Questions tagged [word-choice]

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

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277 views

What is the difference between `踢足球` and `踢球`?

I've read the following two sentences today: 我以前在这里踢足球 现在我在踢球 However, what is the difference between the 踢足球 and 踢球? I think both means playing soccer, but is there any difference?
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2answers
94 views

Why use 碰头 (pèngtóu) to mean “meet” instead of say 见, 见面, or 看见? (In e.g. 过两分钟我们在外面碰头)

In the Chinese translation of Matilda (p. 195), we have: “好,你把东西收拾一下,过两分钟我们在外面碰头。” "Good. Gather up your things and I'll meet you outside in a couple of minutes." and on the next page: ...
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1answer
63 views

What are the criteria used on dictionaries to decide word classes?

Mandarin is a complete MESS regarding word classes. I can't think of an example right now, but I'm completely sure there are some words that reach the point of being a noun, adjective, verb and adverb ...
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1answer
54 views

Is Autumn being referred to by the female pronoun 她? Is this normal?

This is from my 3-rd grade 语文 book (there's a version here): 现在正是金秋时节。我们已经看到了她缤纷的色彩, 听见了她美妙的声音,分享了她带给我们的欢乐。 I translate this to: It's currently Golden Autumn. We already see her diverse (缤纷的) ...
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3answers
138 views

忍耐 vs 忍受 usage/difference

Based on the dictionary, 忍耐 = endure, bear with, restraint oneself while 忍受 = bear, endure. But when I look at sample sentences, the usage of both words sort of overlap each other. So how do I use ...
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2answers
175 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”?
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1answer
244 views

What does 亲你一口 mean?

I thought 亲你一口 means “kiss you” but usually, I think verbs take 一下 to add the meaning of “a bit”. So why is it 亲你一口, not 亲你一下, and what does it differ from just say 亲你? Or is the relationship ...
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1answer
246 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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1answer
71 views

缓解 vs. 缓和 - are the true synonyms/同义词?

So, one can 缓解压力 and one can 缓和紧张局势. Can you 缓和压力 or 缓解紧张局势? If not, why not? :-) I guess if you say it enough, it becomes true, right? Many thanks, Hashamyim (incidentally, not my real name lol)
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1answer
720 views

The word for “usually” in Mandarin

In Mandarin, there are many words to express the meaning "usually" - 通常,平常,平日,素,率,素来,往往,常,etc... (actually there are way more, but I don't list all of them here). There are too many to ...
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2answers
44 views

Is 委员会 a commission or a committee?

According to Xinhua News Agency, China Daily and other official media outlets of English language of China, 中央纪律检查委员会 is Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, but 中央政法委员会 is Committee of ...
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1answer
55 views

Where should I put a neutral tone in 雪白雪白?

雪白雪白 (1) xuě-bai-xuě-bái (such as 漂漂亮亮) (2) xuě-bái-xuě-bai If ABB and AAB adjectives also have neutral tones, please let me know where tones should be.
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1answer
61 views

What is the difference between different words of “note” - 便条,笔记,备忘录?

In Mandarin, there exist similar words to express "note" - 便条,笔记,备忘录. At least I understand that 注释 is a different word from them, as it means an annotation, not an entire post. How can I use them ...
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1answer
122 views

What is the difference between 妥善 and 妥当?

As with the case on many words in Mandarin, 妥善 and 妥当 both mean "appropriate" or "proper" in English. However, what is the difference between these two words, and how can I use it properly?
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2answers
2k views

What do I say when a friend tells me about the death of a loved one?

I never know what to say/write in Chinese when a friend tells me that one of their relatives or friends has passed away. I'm aware of the terms of politeness for referring to the death itself: ...
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1answer
79 views

What is the equivalent in Chinese for the phrase “get laid”?

After my effort, I haven't found the equivalent yet, and it should not be too vulgar, if you have any idea you might share with us.
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4answers
166 views

Strange order of 國立臺灣大學?

A number of Taiwanese universities, including 國立臺灣大學, follow the naming pattern 國立臺灣X大學. This order, "National Taiwan X University" sounds awkward in English. A more natural order would be "Taiwan ...
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4answers
1k views

中国人 vs 华人 which should I use?

I think 中国人 only refers to people having Chinese nationality while 华人 can be referred to any Chinese-descent people. If one person is China-born and has Chinese nationality, should I always use 中国人? ...
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3answers
98 views

Would a picture of an ordinary axe be inuitively assoicated with the word 鉞 (yuè)

Background: In this question over at ELU someone posted a picture of a ball with pictures seemingly illustrating the 26 letters of the English alphabet. The only picture that doesn't fit this ...
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1answer
643 views

How do you translate “could have been” sentences?

For example, how do you translate this: "All his wife wanted was a peaceful life. When he returned from the war, their lives could have been peaceful, but the government situation at that time ...
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2answers
960 views

How to say “at the start of the year” in this context?

