Questions tagged [word-choice]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1
vote
1answer
36 views

What's the difference between shǐ yòng 使用 and yòng 用?

Both mean to use. However, sometimes you need both and sometimes you can simply say yòng 用. Examples: 謝謝你使用拼音 , thank you for using pinyin 謝謝你用鉛筆 , thank you for using a pencil
4
votes
6answers
151 views

Is「天佑美國」the correct translation for “God Bless America”?

Look at this mural from Chinatown, San Francisco: Attribution: American flag in Chinatown San Francisco by Pedro Lozano. License: CC BY 2.0 It says「天佑美國」, but is that correct? Shouldn't it be「天祐美國」...
-4
votes
1answer
87 views

Choosing between 能 and 会 when filling in e.g. 如果你 ______ 来参加这个聚会的话,她一定 ______ 很高兴的。

Can anyone answer a few questions for me? Please choose the best option to fill the blanks. A. 能 (Néng) B. 会 (Huì) 如果你 ______ 来参加这个聚会的话,她一定______ 很高兴的。 Rúguǒ nǐ ______ lái ...
1
vote
3answers
84 views

When speaking, how would one say “cannot study”? E.g. 不能学习 or 学习不了 or 无法学习

Recently, I've been turning my Chinese learning towards speaking and listening, rather than reading and writing. Now, I might say "cannot study" in a few ways: 不能学习 学习不了 无法学习 The sentence I have in ...
2
votes
3answers
177 views

Translating “很快就有人去了.” ? Confusing word order

Can anyone help me translate this sentence properly? 很快就有人去了. My attempt is “Very quickly and soon, some people left.” However I don’t really understand the 很快就 part. Like i thought if these were ...
1
vote
3answers
83 views

What is a suitable Chinese name for a fictional company called “The Unity Group”?

I'm currently writing a novel featuring Chinese characters, with one being among the protagonists. Some of them are employees of a corporation, and I simply don't trust Google translate enough. The ...
2
votes
5answers
122 views

What would a straight Chinese man say to describe another man as “very gay”?

My current story is about Kong Lin, from her husband's perspective. Kong Lin has a long-term male friend (among other friends). I want her husband (straight Chinese guy) to describe him by something ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

What’s the difference between 制定 and 制订?

I see both terms being used quite often, and both seem to mean “to formulate/create/come up (with a plan)”. People often say 制定计划, but many others say 制订计划 too. Both look sound to me. What is the ...
0
votes
2answers
58 views

Why is there a 地 in (霉)旧地席的气味?

From the second chapter in George Orwell's 1984, using the translations at Douban: Original: The hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats. Translation 1: 门厅里有一股熬白菜和旧地席的气味 Translation 2: ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

How do you say 黑箱作业 in English?

It is literally translated as ”black-box operation(s)”. It refers to actions within an organization which are not transparent to the general public or the “masses” within the organization, which ...
3
votes
7answers
1k views

Why did my teacher say 判断 is wrong in 她意识到朋友判断她 (“she's aware that her friends judge her”) and what's a better choice of word?

This is a sentence of my writing: 她意识到朋友判断她、对她的感觉变了、不再想跟她在一起。 It's meant to mean something like: She's aware that her friends judge her, have changed feelings about her, and don't want to spend ...
3
votes
3answers
177 views

What is the difference, if any, between 开心 and 快乐

Dictionaries will give "Happy" for both. A Mandarin song has the title 你开心所以我快乐 https://youtu.be/Sb1ojccxvyw Question therefore is whether there is any signifying difference in usage? That is, ...
2
votes
2answers
91 views

Meaning of 一挺 in 雪人大肚子一挺,他顽皮地说:“我就是冬天。” [duplicate]

雪人大肚子一挺,他顽皮地说:“我就是冬天。” What is the meaning of 一挺 in this sentence? I know 挺 can describe something as straight or erect, but I am confused why 一 is said before it.
1
vote
2answers
83 views

Expressing “Both A .. and B”

I came across the following sentence: 我既是一个语言的从教者,也是一个语言学习的爱好者。 I understand that "既 A , 也 B" is a sentence structure for expressing "both .. and ..". I was wondering about what effect 既 has on ...
2
votes
2answers
73 views

什么事 vs 什么: what’s the difference

Both 什么事 and 什么 seem to mean “what” (well, maybe literally 什么事 means “what thing”). So why is it that in this sentence we employ 什么事? 发生了什么事? What happened? Is it incorrect to write instead: 发生了什么? ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Why characters with “口字旁” were chosen in this transliteration?

