I checked (PLC, CC, ADS for Pleco; YellowBridge.com). 劲 jin4 means strength, energy, or enthusiasm 爆 bao4 means explode or ...
3
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2answers
244 views

What is the subtle difference between 志愿, 意愿, and 心愿?

I noticed many Chinese words have the same or similar meanings but they are not exchangeable. In many cases it is hard to decide which one to choose. Can anyone tell the subtle difference between 志愿, ...
1
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1answer
104 views

What does 介绍人 mean?

I have the following text: 丁力波的爸爸是加拿大人,妈妈是中国人。汉语是他爸爸,妈妈的 “介绍人”。 What does “介绍人” mean? Does it make sense?
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6answers
3k views

Character and word frequencies

I'm trying to build some automated tools for processing Chinese text. I'd like to know the relative frequencies of different characters and character combinations. Are there any web sites with this ...
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2answers
144 views

What is the difference between 乾 and 幹?

I know that dry is "乾燥", but according to Google Translate: dried apples = 蘋果乾 dried apricots = 杏乾 dried mangosteens = 山竹果乾 dried durians = 榴蓮幹 dried yeast = 幹酵母 dried chickpeas = 幹鷹嘴豆 dried ...
3
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4answers
138 views

What is the function of “根本” in 这杯咖啡根本不值得花四十元人民币?

In this sentence: 这杯咖啡根本不值得花四十元人民币 What is the function of "根本"? As far as I can tell, this sentence would translate the same if it were removed. Is it being used like an adverb, like someone in ...
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4answers
94 views

Insight into 你好

My textbook says that ''until recently, 你好 was only used to greet foreigners, but now even native speakers use it to greet each other.'' Wow, so when was 你好 invented/added to the Chinese lexicon ? ...
3
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2answers
318 views

What is the meaning of 臭石头 (slang)?

I remember that my dad used this occasionally when he was arguing with my mom. Google translate just returns smelly rock, but I know it's gotta be some sort of slang, as whenever my dad said it, my ...
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2answers
1k views

“同儕” vs “同僚” vs “同事”

I know that 同事 means colleague, but I have seen 同儕 and 同僚 used in similar context. Below are random examples of each I found on google: 在同儕關係中彼此地位平等、較能相互學習。 由於他過度地自負,同僚們不喜歡他。 Are these words ...
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3answers
77 views

Are 叫 and 让 actually used in place of the passive marker 被?

I have long been familiar (~10 years) with the passive marker 被. A new textbook that I've purchased introduces 叫 and 让 as alternatives to 被. It says that for the most part they work the same, but 叫 ...
4
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4answers
807 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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3answers
67 views

Is 导致 or 促使 better in 自负和冲动 [导致 / 促使] 了他的失败 (“arrogance and impulsion contributed to his failure”)?

If we are to translate "contributed to" in "someone's arrogance and impulsion contributed to his failure," should I use 导致 or 促使? 张三的自负和冲动导致/促使了他的失败。
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2answers
61 views

比方 as a conjunction/连词??

So, I am wondering... HSK6 includes the word 比方 which, according to my vocab-list book, in addition to being a verb (他去过很多国家,比方美国,英国,中国等) and a noun (这只是个比方,你别当真) can also be a conjunction (比方你是我,...
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5answers
158 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
123 views

How do you say weekend in Chinese using the 星期 form?

I know that weekend in Chinese is generally translated as 周末. Is there a way to say weekend by adding something to 星期 like 星期末? Or the only phrase for weekend is 周末?
4
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1answer
99 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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3answers
129 views

Why is 人口 in this sentence 多, not 大?

中国是世界上人口最多的国家. Why is 人口 in this sentence 多, not 大? In English way of thinking (or my English way of thinking), a population is something that can be "huge" rather than "much"/ "many". Is Chinese way ...
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2answers
1k views

In spoken Mandarin, what adjectives can be used to complement a person's appearance?

In spoken Mandarin Chinese what adjectives can be used to complement a person's appearance? I can think of a couple off the top of my head: 美丽 - Měilì - Beautiful 可爱 - Kě'ài - Cute 性感 - Xìnggǎn - ...
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1answer
73 views

促进 vs 提倡 vs 推广 vs 宣传 - to promote

So, I'm looking at a number of verbs that all float around the idea of 'to promote sth', however am not too sure where the dividing lines between them lie. Any help beyond my initial attempt below ...
3
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2answers
170 views

日子 vs 日期 - what is the difference between the two?

So, these two words both mean 'day', but 日期 seems to give much fewer answers than 日子。One dictionary says that both mean 'day' (e.g. Tuesday). Another dictionary says that they both mean 'date' (e.g. ...
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1answer
45 views

性质 vs 性格 vs 个性 - all mean personality?

Sad to say, my research has thrown up basically nothing on the differences between these three words, which is a bit annoying. They all seem to be someone's personality. Am I right in thinking that ...
1
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1answer
42 views

投资 vs 投入 - investing / investments?

Okay, here is what I have so far: 投资 is either a verb meaning to invest money in something, or an equivalent noun meaning investment, but it is always monetary. 投入 on the other hand can also have ...
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1answer
29 views

好客 vs 亲切 - both mean hospitable?

So, I am trying to establish the difference in usage between these two words: 好客 and 亲切. 好客 comes out as 'hospitable, friendly' 亲切 as comes out as 'hospitable, friendly' but with an added portion of ...
2
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2answers
61 views

Difference between 可靠 and 实在?

