Questions tagged [word-choice]

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

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1answer
4 views

Is 进 correct: 他喜欢进我的房间(来)和我聊天儿?

他喜欢进我的房间(来)和我聊天儿。A website gives me another option: 他喜欢到我的房间(来)和我聊天儿. It changes 进 into 到. Is 进 correct? Or are both 进 and 到 OK?
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3answers
1k views

Difference between 而, 但 and 和

和 means 'and', and so does 而. What is the difference between the two. I also know that 而 means 'but', and the second question is what is the difference between 而 and 但. Give me an example sentence, ...
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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
82 views

真心 VS 认真 difference

I was trying to say “He made this with all his heart” and then looked for how to say “with all one’s heart” in Chinese. I found a lot of ways to express the sentence but I’m still not sure which one ...
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3answers
356 views

Percent: 成 vs 百分之

Is there any difference between 成 and 百分之 when it comes to telling about percentage? I've just encountered 成 for the first time and started wondering.
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3answers
148 views

On a HSK6 test, why is 社会稳定,人民生活水平显著提高,这一切都给人留下了深刻的印象 the incorrect sentence?

In a YouTube video a native Chinese speaker answers questions on the HSK-6 test. He gets one wrong: to identify which "has grammatical errors or uses wrong words" below: A. 每个人都可以有所作为,...
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2answers
119 views

Is there a way to say “I respectfully thank you” to 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"),...
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3answers
140 views

Differences between words that tell time: 时间 vs. 时候, and 点 vs. 小时

What are the difference between 时间 and 时候. They both means time as far as I know Also, what are the difference between 点 and 小时 which both means hour And can you give some examples?
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1answer
165 views

What does 泉 mean in 道具泉, in the context of a handbill?

At 33:41, the Chinese Univ. HK Philosophy student below asks Dr Samson Kwok Pak-nin (in Cantonese) to hand him Dr Kwok's placard. He calls it 道具泉. I know 道具 means prop, but how does 泉 - Wiktionary ...
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6answers
368 views

成语 or expression for perservering

I am looking for an expression (maybe a 成语) which can describe the idea of, "I know I have a long way to go, but if I keep trying, I can succeed." For example, "我的发音还差得远,可是" Meaning, "My ...
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1answer
97 views

Why 明 for tomorrow and next year but 下 for next month?

I would like to understand why you can say 明天 and 明年 but not 明月, or why you can't say 下天 and 下年 but you say 下月. From the dictionary, 明 and 下 both seem to mean "next". Maybe the logic behind is "just ...
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3answers
116 views

链接, 连接, 连结, 联接, 联结 - lianjie - is it a joke and if not, what's the difference?

Amongst 链接, 连接, 连结, 联接, 联结 - which one is the most correct to use in which situation? Is one more formal than others? Maybe the meanings are different? Please, write as much as possible about ...
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3answers
64 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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4answers
435 views

Does Chinese have a phrase equivalent to “For all I know”?

There is an expression in English: "For all I know, ...." The following clause often has a modal expressing uncertainty or the hypothetical nature of the assertion, like "might", "may", "could", ...
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4answers
2k views

Why is 你们爱猫 translated to “you love cats” (and not e.g. “you all love cats”)?

I've been using HelloChinese and one of the quizzes it gave (without much explanation) was something like ni men ai mao ”你们 爱 猫“ to mean "you love cats". However, reading it I thought it was "you all ...
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4answers
293 views

你 vs. 妳 for second person

When writing to a female, is it appropriate to use 妳 for “you”? Could it be misunderstood as a reference to breasts or milk? Example: 我见过你面带笑容,我见过你面带愁容。
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3answers
121 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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1answer
57 views

Why in the multiplication table, different characters such as 如,得,歸,中 are used?

It seems to me that the following rules apply: When the answer is a one-digit number, the character 如 is used. When the answer is 10, the character 得 is used. When the answer is a multiple of 10, ...
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2answers
94 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 ...
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1answer
52 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
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What's the most usual way to say “hand sanitizer” in Chinese?

I'm finding in the non-touristy places in China where I'm spending my time in cheaper places etc that there's often no place to wash your hands, or it's dirty, or there's no soap. I've been ...
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6answers
2k views

Why is 当然 the correct choice in 我学了10年汉语了,汉语水平 [一定 / 当然] 很高?

I recently had to select the correct answer for a homework assignment: 我学了10年汉语了,汉语水平 。。。 很高 I chose 一定,but the correct answer turned out to be 当然 Was my answer incorrect, why? How do these two ...
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1answer
251 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 英鎊 for the pound ...
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1answer
2k views

Are there any differences between these Chinese terms for “French fries” / (hot) “chips”?

I just felt like some French fries for the first time since I've been in China so I bought some from a Dico's here in Zhangjiakou. I ordered by pointing at the menu becuase I'm just beginning at ...
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6answers
182 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」...
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3answers
91 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 ...
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2answers
456 views

Correct use of 惹人心烦: is 然而我不要惹人心烦 a suitable way to say you don't want to be a pain in the neck?

