Questions tagged [word-choice]

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

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0
votes
2answers
68 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
111 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
125 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 ...
2
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2answers
134 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the difference between 恭喜發財 and 恭禧發財?

Today I visited a house that had Chinese New Year banners all over. On the stairs, one banner reads 「恭禧發財」, and above a door, another banner reads 「恭喜發財」. Both of these are pronounced exactly the same ...
0
votes
1answer
71 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。 ...
2
votes
2answers
351 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?
5
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3answers
218 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?
2
votes
3answers
331 views

What is the difference between「唐人」and「漢人」in Cantonese?

I have noticed that people speaking Cantonese use the term「唐人」. I am unsure about the definition of「唐人」in Cantonese. Does「唐人」in Cantonese mean exactly the same thing as「漢人」, or are there subtle ...
4
votes
5answers
262 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) ...
12
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5answers
4k views

How to say “giving someone the benefit of the doubt” in Chinese?

This expression connotes that one is willing to not insist on accusing someone of a mistake despite most evidence pointing to that someone as being responsible. As in a legal proceeding where the jury ...
1
vote
2answers
175 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).
6
votes
2answers
358 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?
1
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2answers
445 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
579 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?
0
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1answer
333 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 ...
2
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2answers
155 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 ...
4
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1answer
168 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?
5
votes
2answers
256 views

The origin of 水母

I, among others, do not understand why this word would be chosen for jellyfish. Is a jellyfish held in regard as some sort of cultural/spiritual analogue ? A mother tries to be everywhere at once ...
1
vote
1answer
810 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.
3
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2answers
59 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
90 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
61 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
52 views

Most appropriate word for proxy/substitute/surrogate

Please forgive my lack of knowledge of Chinese. I'm doing book research and am looking for the most appropriate word for 'proxy' in the sense of a substitute or surrogate. For the sake of clarity, let'...
2
votes
3answers
111 views

Uses of interrogatives as pronouns

In English, interrogatives are occasionally used as not as interrogatives but as adverbs and relative pronouns. For example: I don't know why we moved; I don't know how that machine works; I know ...
0
votes
2answers
89 views

Can a Good Listener Help Me Translate?

I am translating a paragraph from English into Chinese, going by a recording a native speaker made. I am trying to use the same characters that they are using in their spoken translation, but am ...
3
votes
3answers
876 views

“吃飽了” versus “ 吃好了”

One friend advised that after a meal it is more polite for a guest to say "我吃好了" than "我吃飽了." That makes sense but I suppose it could depend on context. Searching the two phrases on Google I see ...
3
votes
3answers
403 views

Difference between 一般 and 一样 meaning “same”

I want to know if there are any differences between 一般 and 一样 in expressing “same”?
1
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2answers
121 views

必/会, 这个句子为什么用”必“?必 vs 会? Why does this sentence use "必“?

我读圣经的时候看了这个: 你不要害怕,因为我与你同在;不要惊惶,因为我是你的神。我必坚固你,我必帮助你,我必用我公义的右手扶持你。(以赛亚书 41:10) 我看懂它的意思,可是我不看懂 “必”。我知道它想说“我会坚固你,我会,等等“,可是它为什么用“必”?我查资料了它和知道“必”的意思是“需要”或者“会”。”会“是比较简单的吗?还是是一样的?对不起我的中文不好! I was reading ...
3
votes
7answers
311 views

Does “女朋友” work for older couples?

I'm going to be visiting China next year, along with my father. My parents are divorced, but my dad is now dating someone who will likely be coming with us. They aren't married, so I'm not sure what ...
6
votes
4answers
305 views

Using phrase 打不死

I recently encountered 打不死 as the title of a column in a US Chinese language newspaper. Asking my Chinese language teacher, she gave the literal translation of "beaten but not dead", meaning something ...
4
votes
5answers
202 views

照顾 vs 安慰 zhaogu vs anwei

Anyone know the difference between these two verbs? Both seem to mean 'to care for'. Google image search seems to show more Mother/children/illness care for 照顾, but 安慰 also seems to be largely person ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

What is the difference (and english translation) between 风浪 and 涌浪?

