Questions tagged [word-choice]

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

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1
vote
3answers
97 views

Both is correct? 你认为如何 and 如何你认为

你认为如何 - More like a Chinese guy would talk like that. 如何你认为 - Feels like the English sentence. *Like the sentence start with "What", "Which" etc. So both is correct? Especially to ...
1
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2answers
78 views

I want to understand if I can use 做 instead of 当?

我一毕业就去上海“当”律师 This sentence is given to me in the book. However, I wonder if I can write it like this instead of using another word: 我一毕业就去上海”做“律师? I think the meaning is the same, but which is ...
15
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3answers
51k views

What is the formal/polite way to begin and end an email in Chinese?

In English, formal emails, e.g. emails to a professor, often start with "Hi", "Hello", "Dear" followed by the receiver's name (and title, if applicable). The ending is ...
27
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6answers
3k views

How polite is too polite?

I've noticed in China that people don't tend to use as many 'polite' words as we do in western languages, like 'please' or 'thank you'. I want to make it clear that I'm not complaining about this; I ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

In what kind of scenarios are honorifics such as 大姐, 大哥, and 师傅 used, and when is it acceptable or polite to use them?

In Chinese films I've often heard characters refer to each other using some of these honorifics: 大姐 dàjiě (big sister; auntie) 大哥 dàgē (big brother) 师傅 shīfù (master) In what kind of scenarios are ...
2
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2answers
150 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 ...
2
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4answers
656 views

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 ...
5
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4answers
92 views

How to say “tastes bad” for inedibles?

The standard phrase for tastes bad is 难吃. But plenty of stuff tastes bad without being edible. For instance toothpaste. I performed a google search for: 难吃的牙膏 finding no exact and just one near ...
3
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1answer
66 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?
5
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2answers
391 views

How do you translate “hover over”?

I would like to say something like: Please use your mouse to hover over the attribute icon but I do not know the Chinese equivalent for "hover over", as used in technology / software. ...
1
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3answers
106 views

Is there a more formal way to say 氆氇?

Is there a more formal way to say 氆氇? For example: 你的衣服上掉了饼干渣,氆氇一下。 There are some biscuit crumbs on your shirt, get them off.
3
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3answers
3k views

How do you politely ask for things in Mandarin?

I like to say please sometimes when I want to be polite to someone when asking them for something. Is this customary in Mandarin? For example, if I wanted to ask for some water, I might ask my ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

形式,样式 and 方式 - appearance, style, form, shape…?

In terms of the appearance of something, there a lot of HSK5 words that are very similar. Here are four and the definitions I've found thus far. 表面 - 1. surface (tangible, 方面 is intangible), 2. ...
3
votes
6answers
177 views

Does the word '县子‘ exist?

I wonder if the word "县子" colloquially exists in the Chinese language. I’ve probably heard this word before, and I‘m not exactly sure, but I blurrily remember it was from a conversation ...
5
votes
4answers
295 views

Trust/Believe : “信任” vs “相信”

How is the usage of 信任 and 相信 different ? According to my understanding the scope of 信任 is more than the scope of 相信 . For example if we are talking about a person or a few people , we might say 我相信你 ...
4
votes
3answers
225 views

霹雳与雷霆有什么分别?(What's the difference between 霹雳 and 雷霆?)

except for their other uses, such as 霹雳舞(breakdance) and their respective 成语, are they considered synonyms? they're both translated as 霹雳: thunderbolt 雷霆: thunderbolt 空中雷霆一响,就把孩子吓哭了 = The thunderbolt ...
3
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4answers
189 views

Difference between 以前 and 前 to indicate past time?

I wanted to express in Mandarin: Three months ago I started yoga classes. I thought about whether to use 前 or 以前 to express "ago": 三个月以前我开始了上瑜伽课。 Sān gè yuè yǐqián wǒ kāishǐ le shàng ...
7
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6answers
1k views

Why in Chinese Bible (和合本), “you” was translated as “你” instead of “您”?

For example, in 詩 篇 Psalms: 102:1 〔 困 苦 人 發 昏 的 時 候 、 在 耶 和 華 面 前 吐 露 苦 情 的 禱 告 。 〕 耶 和 華 阿 、 求 你 聽 我 的 禱 告 、 容 我 的 呼 求 達 到 你 面 前 。 102:2 我 在 急 難 的 日 子 、 求 你 向 我 側 耳 、 不 要 向 我 掩 面 . 我 呼 求 ...
13
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3answers
4k views

了解 vs 明白 vs 知道 - what is the difference, and when should I use each one?

了解, 明白, and 知道 seem to be fairly synonymous in Mandarin, but there does seem to be some subtle differences between them. What exactly is the difference? When should I use each one? Could you give me ...
5
votes
3answers
356 views

What's difference between 国籍 and 民族?

I'm revising vocabulary for HSK4 and I found many words with similar meanings. A pair I found today was: 国籍 and 民族. What's the difference between them?
3
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4answers
761 views

Is there a word for 1/3?