I am not sure if I used the idiom 惹人心烦 correctly. This is the sentence I used: 好啊,然而我不要惹人心烦。 Would that be a good use of it or is there a better way of saying you don't want to be a pain in the ...
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1answer
59 views

If a word is used in 成语, does it mean the word could stand alone in Classical times?

明 as in 明火执仗, in Modern Mandarine, I can't use 明 alone (e.g. not 明我的身, 明我的心), but could it stand alone in Classical Chinese?
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2answers
131 views

Please critique my short story: Liǎng ge jiǎozi

I have written a short story in pinyin for a special person. As for grammar/vocab, feel free to suggest corrections. More importantly, what was your interpretation of the story? The recipient knows I ...
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4answers
5k views

Differences: 别的 vs 其他 vs 另外 (other)

Well, the question is in the title... I'd be very thankful for an explanation, but also: Could you give examples of cases where they are and are not interchangeable? Can I use them for "where are ...
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3answers
314 views

The word “why”: what's the difference between 为什么 and 怎么?

In Mandarin, usually 为什么 is used to express "why". Sometimes 怎么 is also used to mean the same thing. What makes them different? Most grammar books I beleive introduce 为什么, but I feel many Chinese use ...
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4answers
149 views

Is the “to” in “Let's meet from 4 _to_ five”, 到?

A simple question, trying to say, let's have a lesson from 4 to 5 -- want to make sure that "to" is indeed 到.
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3answers
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What is the difference between 必须, 得, 必需, and 需要?

I know that all of them mean "to have to" in some form or another, but are they interchangeable?
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3answers
181 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 ...
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3answers
99 views

Is 'Tamen “shi” zai ying guo ma?' a grammatically correct way to express “Are they in Britain?”

In Chinese it will be "Tamen zai ying guo ma?" But I studied that we use shi to connect nouns, so can we also say: Tamen "shi" zai ying guo ma? Is it also grammatically correct? It's just easier for ...
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1answer
262 views

Difference between 小老婆 and 小老太

I have been going to a Chinese restaurant a lot lately, and the owner is a very friendly little old Chinese lady. Should I call her 小老婆 or 小老太? Is it rude to call her 小? Also, I think Chinese are ...
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4answers
652 views

Is 你今天早上怎麼樣? or 你這個早上怎麼樣? okay for asking “How are you this morning?” and

Is "Ni jin tian zao shang zen me yang?(你今天早上怎麼樣?)" ok? Can we also say, "Ni zhe ge zao shang zen me yang? (你這個早上怎麼樣?)" because we do say, "Ni zhe ge xing qi zen me yang? (你這個星期怎麼樣?)" for how are you ...
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4answers
2k views

Does “Ni zai nar? Ni zuo shenme?” correctly express “Where are you? What are you doing?”

Where are you? What are you doing? I translated this to: Ni zai nar? Ni zuo shenme? But I found Ni zai zuo shenme? online. How is it zai zuo (in + to do)? Is it correct if I just say zuo (to ...
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3answers
94 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 ...
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3answers
2k views

Is the “shi” in “jin tian shi ji hao” optional, and can I ask “jin tian ji ri?”

I learnt to ask weekday as Jin tian xing qi ji? with an optional "shi" after jin tian. I want to know if the shi in "Jin tian shi ji hao?" is also optional. Also, can I say, "Jin tian ji ri?" ...
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5answers
1k views

Is it okay to ask “Nide dianhua haoma shi shenme”?

Is it ok to ask "Nide dianhua haoma shi shenme?" (What is your telephone number) Or do I have to say "Nide dianhua haoma shi duoshao?" which is the translation on Duolingo. Also, can I just say "...
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1answer
239 views

How do you say “Where is Beijing?”

In Chinese will we say, "Beijing zai nār/nali?". Because I just learned to say, "Lundun zai Ying Guo." Plus, "Where is your home?" is, "Nide jia zai nar?" So using these rules, is it acceptable? ...
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3answers
596 views

How to say “small cat”, when 小猫 is “kitten”?

I would like advice on how to properly say phrases like "little kitten", "small cat". While I can say "小猫", as I understand it that either means "kitten", or is ambiguous. And to me saying "小小猫" seems ...
2
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4answers
564 views

When can 尔 (er3) be used instead of 你 (ni3)?

I got a letter from a new penfriend in Hong Kong, written in 普通话. I think their first language is Cantonese. Mostly the letter uses simplified characters, with the occasional traditional one. It ...
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3answers
2k views

Difference between 曾经 and 已经

In this question I was asking about 曾经 and one answer says it means 'already'. What's the difference between 曾经 and 已经? Do the two sentences below have the same meaning? 他曾经在北京学过两年汉语。 ...
2
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1answer
42 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 ...
2
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5answers
133 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 ...
4
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2answers
965 views

What is the difference between 公分 and 厘米?

What is the difference between 公分and 厘米? As far as I searched both of them mean centimeter, but which of them is correct in using centimeter in terms of size?
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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: ...
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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 ...

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