Questions tagged [word-choice]

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

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19 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....
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106 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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82 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 ...
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1answer
60 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?
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81 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
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96 views

How to say 反常识的 in English?

How to properly translate 反常识的 to English in academic writing? I want to express a surprising and unusual phenomenon that shouldn't appear in an experiment, which is not expected and against the ...
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1answer
40 views

Fixing sentences with object and complement after a verb

While perusing an article on allsetlearning.com about complements, I came across an interesting example of an ungrammatical sentence: 回来中国, where the object and complement are both placed after the ...
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1answer
52 views

Difference between 给 and 跟

What is the difference between 我给你讲 and 我跟你讲? These two phrases both seem to translate to I told you. But when would one be preferable to another? Thanks
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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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3answers
211 views

Is “繁体字” a “贬义词”?

Since "繁" means "complicated"; “繁体字” seems to have a slightly negative implication. Would "正体字" be a better translation for "traditional Chinese"?
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51 views

Is Autumn being referred to by the female pronoun 她? Is this normal?

This is from my 3-rd grade 语文 book (there's a version here): 现在正是金秋时节。我们已经看到了她缤纷的色彩, 听见了她美妙的声音,分享了她带给我们的欢乐。 I translate this to: It's currently Golden Autumn. We already see her diverse (缤纷的) ...
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1answer
38 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
49 views

Differences between 移民 and 移居

The two words 移民 and 移居 are really confusing to me, I’ve searched the dictionary but they are still vague to me. Can someone help me with the use of these 2 words and add some examples?
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52 views

Various uses of the English “for” to indicate purpose

The sentences below all use the word "for" to indicate purpose. I tried to think of a few sentences that may use "for" a little bit differently. Can you help me understand how to use "for" in Chinese? ...
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2answers
75 views

Why is 弄 (nòng) in 他终于弄明白了?

I found the following sentence in a grade three 语文 school book in China (transcript). 他终于弄明白了,这块大石头是从遥远的秦岭被冰川带到这里来的。 [My translation] He finally understood, this big rock is from the distant ...
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2answers
86 views

快 vs 快点, what's the point of “点” in this case?

快 is one of the HSK level 2 vocabulary words which means "quick". Issue is this: I know online translators are unreliable but each translator I've used translates "快点去开门" as "Go and get the door" ...
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62 views

What is the Chinese equivalent of the English morpheme 'e-' indicating “digitalization”?

For instance, "email" (or "e-mail") is one that has been essentially canonized (e.g. it has been added to various canonical dictionaries), but what about other instances of the addition of this ...
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6answers
236 views

Why does this sentence use 东西?

There’s this sentence in one of DuChinese’s readings : 首先,我们要涂粉底液。如果你的黑眼圈很严重,你可以再用一点遮瑕的东西。 It makes me confused why the writer doesn’t add “的东西” when they mentioned “粉底” in the first sentence but ...
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1answer
107 views

Why does the second sentence use 个?

I read this sentence today : 每天给自己的手机充电, 也不要忘了给自己的口语充个电! I wonder why the second sentence use 个 between 充 and 电 while the first one doesn’t. Could anyone please explain it to me?
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63 views

尚活 can still work without 着?

Can this two hanzi alone "尚活" support the meaning "still alive" without this last one "着"? And if yes, what does "着" add to the general sense? I mean, what's the difference between "活着" and "活"? I'...
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84 views

忍耐 vs 忍受 usage/difference

Based on the dictionary, 忍耐 = endure, bear with, restraint oneself while 忍受 = bear, endure. But when I look at sample sentences, the usage of both words sort of overlap each other. So how do I use ...
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74 views

Is this translation English to Chinese translation correct or close?

An unprecedented look into the food and culture of ice, from Iceland's premier chef and the owner of Reykjavik's Restaurant Dill. 一个史无前例的食物和冰岛的文化,从冰岛总理厨师和雷克雅未克的所有者迪尔餐厅。
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95 views

What's the difference between 都 and 对?

I've seen these two sentences on Duolingo: 我们都是老师。 (We are all teachers.) 他们对不是美国人。 (None of them are American.) (Not sure if this was exactly the one that I was supposed to translate...) But ...
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3answers
323 views

Usage of 万 (wàn): ten thousands or just a great number?

I noticed that very often the word 万 (wàn) occurs in poetry (e.g. poetry of the Tang dynasty). My dictionary reports its meaning as "ten thousands", but it looks like it's used in place of a generic "...
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5answers
182 views

How to say “make money”?

I'm trying to say "the Song Dynasty used this invention to make paper money". So far I've got "宋朝用了这个发明做纸钱“。 The "make money" part is messing with me- I know "做钱“ can mean to print counterfeit money, ...
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3answers
44 views

Metaphorical “opening” translation

I'm writing about certain historical leaders of China, and I'd like to say something along the lines of "he opened China to foreign investment" or "he opened China to foreign influence", etc. I can ...
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3answers
119 views

生抽 vs. 酱油- differences?

I was looking at this recipe here: https://www.xinshipu.com/zuofa/9787, and noticed the word "生抽“. After inputting it in various online translators, they all said it meant soy sauce. However, the ...
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1answer
102 views

“The people” translation?

I'm trying to express the idea of a government shifting to democracy. The sentence I'm trying to say is "that forced the government to listen to the people", and I can translate it all except "the ...
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2answers
60 views

衰落:decadence or decline?

