Questions tagged [word-choice]

Questions about what word fits better in a certain context or situation.

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What is a word for a person who pretends to work but is really just waiting for others to give them their share when the work is done?

Similar to moocher and shirker in english, but with their meanings combined and with an element of trying to be sly. Looking for something that would work in a basic sentence, to identify/label a ...
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4 votes
11 answers
4k views

Which is best to use in 我觉得学汉语不容易,但是我 (会/能/可以)学?

The question I was given is 你觉得学汉语怎么样? I want to say I feel that learning Chinese isn't easy, but I can do it. So far, I've written 我觉得学汉语不容易,但是我 (会/能/可以)学。 but I'm not sure if I should use “可以”,...
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1 vote
3 answers
62 views

Honorifics used by students the same age

Can anyone tell me honorifics that would be used by high school aged students who are the same age? More specifically, is there any honorific that would be used by a student being extremely polite to ...
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1 vote
3 answers
115 views

Why is it 放学 and 下班, instead of 放班 or 下学?

I know that there is also the variant 放工 but I don't think this is typical usage. The use of 下 is so common, but yet in the instance of a school we use 放 instead.
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2 votes
3 answers
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What is the difference between 人 and 员?

Part of the news item provided by Xinhua News Agency on May 24, 2022 says: ...全面记述以邓小平同志为主要代表的中国共产党人、以江泽民同志为主要代表的中国共产党人、以胡锦涛同志为主要代表的中国共产党人,从新的实践和时代特征出发坚持和发展马克思主义,... But what we often see is 共产党员. So ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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What does 兮兮 mean?

According to the dictionary, 兮兮 means: 词的后缀。用在某些词后,表示一种情态。 脏兮兮 | 可怜兮兮 | 神经兮兮 I'm not sure what this has over just using the word (how can 情态 express adjectives to express a state, not people?). Does ...
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0 votes
3 answers
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What is the appropriate translation for "stick" (one that falls off a tree)?

Usually when you look up the word "stick", you get something like CC-CEDICT 棍棒 (gùn​bàng​) club / staff / stick Google Image Search indicates a 棍棒 looks like this: and not like this: In ...
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1 vote
5 answers
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If 他有些法律上的问题 means "he has some legal questions", how do I say "he has some legal problems"?

I was writing on LangCorrect, and received the following feedback: A sentence of my writing: 但是他有些法律上的问题,我也不太熟悉法律,所以不知道怎么办。 Feedback: 他有些法律上的问题 means he has some questions on some legal matters, not ...
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1 vote
4 answers
642 views

Is it acceptable to teach 看书 as a generic verb "To read"?

Of course there is 阅读, which specifically means "to read" and satisfies the prosodic preference for disyllabic words. However, if someone asked me what my brother was doing in the back of ...
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1 vote
2 answers
82 views

Translation of 让日本人打死了 in a text about Japanese occupation

I understand this to mean very clearly "to cause a Japanese person to be killed" or, depending on context "to invite a Japanese person to get killed". However, the source that I am ...
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0 votes
3 answers
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What is wrong with 于是 in 宝宝的口味跟成人的口味有着很大的差异,于是给宝宝烹调食物时一定要符合他的口味,做到色香味俱全,并且要经常花样翻新?

宝宝的口味跟成人的口味有着很大的差异,于是给宝宝烹调食物时一定要符合他的口味,做到色香味俱全,并且要经常花样翻新。 HSK6 H61218 Q.59 This is a HSK6 practice exam, 语病 ("faulty wording") question. Ref. changes 于是 to 所以, and my teacher also says ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Difference between 一下(儿) and 一下子

The Commercial Press' 现代汉语词典 and many places on the internet say that 一下 and 一下子 are the same thing/meaning. But that's false, since the biggest use of 一下 is as a measure word and 一下子 is an adverb. ...
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3 votes
3 answers
75 views

What, if any, are the different usage cases for 就像 vs. 正如

I have always used 就像 when trying to say "just like" but recently came across 正如 while studying the various ways to use 如. According to the dictionary definition and some of the examples, it ...
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2 votes
5 answers
362 views

What is the difference between 互相 and 彼此

I was told they were interchangeable except in few cases. What are they?
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1 vote
3 answers
63 views

Can you use 或者 to express alternatives between more options than two?

In all the examples I have come across, 或者 is always used to express the conjunction or between two options in statements. My question is if you can still use it between three or more options. That is,...
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-1 votes
3 answers
116 views

Can I call my game 三棋 Sān Qí?

I have created a board game based on the epic 'Three Kingdoms' by Luo Guanzhong. I can't call it 'Three Kingdoms' because there are too many games called that. I want to call it Sān Qí 三棋 because it ...
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0 votes
2 answers
80 views

how do i know when someone says 他 or 她 in a conversation?