A quick question. I appreciate that 实在 can also be an adverb, but as an adjective, how does it differ in its usage from 可靠? They both come out roughly as reliable, dependable. What is the difference ...
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4answers
672 views

Do you guys usually add 子 for objects with one syllable?

Do all one syllable words need to be followed by a 子 to make it colloquial? For example, 椅 becomes 椅子, 锤 becomes 锤子, 尺 becomes 尺子 and etc. I thought about this because I came across a picture ...
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2answers
44 views

How to use 要想 and 要 and 想

So here is a riddle for you. A friend of mine asked me: 你想要我改正你的汉语? To which I (with glee) responded: 一定想要 To this, he said that I can only say 一定想 or 一定要 but not 一定想要. So, why can he use 想要 in ...
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2answers
97 views

What does 我知道 and 应该的 mean in this dialogue?

There's this dialogue here: (3:20) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yelfxueMlvc 请问,洗手间在哪里? 洗手间?在那边。在那里的右手边。 哦,好。我知道。谢谢. 不客气,应该的。 So... "我知道" certainly doesn't mean "I know" here. ...
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1answer
118 views

Difference between 发愁,着急,担心,关心,操心,烦恼

In addition to this post: Is there a difference between 担心 (dānxīn) and 着急 (zháojí)? HSK contains a lot of words which relate to being worried: 发愁,着急,担心,关心,操心,烦恼 - am trying to distinguish ...
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1answer
46 views

How should I understand 又拜 in this sentence about Bruce Lee?

后来,他又拜叶问为师,学习咏春拳。 This sentence is translated by the author as: Later, he learnt wing chun from a master of wing chun, Yip Man. The middle part is interesting for me: 他又拜叶问为师. It is clear that 叶问 ...
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5answers
4k views

How to answer “wait” in a conversation in simple Mandarin?

Conversation example: A: Take that box upstairs! B: Wait. (while he is busy doing something else). How to say that wait in conversational Mandarin? I feel 等一下 is too long. If you know Hokkien (Min ...
3
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1answer
56 views

Establishing the difference between 综合, 结合 and 组合

So, I am trying to work out the difference in usage between 综合, 结合 and 组合. I have written out my current understanding of them based on internet searches. If anyone feels I got it wrong, it'd be great ...
22
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9answers
3k views

Why is hot water called 开水?

Why is hot water sometimes called 开水? What is the meaning of "open" in this context? How is this different than saying 热水 or 烧水? Is it something to do with how the water was made hot, kind of like ...
2
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3answers
193 views

Can 丢 refer to people?

I'm looking for the right word to use in the situation where you are looking after a child and they wander off. In English I would say "I lost my child!" Is 丢 the proper word? Google wants to say "...
0
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1answer
95 views

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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4answers
2k views

How is adding oil going to beneficial to the situation? 加油

Is anyone able to explain the history behind this cheer? At the face of it I'm unsure how this could be a cheer as 加 translate to add/plus/apply and 油 translates to oil/fat/grease you would think ...
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3answers
115 views

Does the chinese letter mean the number, one?

As I browsing around on the internet, I was looking at what a sentence meant in English. But the issue is that I was not sure if this is the Chinese letter for "1" or does it have a different ...
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2answers
55 views

What does 来 mean in 他想一切办法来验证这个理论 and 我们设了个陷阱来抓狐狸?

I have come across two sentences independently which seem to use 来 in a similar fashion, but one I am not sure I can identify: 他想一切办法来验证这个理论 我们设了个陷阱来抓狐狸 Is this somewhat similar to 起来, as in ...
2
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2answers
100 views

How do you translate “复盘”?

In the board game of 围棋, many players tend to analyse skills and techniques used in a game right after they have completed it. This review is known as 复盘 in Chinese. Is there a specific term in ...
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2answers
79 views

Communication - 交通,交流,联系,接触,沟通,交际,打交道

I am trying to make clear distinctions between the use of the following words. It would be great if you have any extra information which could help me! 交通 - 1) to be connected, n. transportation, ...
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3answers
121 views

What's the meaning of 忘形 and 将 in this sentence?

Question as in the subject. 老虎得意得简直忘了形,完全忘了注意周围会有什么危险,屡次从芦苇丛中挑起,将自己的身体暴露在农夫的视线里. Are commas in this sentence used to list things that the tiger forgot about? And thus does 将 introduce one of things ...
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2answers
47 views

Youth, young, youngster, teenager, youthfulness

So, just having a look at the following words and definitions: 青少年 - n. teenager, youth 年轻人 - n. youngster 年轻 - adj. young 青春 - n. youth; adj. youthful Am I right in thinking that a 年轻人 is maybe up ...
2
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1answer
55 views

大大大! 重大 vs 严重, 广大 vs 大型 vs 巨大

So, having had a look into the HSK5 vocab which involves the character 大, I have come across a few instances where I am not sure what is used in which circumstance. 重大 vs 严重 - these both mean ...
4
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3answers
278 views

Where can I find a full list of combinations of sounds and tones used in Chinese?

I heard that there are roughly 400 sounds in Mandarin plus four tones. Are all combinations of those used in Chinese vocabulary, making it 1600 possibilities per single-sound word? If not, how many ...

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