In 神天聖書 (a classical translation of the Bible to Chinese), the Fifth Book of Moses was translated as: 摩西之第五書名曰吐嘚咡挼咪啞譯言復講法律傳 I guess that 吐嘚咡挼咪啞 is a transliteration of Deuteronomy. But I failed to ...
0
votes
3answers
65 views

Using 到底, how could we naturally complete the sentence 虽然这是两棵不同的植物,…?

标准教程HSK4下 (p.79) has a "complete the sentence" exercise: 虽然这是两棵不同的植物,...。(到底) Although these are two different plants, ... Basically, the task is to complete the sentence using 到底 in a natural ...
2
votes
2answers
265 views

Difference between 问问 and 问

What’s the difference? I saw this sentence and was confused why there’s two 问s: 等他回来的时候问问他。
3
votes
4answers
133 views

Places where the use of 小姐 is inappropriate

Wikitionary has a cool feature that shows a dialectal map with word differences across all Chinese dialects, as in this example. The problem is that I was trying to see which places it was OK to use ...
0
votes
3answers
46 views

How to imply someone is terminally ill?

In English, you can say "My cousin is sick." And that sort of conveys a lot. Your cousin could have cancer and be terminally sick, but could also be crazy ("sick" as in slang for cool), or sick as in ...
2
votes
4answers
352 views

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?
1
vote
6answers
58 views

要 to indicate “will [verb]” vs “need”

Consider the sentence: 我要去北京。 This means "I will go to Beijing". But 要 also means "need". So could this sentence also be translated as "I need to go to Beijing"? How would you make the distinction ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

Is this clear? 我们等了一段时间,其间我们没观察到任何直接和明显的副作用, … (waiting around for side-effects)

From my writing in Writing critique request: Zhou Ziwang gets an injection from the "doctor", this part seems particularly problematic: Original version: 没有发现了立即而明显的后果,... I intended for ...
1
vote
4answers
806 views

To describe a man acting creepily towards a woman, is there a word that means 害怕 (afraid) but less strong?

Imagine a scenario where a man is acting creepily towards a woman. Writing from her perspective, she might say something like 他让我感到害怕 He makes me feel afraid but 害怕 seems too strong here. She'...
0
votes
2answers
36 views

Does 到了现在我才清楚了解当时的情况 imply that the situation is completely clear, or just that it's clearer than before?

This question is related to Writing critique request: Zhou Ziwang's father takes her to the "doctor". In particular: English version: These days I have a clearer understanding of the ...
0
votes
2answers
32 views

How do we trade-off succinctness for accuracy in 每当我爸忙的时侯他就让我吃?

I'm having trouble with one part of this answer from Tang Ho relating to the story Writing critique request: Zhou Ziwang was fat when she was young: 我爸忙时就让我吃, --> (每当)我爸忙(的)时(侯)(他)就让我吃, When my ...
1
vote
4answers
92 views

If I was fat, and now I'm not, which is better: 我长胖 or 我长胖了 or 我长了胖 or 我长了胖了?

Suppose in the past I was fat, and now I'm no longer fat. I'm wondering which 了 is appropriate: 我长胖 我长胖了 我长了胖 我长了胖了 I don't think we can just leave off the 了. It makes sense to put 了 at the end as ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

What are the advantages of 人类将如何演变 over 人性会怎么改变?

I'm analyzing Writing critique request: Zhou Ziwang and the revolutionary new technology and in particular these two sentences: Intended English meaning: How will mankind change? My writing: ...
0
votes
2answers
77 views

Why use 碰头 (pèngtóu) to mean “meet” instead of say 见, 见面, or 看见? (In e.g. 过两分钟我们在外面碰头)

In the Chinese translation of Matilda (p. 195), we have: “好,你把东西收拾一下,过两分钟我们在外面碰头。” "Good. Gather up your things and I'll meet you outside in a couple of minutes." and on the next page: ...
2
votes
5answers
150 views

Difference between 什么都不 and 什么都没

Is it a difference in the tenses? Like one's a present and the other is future? Explain with examples please And can we say 什么也不 and 什么也没?
0
votes
1answer
60 views

What are the criteria used on dictionaries to decide word classes?

Mandarin is a complete MESS regarding word classes. I can't think of an example right now, but I'm completely sure there are some words that reach the point of being a noun, adjective, verb and adverb ...
0
votes
2answers
75 views

Is 批判 or 批评 better in 别人总是批判我?

I wrote this: 现在我觉得伊斯兰规矩太多了,别人总是批判我。 I currently feel like Islam has too many rules, other people are always criticizing me. My teacher and I had a somewhat long discussion as to whether it ...
2
votes
2answers
841 views

Is there a neutral way of saying “deliberately”?