As far as I can tell, 风浪 is waves created by wind, and 涌浪 would be waves created by tidal movements or surge waves. However, this is a very bulky way to describe them. What is the English for this ...
3
votes
4answers
198 views

Difference between 沒轍, 莫可奈何,沒辦法

Can anyone help me with any differences between those words? C-E dictionaries say "there's no way out" or "nothing can be done" for all of them, C-C dictionaries say about the same. However, I was ...
0
votes
2answers
88 views

What's the difference between 我住在 and 還活著?

I think both 我住在 and 還活著 have quite the same meaning (I'm alive), can I use evenly one of them as I like or are there some rules that force me to distinguish their use according to different contexts?
3
votes
2answers
185 views

一会 vs 一下 vs 一时 vs 一时半会 vs 片刻

I wanted to say "I'm going to take a nap for a while" and looked for the phrase "(for) a while" in Chinese and came across these 5 : 一会,一下,一时,一时半会,片刻。 Could you please tell me the ...
3
votes
3answers
828 views

Difference between 厉害 and 利害

I see they have the same pronunciation but does they bear any differences. It seems like 利害 can be pronounced lìhài or lìhai while 厉害 can only be pronounced lìhai.
3
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5answers
540 views

Difference between 很 and 挺

As far as I know, both means “very”. I would like to know if there are any further differences that exist between them
3
votes
3answers
188 views

Difference between 必 and 一定

Both words kinda mean “must, necessarily, certainly”. Can someone explain the differences between the two?
2
votes
2answers
92 views

Ways of negating statements in Chinese

I'm looking at negation in Chinese. I know: 不:我不去。I don't want to go. 不多:他话不多。He doesn't talk much. 没:他没去美国。He didn't go to America. 未:未必:not necessarily 否:不管我们喜欢与否,Whether we like it or not, 无:...
2
votes
2answers
63 views

How to say “often” in an imperative sentence? (eg. “come back often baby”)

Can I just say 常常/经常....吧? Or should I use 多? 常常回来吧 / 经常回来吧 / 多回来宝贝 Or is there a better way of phrasing this? I tried searching the internet but couldn't find anything that resolves my query. ...
3
votes
1answer
176 views

When to use 相比 and 比?

I'm not sure to get the difference. If the two following sentences are correct, when should I use one over the other? 相比: 和打羽毛球相比我更喜欢打网球。 比: 我羽毛球比网球更喜欢打。
2
votes
7answers
792 views

Why is “纸“ used in ”肚纸饿”? 为什么说肚纸饿,不肚子饿?

I was online recently and saw an image saying "肚纸饿“ (although I cannot presently locate it). I know "肚子饿” means "I'm hungry", but the character 纸 used in the image means paper. Was it used instead of ...
5
votes
2answers
579 views

Difference between 忘 and 忘记

So is there any differences between 忘 and 忘记?They both mean to forget but do they have any other differences in terms of usage, location within a sentence, etc
4
votes
2answers
252 views

What is the best way to ask for a draw in chess?

I play in chess tournaments in China, and in the past, I've been unable to ask my opponent for a draw because I didn't know how to say it in Chinese off the top of my head (and we can't use electronic ...
2
votes
2answers
264 views

What's the difference between 在 and 于 as a preposition?

When I was writing a simple paragraph about 自我介绍, I wanted to say that "I was born in XXX." I wasn't sure about how to say it and then looked for some examples of how to say it in Chinese and came ...
2
votes
1answer
792 views

Difference?? : 聊,聊天,聊聊,聊聊天,聊一聊,闲聊

What's the difference between 聊,聊天,聊聊,聊聊天,聊一聊,闲聊?
2
votes
2answers
380 views

Difference between 讨厌, 恨, 怨恨, 忌恨, 恶, and 恼恨?

Could you please tell me the difference and how each word is used?
4
votes
2answers
186 views

不能得到 vs 得不到 difference

When I was trying to make this sentence : "It seems like I can't get good score even though I study hard/我虽然努力学习,但是我好像还不能得到好成绩 (I don't know if my sentence is correct tho)", I found this word 得不到 (...
1
vote
5answers
187 views

Why not include “的” in “传统音乐”?

I have found the following two sentences: 他们正在演奏传统音乐。 这是一个传统的玩具。 Why does the former not use 的 but the latter does? I know you can remove 的 if you express family's relation as stated in other ...

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