她 means she, and 他 which means he, (they a are both pronounced ta) how can I tell the difference between the two in a conversation without any writing.
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0 votes
2 answers
36 views

How to translate "Critically Examine“?

I am trying to translate some academic essay: By critically examining the original records of the history of Chinese Bible translation.... Google translates "critically" to "批判地",...
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0 votes
5 answers
164 views

Hi I was planning on getting tattooed 'love yourself' in Chinese. Should I use '爱你自己' or '爱自己'?

Hi I was planning on getting tattooed 'love yourself' in Chinese. Should I use '爱你自己' or '爱自己'? Is there any difference and if so what are they?
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0 votes
1 answer
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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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2 votes
6 answers
541 views

Why is 有 used in 我最喜欢的科目有艺术,中文和化学?

I was studing how to say school subjects in mandarin and I saw this sentence: 我最喜欢的科目有艺术,中文和化学 (My favorite school subjects are art, chinese and chemistry) Why the use of 有 in this sentecence? Could I ...
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2 votes
3 answers
167 views

Why do people say “你死了这条心吧” instead of “这颗心”?

I thought the classifier of "心" is always "颗" or "个"? But why here is more common to use "条"?
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1 vote
2 answers
90 views

Is this a proper way of using 虽然?

因为锻炼也是我的兴趣,我可以用你的录像学汉语。虽然我还在汉语水平考试级3 Or does 虽然 always need a 但是/可是?And is the structure of the sentence alright, or does it sound too novice?
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0 votes
4 answers
108 views

How would you translate "for just a moment" in Chinese?

I am wondering if there's a more accurate way to say "for just a moment", or "if not for just a moment" in Chinese? I am not certain because the translations I found sounds ...
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0 votes
2 answers
91 views

Why isn't 或者 written as 或则,similar to 否则?

According to my understanding, the correct use of "或者"(meaning "or"). But the character "者" means a person who specialized in something. Why isn't it "或则" ...
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0 votes
4 answers
187 views

What is the difference between 创造,创作,制造,制作,and 创建?

Hello good people of Chinese Stack Exchange! Hope you're doing well. It seems like the words 创造,创作,制造,制作,and 建造 are similar in that they mean "make" or "create," but from what I've ...
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3 votes
2 answers
75 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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7 votes
4 answers
1k views

Are individual white hairs 髮 or 毛?

I wanted to talk about individual white hairs in a beard. I was taught that individual hairs where always 毛。So I said: 一些白毛已经出现了 This was immediately corrected to: 一些白发已经出现了 Shall I discard the ...
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0 votes
2 answers
37 views

When to use 來源於 and when to use 來自於

Recently, on a language exchange platform, I tried to describe one of my favourite books (Thucydides, from which I had to study many passages) as follows: 我所喜歡的書頗多,包含古希臘的經文在內。比如說希臘歷史學家修昔底德的傑作《伯羅奔尼撒戰爭》...
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0 votes
2 answers
35 views

When to use 来源 and when to use 根源

Recently, on a language exchange platform, I tried to describe one of my favourite books (Thucidides, from which I had to learn a lot of passages) as follows: 我所喜歡的書頗多,包含古希臘的經文在內。比如說希臘歷史學家修昔底德的傑作《...
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2 votes
1 answer
107 views

Is there a idiom or term to describe someone who don't see you as the same level as them?

The best I can think of are the combination of: 讽刺意味 (to have the "smell" of irony on you) and 很偏激 (very extreme or biased)。 举个例子/For example: Everything you say or do is viewed as ignorant(...
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4 votes
2 answers
232 views

Can the term "老大" be used to call "Boss" in video games nowadays?

I remember as a child, us children would say "老大"/lǎodà to describe the boss, or final enemy in a video game. If I am guessing correctly, it is probably like comparing a "boss" ...
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0 votes
1 answer
100 views

What are the names of men's haircuts popular among young Chinese idols?

What are some popular haircuts among young Chinese idols (preferably men) called in Chinese? Preferable a list in Chinese, if possible. For example, take the TFBoy members have haircuts that kind of ...
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0 votes
3 answers
83 views

In 中国实行独立自主的和平外交政策, why is 实行 correct and 执行 incorrect?

中国实行独立自主的和平外交政策。 ✓ 中国执行独立自主的和平外交政策。 ✗ 杨寄洲 et al.,1700对近义词语用法对比, p.1514 (original) The above example comes from a reference book which describes the differences and similarities between Chinese ...
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1 vote
3 answers
123 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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1 vote
3 answers
142 views

How to say “I pass” in Chinese, when playing a board game

In many board games it is a valid move to pass, i.e. “not make a move at all”. How do I express the intention to do this, in Mandarin Chinese, over text? Neither of these direct translations seem to ...
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0 votes
1 answer
66 views

Is it just me or is 却向人类早已认定为准则的定义提出了质疑 terribly unnatural?

