Questions tagged [word]

For questions about a discrete unit of written or spoken text of the smallest size to convey distinct meaning. In English but not Chinese will usually be separated from other words by a space when written or printed. Other tags that may be more appropriate include [word-choice] and [word-requests].

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On what basis are word classes in Chinese defined?

Since Chinese words are non-inflecting, word classes in Chinese have to be defined based on syntactic behaviour: "verbs" are words that behave like verbs in a sentence (i.e., can fill the ...
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3 votes
7 answers
2k views

What does “你给我” mean?

I know the phrase “你给我” means "you give me something", but when people say “你给我出去”, do they mean "You cannot keep me here and let me out"? It looks like there are many variations ...
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1 answer
106 views

What does 本 in 本科教育 or 本科学历 mean?

The equivalent in English for 本科教育 is undergraduate education, but in China this phrase may imply it is a university course that lasts four years, different from 专科教育, which is the type of college ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Database of Chinese words mapped to Radical / Component parts?

Is there a database that breaks down each Chinese word into radical or component parts, sort of like this blog post does? One of the first words you will learn in Chinese is 你好 nǐhǎo meaning “hello”. ...
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4 answers
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Can 同学 really be used as a separable verb?

Online, you can find this example of 同学 being used as a separable verb: 我和他同过三年学。 He and I were classmates for three years. I'm skeptical this is correct. (Sometimes databases have errors, and ...
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3 answers
69 views

Is there a simple antonym for 好在 = "fortunately, luckily"?

CC-CEDICT: 好在 (hǎo​zài​) luckily / fortunately I really like how simple this word is to use (and write!) when compared to 幸亏 and 多亏. Some sentences from Jukuu (my translation): 好在老师没看见他迟到。 Luckily ...
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2 votes
5 answers
191 views

Is 消杀 (xiāoshā) a new word, and what does it mean?

In recent reading about the pandemic, suddenly I'm encountering the word 消杀. It doesn't appear in any dictionary I'm aware of, but it seems to be used in formal communication. I also encountered it ...
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1 vote
4 answers
212 views

What does 摆烂 mean?

The meaning seems obvious but could not be expressed in an exact word of English. For example, 卡纳瓦罗为了获得赔偿金,目前看起来是在摆烂。It may mean that guy tries to get his compensation to act even like a dirty man (he ...
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0 votes
3 answers
82 views

How do I make sense of 具备……条件?

It seems 具备 and 条件 form a collocation, such as: ……,我具备今年参加司法考试的所有的条件,…… ..., I possess all of this year's judicial test's requirements, ... Source: random Chinese government website. However, this ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Is it pedagogically better to interpret 感兴趣 as two words: 感 ("feel") and 兴趣 ("interest")?

Now that I've taken the HSK6 exam, I'm looking into writing a kind of "graduate thesis", so I'm going through the HSK words filling in gaps in my knowledge. Who knows, maybe one day I'll ...
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1 vote
2 answers
106 views

Since 本来 means both "originally" and "of course", how can I determine if 他本来是老师 means "he was originally a teacher" or "he is of course a teacher"?

CC-CEDICT: 本来 (běn​lái​) original / originally / at first / it goes without saying / of course I'm interested in the two adverb meanings of 本来, which my dictionary's definitions are: (副)从前,先前。 (副)...
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0 votes
2 answers
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Can someone help me translate the writing on this flute?

I'm going to buy a new flute and I'm already curious to know the meaning of this phrase lol
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5 votes
3 answers
502 views

What is the perceived nuance of the word 友人 in Chinese?

For Example: 那个人是我的友人 vs. 那个人是我的朋友 In Japanese 友人 (pronunciation: yūjin) is a more formal term than 友達 (pronunciation: tomodachi), where the latter is more suited to be used in Japanese spoken ...
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2 votes
2 answers
127 views

Is there a relationship between the word 以为 and the grammar structure 以…为?