I wrote a sentence which involved 故意 (gùyì; deliberately) and my teacher explained that 故意 is a negative word: you can't deliberately do something good using 故意. (I won't reproduce that sentence, ...
1
vote
2answers
56 views

How is my sentence? 我以为我没有工商卡,可是,我顺便找到了。

I wrote this message to a friend on WeChat, who previously helped me open a 工商银行 account: 我以为我没有工商卡,可是,我顺便找到了。我说错了。 I thought I had no ICBC bankcard, but, I stumbled upon one. I said the wrong ...
3
votes
3answers
84 views

Is there something wrong with saying 千万不喜欢 to mean I absolutely do not like something?

This sentence seems unproblematic: 我不喜欢抽烟。 I don't like smoking. But I want to emphasize the strength of my dislike: 我千万不喜欢抽烟。 However, searching for "千万不喜欢" on Baidu doesn't give many hits, ...
0
votes
2answers
61 views

Is it essential to highlight the use of a metaphor with 像…那样 or something to this effect?

In the 标准教程HSK4上 book, chapter 6, 课文1, I felt 张远 was being annoying by asking a lot of questions about why 李进 didn't answer his phone. So I wrote: 如果别人不想接电话,不用审问TA。 My teacher was surprised by my ...
1
vote
1answer
389 views

What's the difference between 校园 (meaning “campus”) and 校院? Is 校院 incorrect?

It seems like 校院 is infrequently used, while 校园 is normal. I'm not sure if this is because 校院 is incorrect, or because it's less common. It's possible to find examples of 校院 being used online, e.g. ...
1
vote
3answers
109 views

What's wrong with 空调制冷得不太好 meaning “The air conditioner cools poorly”?

I thought 空调制冷得不太好 would be perfectly fine, using the grammar structure Subj. + Verb + 得 + Complement Chinese Grammar Wiki But there's no hits on Baidu for "制冷得不太好" which is a strong ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Different types of rain in Chinese?

Inspired by this question on the Spanish stack exchange Things like drizzle, mist, or downpour?
4
votes
4answers
91 views

a word/phrase for 贪小便宜的

Need a word to describe someone who doesn't need the product but buys it because he/she has a coupon. I would use 贪小便宜的 , but what is a proper equivalent in English Have seen the posts https://...
0
votes
2answers
46 views

Is this an awkward ordering of words? (Cantonese)

In the following sentence: 你要重新開過一次機。 The official translation is: you will have to restart the machine again. I feel this Has a very awkward word order since the object (機) is at the last after a ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

How to determine if a word occurs more in written or spoken language?

I recently encountered the word 随着, which was translated by my text as a figurative "following", as in "Following X, Y". At first glance, this "following" translation sounds very formal, almost too ...
4
votes
2answers
221 views

到 vs 至, what is the key difference?

As if them sharing a common appearance isn't enough, yabla shows that they can for the most part be used interchangeably. Since they mean nearly the same exact thing with a few caveats, what is the ...
0
votes
3answers
53 views

Should one say “习题解答与提示” or “习题解答或提示”?

If the appendix of a textbook consists of the solutions to some exercises and hints to other exercises, should it be named as "习题解答与提示"or"习题解答或提示"? Edit: The following is from 《群表示论》by Prof. 丘维声, ...
3
votes
3answers
146 views

Is “保守” considered derogatory in Chinese?

In English, the word "conservative" seems neutral. However, the Chinese word "保守" seems to carry a negative connotation (Am I right)? What word should I use if I would like to express the english word ...
2
votes
5answers
232 views

Can 吃 be used for liquids?

I was confused by the lyrics of the children's song 三个和尚: 一个和尚挑水吃 两个和尚抬水吃 三个和尚没水吃呀 三个和尚没水吃 没水吃呀 I've seen other versions of the song that use 喝 instead of 吃, which makes more sense to me....
1
vote
3answers
175 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, ...
2
votes
3answers
101 views

What exactly does 拆开 mean and is it commonly used?

I've been trying to figure out how exactly to use 拆开 and what it means since I saw it in a song: Mine, Mine by 周杰伦. In the song, the translation i got was disassembling which i would think to be like ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Why “外籍球员” is written as “外援” instead of “外员”?

"外援" literally means "foreign assistance". Why are "外籍球员" called "外援" then?
3
votes
2answers
86 views

What are the differences between 本 and 版 when it comes to edition

I’ve found that 本 and 版 can be used to describe the edition of a published material, but do they have any differences between them? If they have, please give some examples

1
2 3 4 5
15