I'm trying to describe the plot of the work 红楼梦 using the phrase "the 贾 family's decline". The word for decline, though is confusing me. After putting "decline" through a few online translators, I've ...
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1answer
202 views

What is the difference between 元 (圓), 幣, and 金?

In currency exchange booths, and in conversation, I've noticed this: US dollar = 美元, 美金. Hong Kong dollar = 港幣 Japanese Yen = 日元 Singapore dollar = 新幣 Euro = 歐元 There's also 英磅 for the pound ...
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4answers
93 views

Words for “thing”? Different usages? 办法说“事情“或者”东西“?用的时候是一样的吗?

I know a few words for "thing“, including 东西 and 事情. I've looked online, and haven't found any other commonly used words, or indication of when to use which. Are they the same? Is one more formal than ...
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2answers
82 views

What is the difference between 華誕 and 誕辰?

Both 華誕 and 誕辰 are more respectful ways of saying 生日 (birthday). For 華誕, I have seen: "最高元首華誕", "蘇丹華誕", "日本皇華誕". For 誕辰, I have seen: "國父誕辰", "先知默罕默德誕辰". Sometimes, within a text, I see 華誕 being ...
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58 views

Usage advice: 什么时候vs哪个时候

I am writing a formal business email to a client, and at the end I would like to ask him when would be his most convenient time to have a phone call. The sentence goes like this: 请您让我知道哪个时候您最方便接电话。 ...
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2answers
104 views

Differences between 访问,面试 and 采访

All 3 words seem to mean to interview, interview but what are the differences between them?
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3answers
160 views

Differences between 条 and 根

Both of these two words 条 and 根 in the dictionary are said to be measure words for long and thin objects. What are the differences between them?
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2answers
115 views

Is “空时间” a valid phrase in chinese? If not, why not?

For example, "你有没有空时间呢"? In my intuition, 空时间 is most likely a physics terminology (though it isn't).
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2answers
328 views

What is the difference between 主菜 and 主食?

What is the difference between 主菜 and 主食 in terms of food items?
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2answers
511 views

Difference between 小吃 and 零食

Both of these words in the dictionary have themselves defined as “snack” but what are the differences between these 2 words?
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2answers
113 views

If you can use Chinese nouns as verbs, or vice versa

In English you have words like "badge" which are typically a noun, but they can also be verbs, "They need to badge in" to use their keycard to get in. Shortly, "Badge in please". You can have other ...
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1answer
77 views

也许 vs 或许 vs 可能 usage

I checked the meaning for all 3 words and it appears that: 也许 = maybe, perhaps, probably / 或许 = maybe, perhaps, probably"/ 可能 = possibly, possible, maybe, perhaps. It seems to me that 也许 and 或许 have ...
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2answers
86 views

演唱会 vs 音乐会 difference

Based on the dictionary, it seems that both 演唱会 & 音乐会 means concert. I did further research and read somewhere that 演唱会 = concert (outdoor & indoor) with many ppl and lots of shouting and ...
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1answer
84 views

Differences between 摔,落 and 掉

The 3 words all have a meaning of fall but what are the differences between the 3 of them?
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5answers
158 views

More common way to say “squared”, 二次方X or X的平方?

In English it's much more common to say "squared" than "to the second power", but the reverse seems to be true in Chinese. For example, m/s^2 is more commonly 米每二次方秒 (according to Google searches) ...
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2answers
68 views

Does this sentence make sense?

I'm trying to write a piece about sexism, that specifically discusses the gender wage gap and how it's affected by race. The sentence I'm trying to say is, "Latina women have to work until Nov. 20 in ...
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40 views

Difference between 一共 and 总共 [duplicate]

The English meaning for 一共 and 总共 is "altogether, in total". Is there any difference in usage of both words? If there is difference, what situation must I use 一共 and when do I use 总共?
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2answers
50 views

Why is my translation different from theirs?

So, I was was reading something and they provided me a translation. Here's the first one: 我不想要你因为我变得消极 I won't want you to become pessimistic because of me. Why didn't it translate to "I don't ...
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1answer
162 views

What is the difference between 可是, 但是, 但, 而, 不过, and 然而?

What is the difference between 可是, 但是, 但, 而, 不过, and 然而? All of these mean "but" and I can't find any information in my dictionary on what differentiates them.
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4answers
75 views

To express surprise with disappointment, if 卧槽 is vulgar, is 苦也 considered a decent alternative?

Many people say 卧槽 when something unpleasant happens surprisingly. However, this word is considered as vulgar. So how to express such feelings decently without using offensive words? Is 苦也 a good ...
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2answers
50 views

If 衔 means 'hold in the mouth', why bother adding '在嘴里'?

I was looking up 醒酒石. I found: 醒酒石:所谓醒酒石,即喝醉酒后,衔在嘴里可以醒酒解渴的石头。 When I look up 衔 I find: 用嘴含,用嘴叼:衔枚。燕子衔泥。 If 衔 means 'hold in the mouth', why bother adding '在嘴里'? (Also, I'd be ...
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2answers
63 views

Chinese honorifics + thanking familiar elders

From here. Honorific Verbs Like nouns and proper nouns, some Chinese verbs can also be complemented with an honorific modifier. For example, the verbs 告gào ("to tell"), 还huán ("to return"),...