We have the word: CC-CEDICT: 以为 (yǐ​wéi​) to think (i.e. to take it to be true that ...) (Usually there is an implication that the notion is mistaken – except when expressing one's own current ...
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2 answers
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Can 杠杆 ("lever") be used for levers which operate mechanisms (e.g. "pull the lever, Kronk")?

CC-CEDICT: 杠杆 (gàng​gǎn​): lever / pry bar / crowbar / financial leverage In English there are two types of lever, one which pivots via a fulcrum and is used for raising objects... Image Source: ...
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1 vote
3 answers
786 views

I've learned 泡女, but does 泡男 exist?

I've never heard the 泡男 version. Is it OK to use to express girls hooking up with guys? When researching this I came across 泡妞, some people said it is better (more colloquial) that 泡女. Any info on ...
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0 votes
1 answer
120 views

What really is 红尘?

What exactly are 红尘 referring to? This two words showed up quite often in period dramas. An explanation and examples would be great.
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0 votes
3 answers
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Why do 生意 ("business") and 交易 ("business deal") use distinct "yì"-pronounced characters?

CC-CEDICT: 生意 (shēng​yi​) business / CL: 筆|笔 CC-CEDICT: 交易 (jiāo​yì​) (business) transaction / business deal / CL: 筆|笔 I'm just curious as to why these two semantically related words have distinct ...
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1 vote
3 answers
103 views

Is 起草 a separable verb?

Pleco lists the following example sentence for 起草: 这封信你来起个草吧。 This indicates 起草 is a separable verb. And it's possible to find examples online of 起草 being used as a separable verb, such as 我已经起了个草 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
100 views

Can 呻吟 ("moan") be used to describe sounds resulting from pleasure?

CC-CEDICT: 呻吟 (shēn​yín​) to moan / to groan In English the word "moan" can be used in both painful and pleasurable situations. In Chinese, I've seen examples of 呻吟 being used in painful ...
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0 votes
2 answers
62 views

Can someone help me translate this?

This reverse painted glass ball was made for me 18 years ago before I came to the US.I have no knowledge of the language but I would like to know what it says. I tried looking it up but no websites ...
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0 votes
2 answers
130 views

what this mean - 丑八怪 , can any 1 teach the exact latest chinese words with meaning

I have a gaming group in which this term "丑八怪"is being used a lot along with the 眼皮底下, anyway all the letters look similar.
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0 votes
3 answers
111 views

Can 陷害 ("to frame") be used to express e.g. "framed for murder"?

CC-CEDICT: 陷害 (xiàn​hài​) to entrap / to set up / to frame (up) / to make false charges against The example sentences I see are like: 被告说他被人陷害了。 The accused man said that he had been framed. 他被仇人陷害。 ...
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2 votes
5 answers
148 views

Difference between 還沒 & 還不

For example, when you're talking to someone and asking them why they're still awake when it's really late. 你怎麼還沒睡覺? 你怎麼還不睡覺? I know both convey some meaning of asking the other person why they aren't ...
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1 vote
2 answers
96 views

Is there a "complete list" of compound nouns in Chinese/English?

I am looking at this and it's wonderful / super helpful! 王子 (wángzǐ) “Prince”, literally: king-son 钱包 (qiánbāo) “wallet/purse”, literally: money-bag 密码 (mìmǎ) “password/code”, literally: secret-...
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0 votes
1 answer
68 views

How do you handle compound nouns, verbs, and adjectives in Chinese?

Along the lines of What is an example of 3 or 4 word compound verbs (in English)? (and the linked question on nouns), I am wondering how Chinese works with sequences/compounds of verbs and nouns. I ...
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0 votes
4 answers
145 views

What does 星辰大海 mean?

