Questions tagged [word-choice]

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

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31 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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21 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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3answers
108 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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1answer
100 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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3answers
114 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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3answers
102 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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1answer
83 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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3answers
77 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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123 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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1answer
59 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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4answers
5k views

What is the polite way to say a grandparent has passed away?

I've been trying to find out what is the polite way of telling someone that someone, specifically a relative, has passed away? I'm pretty sure it's not very nice to say someone died (死)。 Google ...
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2answers
54 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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37 views

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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7answers
3k views

What is the difference between using 光 vs using 只?

What is the gramatical difference between 光 and 只? 光剩下2毛钱 does not have the same meaning/context as 只剩下2毛钱 It seems there is more emphasis to the part that comes after 光. When is the right time to ...
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2answers
31 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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1answer
121 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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2answers
600 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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1answer
39 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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2answers
29 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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5answers
254 views

"我被他当做(了)自己的儿子。" 干爹 gāndiē or 教父 jiàofù?

Here is an issue that came up while I was discussing a grammar exercise with my Chinese language partner. My grammar book has an exercise where the solution is "我被他当做(了)自己的儿子。" My language partner ...
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3answers
103 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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3answers
90 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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4answers
152 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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2answers
100 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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2answers
106 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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5answers
130 views

What is the exact function/purpose of 来了 at the end of sentences like this:

她吃晚饭的时候她朋友打电话来了。 I know it focuses the mind on perspective -- like the action previously stated has come toward the speaker in some way. But what is the exact function? I'd love to start naturally ...
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2answers
3k views

Is there a difference between 担心 (dānxīn) and 着急 (zháojí)?

They're both verbs, they both have meanings "to worry, to be anxious", they both seem to be able to be used as adjectives also. I just want to know if there's any difference: is one used more in ...
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3answers
259 views

Difference between 借 and 贷

Both can either mean "to borrow" or "to lend". I know you can combine both of them "借贷" to mean "debit and credit". But what are the differences in usage and semantics between those two words. They ...
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2answers
3k views

Which of 不谢 and 不用谢 is correct?

When I started to learn Mandarin, I learned on the Rosetta Stone program that it is 不谢 to say "you are welcome" in Mandarin. However, when I met a Chinese girl in Shanghai, she said that 不谢 is never ...
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2answers
65 views

Can I use 马马虎虎 to describe food, and in what sorts of sentences can I use it?

In what kinds of sentences can "马马虎虎" be used? Would I be able to use it to describe how good food tastes, and if so, how would I structure the sentence? Is it usually used by itself as a ...
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4answers
230 views

Using a one-character vs two-character word

One of the difficulties I have in Chinese is I feel there is a disconnect between learning the words and using them/reading them in formal texts. For example, I have learnt that 年 means years, and ...
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4answers
421 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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5answers
317 views

What's the opposite of 不安?

不安 (bù​ān)​ CC-CEDICT: unpeaceful / unstable / uneasy / disturbed / restless / worried Sometimes I want to use the opposite adjective to 不安 (with the meaning 不不安), but I'm not sure what to use. It's ...
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2answers
261 views

Difference between 柱体 and 圆筒

I get the impression that 柱体 is more mathematical and 圆筒 is more about general "drum shaped" things. Are they interchangeable or is there a distinction?
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0answers
48 views

How do you use "a" in the chinese language? [duplicate]

For example, If i wanted to say, "A sandwich" or "A car tire" in chinese, How would i say that, and where does the "a" go? At the end of the sentence, or at the beginning ...
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6answers
6k views

你好啊? or 你好吗? Which is more common?

I have recently come across the phrase 你好啊 and I was curious about its usage. It was in the FSI Chinese course with a meaning of 'How are you?', but I have only heard 你好吗 on other courses and when ...
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3answers
67 views

How to translate Session?

In a workshop context, I am trying to verblly translate "Session 1", "Session 2" into Chinese. The first word coming to my mind is 第一课,第二课, but we are trying to avoid the ...
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2answers
88 views

How are 连A带B and A着B different

他连说带笑 / 他笑着说 他连唱带跳 / 他唱着跳 Do these sentences have the same meaning? and if I change the position between the two verbs, do they still have the same meaning? 他连说带笑 / 他连笑带说 他笑着说 / 他说着笑
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5answers
555 views

Since Putonghua is a standard English word, why do people use Mandarin for standard Chinese?

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/putonghua putonghua mass noun The standard spoken form of modern Chinese, based on the dialect of Beijing.
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1answer
142 views

Could a translation error lead to squares to not be considered as rectangles? (Cantonese)

I'm reading a certain set of kindergarten/lower primary maths textbooks that is written by North American authors for an Asian company. Whenever students are asked to identify the number of rectangles ...
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4answers
186 views

Could a translation error lead to squares to not be considered as rectangles? (Mandarin)

I'm reading a certain set of kindergarten/lower primary maths textbooks that is written by North American authors for an Asian company. Whenever students are asked to identify the number of rectangles ...
22
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8answers
9k views

Difference between 如果 and 要是?

In the Pimsleur Mandarin course it uses 如果 (rúguǒ) to mean 'if', but the dictionary shows 要是 (yàoshì) to have a similar meaning: 如果: if; in case; in the event that 要是: if Are there any ...
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4answers
10k views

Is there a Chinese equivelant of the word stress

I don't remember hearing anyone use an equivalent of "stress" or "stressed" in a conversation, what I usually here is something like 压力很大 which in English would translate roughly to "I have a lot of ...
8
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7answers
8k views

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 ...
0
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4answers
150 views

How do we extend 第二天 ("next day") to other days ("previous day", "same day", etc.)?

第二天: next day / the morrow I find this a versatile and useful word, and wondering if it can be extended to "same day" and "previous day" versions. There is this discussion at ...
2
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2answers
105 views

Why is 来 used in "因为‘东西’一般不能用来表示人"?

Why is 来 used in the following sentence? For some context, this is a line from a text used in the second workbook of the New Practical Chinese Reader series (pg. 93). In the text a teacher is ...
2
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3answers
2k views

What is the Chinese translation for "endure and move on"?

I've been trying to get the Chinese word with meaning of the phrase endure and move on. It has something to do with a break up with a girlfriend and wanting to endure it and move on. I've tried ...
2
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2answers
129 views

多大 or 多少?Which should be used when and where?

多大 or 多少? Could these two terms be used interchangeably, and if not what is the difference between them? When should they be used?
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2answers
73 views

Why is there a 去 in 我们需要确保社交距离去保护您和我们的员工?

My friend took a photo of this Chinese sign in Australia: (click to enlarge) It's a formal, long-winded way of saying "stay 1.5 meters apart". Specifically it says: 亲爱的顾客: 根据澳洲政府规定,...
0
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1answer
53 views

Is 枝 used as qí?

I found that the word 枝 is used not only as zhi but also as qí, but I could not find the entry on macOS Chinese dictionary. Also, when I tried typing it qi on iOS, the keyboard didn't show 枝 on the ...

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