So I know that in Mandarin, 1/2 is 二分之一 or 一半. Is there a similar word to 一半 for 1/3? I mean, instead of 三分之一, something like 一——?
15
votes
5answers
6k views

What is the difference between yǐqián (以前) and zhīqián (之前)?

I'd like to have some way to differentiate between yǐqián (以前) and zhīqián (之前), in order to help with memorising them both. Referring to Modern Mandarin Grammar (Claudia Ross, Routledge 2006), it ...
3
votes
3answers
327 views

Difference between “believe” 认为 and 相信?

This question is related to: Is there any difference between 想, 觉得 and 以为? What are the difference between e.g. 想, 觉得 and 认为 when expressing opinion? In there, they mentioned both 认为 rènwèi and 相信 ...
1
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2answers
103 views

Understanding 照相 and 照片

I am having some confusion about 照相 and 照片. In my Chinese lesson they introduced them: 照片 Zhào piàn (noun) photo 照相 Zhào xiàng (verb) to take a picture They also showed this example: 我照了几百张照片。 I ...
2
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3answers
132 views

Modern and ancient word choice: 昔人 vs 古人 vs 前妻 [closed]

Older Chinese folks (古人) love to use 昔人,but they never use 古人 in their poem or lyrics. (OR can someone give me an example where 古人 was actually using 古人 in their writing?) For instance, a favorite ...
2
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3answers
660 views

What is the difference between 这个 and 此?

I wonder there is any difference between two words to express this, 这个 and 此. What difference, if any, is there?
3
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1answer
126 views

How can I ask “which one is your favorite/do you like more”?

I want to ask "which one is your favorite?", like between A and B, which one do you like more. Can I say "哪一个你最喜欢?" or "哪个你更喜欢?"? Is there a better way to ask? At this ...
4
votes
1answer
94 views

Are there common rules about the usage of verb-object compounds?

Before jumping into my question, please forgive me if this question has ever been asked by someone else (I didn't find one though), but could someone please explain to me the rules (or the way) of ...
5
votes
3answers
537 views

Questions ending with 么: Do 么 and 吗 have the exact same meaning?

I was chatting online with a Chinese person and he sometimes added 么 at the end of questions: 你觉得汉语难么? 是因为声调掌握不好么? Can 么 and 吗 be used interchangeably? Do they have the exact same meaning?
12
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4answers
6k views

Differences: 干,办,做,搞,弄

What's the difference between all these five words? They mean all "to do", they're driving me crazy! I write some example sentences with some of them (hoping that's the right one), just to understand ...
4
votes
3answers
191 views

Difference between Verb + 不了 and Verb + 不动

My teacher gives me two examples to state the difference between 不了 and 不动 as follows. (A)我的腿受伤了,所以我走不了。 (B)我累得走不动。 I also read in Chinese Grammar Wiki but I still get confused. (1) My teacher said ...
3
votes
5answers
971 views

What is the meaning of “拜了个拜”?

I heard this phrase from some Chinese-speaking stranger. I assume it's related to farewell since the stranger was waving hand to someone else, but what does it mean exactly? Is there a certain context ...
4
votes
2answers
82 views

In which dialect of Mandarin can I see or hear 乳酪?

In this website they write "乳酪 ru3 lao4" is a word which is used in Taiwan to describe cheese. But my Taiwanese friend told me they don't use this word, they use "nai3 lao4" or &...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Don't both 關心 and 在意 mean the same thing?

I recently learned a sentence: 大家都和關心也很在意這件事 However, don't both 關心 and 在意 mean the same thing -- to care about? Is there a difference?
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Which is correct:了 or 过 in 我去。。。他家,知道他住在哪里

我去。。。他家,知道他住在哪里. I do not know what to choose in this sentence: 了 or 过. In my opinion: (1) 我去了他家,知道他住在哪里. (I had been to his house) (2) 我去过他家,知道他住在哪里. (I had had the experience of being in his house) ...
2
votes
3answers
147 views

What is the difference between 走路, 行走, and 步行?

Are these words perfectly synonymous, or are there rules to distinguish them? Google Ngram shows that they're all used with about the same frequency. I don't like it when several different words have ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Difference between 各 and 每?

I'm used to using 每 for every. However, 各 came up one day and appears to me to have the exactly same meaning. Is there a contextual difference between the two that I am missing or can they be swapped ...
4
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1answer
148 views

difference between two words for balance of account

I want to pay off the remainder of my credit card bill. Can someone help me differentiate between 余额 and 尾数?
2
votes
2answers
210 views

What are appropriate objects of 制作?

My dictionary, along with many websites I've checked translates 制作 as: to make to manufacture What sorts of things may I 制作? The second definition of "manufacture" leads me to believe that, for ...
0
votes
2answers
123 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?
5
votes
3answers
2k 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, ...
5
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
1
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3answers
93 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
304 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,...
2
votes
3answers
273 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?
3
votes
1answer
197 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 ...
4
votes
6answers
424 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
144 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
215 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
73 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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