As far as I know, 星辰is used to mean time, and even when used literally, it has nothing to do with 大海, or it makes no sense, especially when put in the context of 我们的目标是星辰大海, which could be heard in ...
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0 votes
1 answer
44 views

Words that must be used together with no meaning alone

I really encountered 乒乓 (pingpong/table tennis) and 曱甴 (cockroach). Are there other words that were created for this usage? Must be used together with no meaning individually? I feel these words are ...
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1 vote
1 answer
201 views

What is this word?

I was cleaning my room and found this pyramid thing with what I would guess a chinese character (because I'm chinese). Tried to look it up but couldn't find anything.
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1 vote
2 answers
64 views

Are 煤碳 and 煤炭 the same thing ("coal")?

此前,船舶经纪公司Braemar ACM Shipbroking珀斯分部的分析师阿比那·古普塔(Abhinav Gupta)向ABC确认,42万吨澳大利亚煤碳在今年7月、8月卸货,另外5.5万吨在今年5月装船的煤碳在7月清仓,但他无法确认这些煤炭的用途。 中国今年前三季度对澳洲进口额突飞猛进意味着什么? Sometimes I encounter 煤炭 = "coal" ...
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4 votes
1 answer
125 views

Why doesn't the word (诶 ) have 口 like other interjection, such as 哦 or 啊?

If I am not mistaken, words like "哦“ or ”啊” are interjections (语气动词、感叹词). However, I am wondering as to why it has the 言 radical, in place of the 口 radical? Usually I see 言 in place of words that ...
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3 votes
2 answers
59 views

所以,因此 and 于是 in context

Background Recently, I was tasked to describe whether I was a vegetarian and for what reason. At first I wanted to use words like 因而, but I suspected the native speakers would deem them too literary ...
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0 votes
2 answers
131 views

汉语里的这种看似而并非纯属口语、平时不跟他字搭配成词的字有特别的名字吗?

据我所观察,以下字均符合这两个条件:一、看似而并非纯属口语(词典作根据),二、平时不跟他字搭配成词。进一步说,在这些字中,很多平时会被其他频率较高的字或词所代替。 且看: 字:蒙(哄骗) 例句:你别蒙我。 字:蒙(胡乱猜测;碰运气) 例句:这球踢进门,全是蒙上的。 字:蒙(糊涂;不清楚) 例句:一上台就蒙了,不知道该说什么好。 字:蒙(昏迷) 例句:被人打蒙了 字:磨(消耗(时间); 拖延) 例句:...
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3 votes
6 answers
990 views

Is 不争气 same as 没出息?

These two phrases are often seen in everyday conversations,for example,这孩子真没出息,这孩子真不争气, roughly meaning this child is useless, this child is not good, but I am not sure whether these two phrases are ...
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1 vote
3 answers
120 views

What does "你究竟是还看了些 什么东西" mean?

So I was reading a novel and I don't get "你究竟是还看了些 什么东西" does it mean "what else did you see?" Or would it be more like "what else did you learn?"
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3 votes
3 answers
58 views

What are some example sentences for 现代汉语词典's first definition of 论证, which means something like "argumentation"?

Since I'm encountering issues originating from using (insufficiently precise and often incomplete) Chinese-English and English-Chinese dictionaries, I'm trying to make the switch to Chinese-Chinese ...
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2 votes
1 answer
276 views

In the context of deep-sea exploration, what is the pronunciation of 蛤 (gé​ vs. há​)?

潜水到几千米深海底的科学家发现了一个繁殖生命的场所,那里的生物长相古怪,​蛤,蚌,蟹,贝壳,红冠蠕虫等等,什么都有。 HSK6 Standard Course 6上, chapter 19. I'm not too sure about how to pronounce 蛤 above: CC-CEDICT: 蛤 (gé​) clam; (há​) frog / toad The HSK6 ...
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0 votes
3 answers
99 views

What does 捅破窗户纸 mean?

