Questions tagged [word-choice]

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

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6
votes
2answers
371 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?
6
votes
2answers
615 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?
1
vote
2answers
683 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
478 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
votes
2answers
196 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
votes
1answer
282 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?
4
votes
5answers
295 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) ...
2
votes
3answers
109 views

Does 拉丁裔的女人需要工作一年到十月的二十号为了赚百男人赚的钱在前的一年 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
63 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
1k 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.
0
votes
4answers
102 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
69 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
156 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
55 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
112 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
616 views

What is the meaning of 一看 in 打开盒子一看,里面是一只小猫?

打开盒子一看,里面是一只小猫 Is it the same as 看看 or 看一看?
0
votes
2answers
92 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
483 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

What is the difference between “博览会”, “交易会” and “展销会”?

I know there are 3 phrases used to describe exhibition/fair, namely "博览会", "交易会" and "展销会". Can those phrases be used interchangeably or is there any difference for each specific phrase?
3
votes
3answers
477 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
vote
2answers
131 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
198 views

I looked for it “until” I found it

How do I say “I looked for it until I found it“ or “I looked for (something) until I found it” what is the word that i use for “until”?
3
votes
5answers
767 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
5
votes
3answers
389 views

What's the best translation to 「要看两千年的中国,去西安;要看一千年的中国,去北京;要看一百年的中国,去上海;要看十年的中国,去深圳」?

What's the best translation to 「要看两千年的中国,去西安;要看一千年的中国,去北京;要看一百年的中国,去上海;要看十年的中国,去深圳」? My version is To find two thousand years of China, go to Xi'an; To find one thousand years of China, go to ...
4
votes
5answers
210 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
100 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. ...
6
votes
4answers
340 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
1k 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
votes
1answer
217 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
803 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
874 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
261 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
221 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
472 views

How do I translate the words “player” and “team” into Mandarin?

I have noticed there is a large number of words that translate as “player” and “team”. I've been trying to decipher those and so far it seems that: 玩家 wánjiā, 玩者 wánzhě – those two mean a player ...
3
votes
2answers
232 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
826 views

Differentiating 着 (zhe/zháo) and 着/到

The character 着 has many readings, but I'm interested on 2 of them that have grammar usage: zhe and zháo. As zhe, 着 is used to express a continuous state, as in 门开着 (the door is opened) and 他跑着步听音乐 (...
2
votes
2answers
399 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
3k 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
2answers
95 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?
2
votes
3answers
337 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?
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Difference between 好看、美丽 and 漂亮

All these words are used to describe beauty but which one is used for human, and which is used for things?
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。
3
votes
2answers
344 views

Difference between 一顿饭 and 一碗饭

The measure word of 饭 is 顿 and 碗. But what is the difference between the two and how should I classify them? At first I thought 一碗饭 means a plate of food, for example if you have rice and chicken, ...
0
votes
3answers
62 views

What is the difference between 书呆子 and 迂夫子?

Both 书呆子 and 迂夫子 mean a pedant, and at least I know 书呆子 is usually used in derogatory tone. I have never seen the word 迂夫子 until just now, and it seems to mean the same thing as 书呆子. So I wonder if ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

还 vs 也 for expressing multiple actions

Based on the structure: S V O, 还/也 V O When should I use 还 and when should I use 也? A Chinese friend told me that 还 often sounds better than 也 in sentences where the two verbs are different, such ...
4
votes
1answer
96 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
226 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 (...
0
votes
2answers
131 views

what is the difference between 條 and 匹?

In the context of "classifier for long thing objects" how do 條 and 匹 differ?
2
votes
2answers
71 views

What is the purpose of “到” in 他在行窃时被当场抓到

I'm confused about 到 which means to arrive, or up until. How does it fit into the sentence "He was(is) caught in the act of stealing. " Also, how is past tense indicated here?

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