俗话说万物生长靠太阳。人们之所以这样说,是因为历来植物生长离不开阳光,而动物又靠植物维持生命,所以没有阳光,就没有万物,这是众所周知的真理。然而科学家们的深海考察,却向人类早已认定为准则的定义提出了质疑。 HSK Standard Course 6上, chapter 19 (original). This is the first paragraph from a chapter in the ...
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1 vote
2 answers
59 views

How do we translate "to expect", in the sense of "the author expects the reader is familiar with Chinese culture"?

I find myself having trouble translating this version of the English word "expect": The author expects the reader is familiar with Chinese culture. I expect that you have completed your ...
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0 votes
3 answers
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What does 尤其 emphasize in the phrase 在触手处尤其多 ("there are particularly many on the tentacles")?

Below is a sketch of a 水螅 ("hydra") from a grade-8 biology textbook: 生物学,八年级,上册, 2013 The text writes the following (original): 外胚层有多种细胞,如刺细胞。刺细胞是腔肠动物特有的攻击和防御的利器,在触手处尤其多。 I'm interested ...
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2 votes
3 answers
177 views

Need Chinese phrase that would mean "dedicated craftsman" for calligraphy piece

I am a ten-year student of Chinese calligraphy and am thinking of creating a calligraphy piece that would mean "dedicated craftsman". I have not been able to find such a phrase in idioms or ...
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2 votes
2 answers
34 views

Dedicated craftsman locution

Could the phrase 事業心 be applied to a noun that means something like a “craftsman” (技工) or possibly artisan? How might I say “a dedicated craftsman” with “dedicated” in the sense of “focused and with ...
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3 votes
2 answers
619 views

Why is it 说明 and not 告诉 within 而自知之明之所以“贵”,则[blank]人是多么不容易自知?

A HSK5 textbook exercise talks about the saying 人贵有自知之明 (which means something like "self-knowledge is precious"). It writes: ……。把自知称之为“明”,可见自知是一个人智慧的体现。而自知之明之所以“贵”,则 [blank] 人是多么不容易自知。 ...
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0 votes
2 answers
31 views

“無法換給捐贈者” v.s. “無法還給捐贈者”

On this page, I read 無法換給捐贈者, which I think is both grammatically and semantically correct, however is difficult to be understood. Should that be replaced with 無法還給捐贈者? 希望各位捐贈者可以理解,捐贈的硬件最後可能將會被棄置或轉售,...
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0 votes
1 answer
43 views

“使用者不得使用多數的帳戶在討論區中發言”: should 多數 be replaced with 多個?

On this page, I read 使用者不得使用多數的帳戶在討論區中發言, which I think 多數 is a mistake and it should be 多個. 使用者不得使用多數的帳戶在討論區中發言。使用者雖然不必使用自己的真實姓名登記,但不得有意使用他人的姓名登記。 Update: Seems that it is really a mistake since in ...
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1 vote
3 answers
107 views

Use of 是 and 很 to express "I am not well"

Dear Chinese Language community users, I have the following question. During my learning I encountered the answer 我不是很好 in response to 你好吗?I was puzzled because I thought the correct negative answers ...
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0 votes
3 answers
106 views

Does 求仁得仁 mean "You ask for it"?

Two days ago, the dean of Chinese Language Department of Fudan University in China wrote a condolence letter in memory of the dean of Math Department of the same university who was killed by an angry ...
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2 votes
4 answers
159 views

HSK5 mock exam: How do we infer that 运回 is the correct way to fill in the blank in 当其他商人准备将茶叶[blank]时?

This is a mock HSK5 exam question: 有位北方商人去南方收购茶叶,当他到达目的地时,当地茶叶早已被其他商人抢购一空。情急之中,他突然想到一个---1---,把当地装茶叶的筐全部给买了下来,当其他商人准备将茶叶---2---时,才发现已经没有箩筐可买,无奈只得向这位商人求购。结果这位北方商人轻而易举地在这些人身上赚了一大笔,还---3---...
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0 votes
2 answers
108 views

Difference between 司 and 施

Words like 司机,司令,司仪,司炉,司法,司线(员) have the core 司, which, if deemed to be a verb, can form a verb-object group with the subsequent noun to mean one is acting on the object, so 司机 means the man is doing ...
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1 vote
2 answers
161 views

What does 五牛更象 mean?

In January 2021, China's Shaanxi Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism and China Cultural Center in Sydney jointly held an exhibition titled "五牛更象—陕西非遗印象展"at the China Cultural Center ...
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0 votes
2 answers
112 views

The necessity of 的 and 是

Recently, I have been made aware of the following sentences: 这太棒了! 这是太棒了! 这真是太棒了! A native Chinese friend told me that the middle one is incorrect, but that seems very odd to me, because 是 is the “be ...
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