In an interview, a China's former top swimmer commented on his team mate in the Tokyo Olympics 2020 that 他(汪顺)其实早就应该是冠军了,但是他一直没有捅破窗户纸. What is the relation between swimming and this "breaking ...
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2 votes
3 answers
253 views

Is there a story behind the word 寒暄 (lit. "cold warm") = "to exchange pleasantries"?

CC-CEDICT: 寒暄 (hán​xuān​) to exchange conventional greetings / to exchange pleasantries CC-CEDICT: 寒 (hán​​) cold / poor / to tremble CC-CEDICT: 暄 (xuān​) genial and warm I have trouble remembering ...
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1 vote
4 answers
80 views

How does 覆盖着 work grammatically, given that A覆盖着B sometimes means "A covers B" and sometimes means "B covers A"?

CC-CEDICT: 覆盖 (fù​gài​) to cover I've noticed a discrepancy with the usage of 覆盖着 such as in: [A covers B] 积雪覆盖着森林 (snow covers the forest) [Google] [B covers A] 草覆盖着露水 (the grass is covered by dew) ...
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0 votes
6 answers
200 views

What does 艺术可以接地气,但请不要接地府 mean?

艺术可以接地气,但请不要接地府 It is the comment made by a Chinese netizen on the opening ceremony of Tokyo Olympics 2020.
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2 votes
7 answers
600 views

What does 不对付 mean?

A sentence from the news reads: 古力娜扎即将代班张雨绮入驻《快乐大本营》,非常有可能在节目中迎来同为新疆娱乐界代表人物的迪力热巴,但令粉丝遗憾的是,据传这两人籍贯背景年龄学历大致相当,彼此却不太对付,此前同框时尚芭莎夜被主持人朱丹搞混名字. It is a long one with so many interesting points of learning, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
109 views

Segmenting Chinese words for the index of a book

I am trying to make a strict index of individual words for a large work of literature, using Chinese word segmentation, such as are found at the back of reference books. . e.g. "大星............ ...
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0 votes
2 answers
85 views

How is 兼 used when it is used to connect two titles?

I believe, the word 兼 is used to connect two things that are of the same status or importance, but in this case 国务委员兼外交部长王毅, 国务委员(State Councilor) is a higher-ranking position than 外交部长(foreign ...
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  • 1,294
1 vote
5 answers
245 views

Are the 人民 not the same?

According to English language official media of China, 人民日报 is People's Daily, 中国人民银行 is People's Bank of China, but 中国人民大学 is Renmin University of China. What is the difference?
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1 vote
3 answers
146 views

Is 直 in 直男癌 and 直娘贼 of the same meaning?

直男癌 is believed to be web slang and 直娘贼 is seen in old novels like 水浒 or other warrior-themed stories, I do not really know their meanings and want to know the meaning of the word 直 in the two phrases....
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  • 1,294
0 votes
1 answer
133 views

Does 窈窕淑女,君子好逑 mean “There's a good maiden fair / Whom a young man is wooing”?

About these two sentences from the Book of Poems, my understanding is that a good girl is always the desired target of a man of virtue, something like the beginning words of Pride and Prejudice--It is ...
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1 vote
2 answers
98 views

What level of a position 卿 is at as in 国务卿?

No officials of governments or Communist Party governing bodies in modern China use 卿 as an official position, as far as I know. So it is very confusing when 国务卿 is used for the official position of a ...
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  • 1,294
1 vote
2 answers
127 views

What does 届 mean?

I guess this word means a term of an official post, but now we also find words like 这一届网友不吃你这一套 or 这一届群众没那么容易欺骗了,so what does the word really mean? 今年举办的欧洲杯是第几届?what exactly does that mean? Does it ...
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  • 1,294
0 votes
2 answers
213 views

Are these correct?

大家好! Are these correct? 1.两个桥墩相距20米。 两个桥墩相隔20米。 2.我家离学校相距一小时。 我家离学校相隔一小时。 3.学生要以课本为主,回归于课本。 学生要以课本为主,回归课本。 造的句子对吗? 谢谢!!!!
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