I'm currently trying to figure out how to begin a sentence in Chinese with, "at the start of the year", my friend told me... etc. I've heard that "at the start of the year" is 今年伊始。But can you ...
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1answer
69 views

How are 连绵词 used in modern Chinese?

A concise definition of 连绵词 I found is an alliterative and echotic biome e.g. : 窈窕 徘徊 孜孜 Is this group perceived as sth. distinctive with unique rules how or under which circumstances to use ...
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2answers
165 views

Why use 甩 twice?

Probably an impossible question to answer, just a style thing, but why did the writer use 甩 twice? “在台上,你的手是不是被什么东西扎了一下? 快结束时我看你微微甩了甩手,你平时被东西扎着时就是这样子。“ 我看你微微甩了甩手 I saw you flick your hand slightly (...
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1answer
154 views

How to start the sentence with “or” in Chinese?

I assume a sentence that starts with or in Mandarin, something like the follows: M: Where are you from? F: Chicago. M: No, I meant which city you are from in China? M: Or did you grew up in US? In ...
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2answers
278 views

婴儿、儿童、少年、成年 and other words related to age

I'm looking for words to define grade levels from babies to adults. According to what I've found on Baidu, the basic division is: (童年) 婴儿 - 0 to 3 years old 幼儿 - 3 to 6 years old (少年) 启蒙 - 7 to 10 ...
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2answers
2k views

Neng [能] vs Ke yi [可以] [duplicate]

What is the main differences between 能,and 可以? They both mean "to be able to", or simply "can", correct?
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3answers
848 views

What's the Difference Between 吹风 and 刮风?

In both word choice, and use, what is the difference between 吹风 and 刮风? Can I say "今天刮风很大“ but not say ”今天吹风很大“?
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3answers
162 views

Would it be incorrect to not include 儿 here?

For example, what's the difference between 那边儿 and 那边? When writing in Chinese do I need the 儿 because I've heard people say both.
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1answer
131 views

how to translate 大脑迅速转动起来? [closed]

When I first came across the phrase "head starts spinning", I thought it meant 大脑迅速转动起来 in Chinese, which means "you start processing a lot info in your head in order to figure out something quickly". ...
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1answer
68 views

Fixing sentences with object and complement after a verb

While perusing an article on allsetlearning.com about complements, I came across an interesting example of an ungrammatical sentence: 回来中国, where the object and complement are both placed after the ...
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3answers
63 views

Metaphorical “opening” translation

I'm writing about certain historical leaders of China, and I'd like to say something along the lines of "he opened China to foreign investment" or "he opened China to foreign influence", etc. I can ...
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2answers
80 views

Does this conversation/exchange of words make sense?

Person A: 你快乐吗? - Are you happy? Person B: 我常常是。-I often am. Person A: 有意思。- Interesting. Person B: 你没有不对。- You are not wrong. Would this exchange make sense to a 中国人? Does it sound natural and ...
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1answer
47 views

Is it true that a word that consists of two adjective words has a neutral tone on the second word?

Do the words, such as 冰凉冰凉, 雪白雪白, and 通红通红, each have a netural tone on the second word? e.g. 漂漂亮亮 [piào piao lìang lìang]
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4answers
269 views

Is 空姐 still used?

I wonder whether 空姐 is still used now. Many countries have been getting aware of political correctness and this kind of words had not been used anymore, even in Japan/Japanese. How is it in China/...
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4answers
400 views

What are the common words for “clean” “dirty” “tidy” and “untidy”?

For example, how do Chinese speakers normally say: 1. Your room is so clean! 2 Your room is so dirty! 3. Your room is so tidy! 4. Your room is so untidy! 脏 Is this the most common way to say dirty?
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2answers
1k views

What's the difference between xuéxí 学习 and xué 学? [duplicate]

I understand they both translate to meaning, "to learn, to study" but what is the purpose of this distinction?
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3answers
393 views

“to slice or cut (a finger)” in Traditional Chinese / Spoken Cantonese?

Haven't managed to find a usage that speaks specifically to cut or slice open a body part. Also seeing contradictions (or perhaps information gaps) between CantoDict and Pleco. Some notes: ...
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1answer
81 views

Using 当然 as an exclamation?

I'm wondering... To answer someone's question as to whether something is so or not, can you simply reply, "of course it is!" just as we do in English? Example: Can you swim? (你会游泳吗?) Of course I ...
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1answer
312 views

To add: which should I use 新增, 添加or增添?

I mostly hear 增添 in most contexts, but lately have come across 新增 and 添加. What are the differences in tone and register?
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3answers
92 views

Does this translation of a sentence accurately capture the information and grammar of the original sentence?

Background I am currently trying to translate this sentence, which comes out of an informational flyer. “那就一定不要错过[北京留学生友会]即浖联会为新老同学们免费举办的[汽车知识讲座]”。 Attempt My attempt at a translation is this. "...
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4answers
348 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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1answer
200 views

Translating the last verse of “Si maritau Rosa” into Chinese

Background I am making a Chinese singable version of a Sicilian song called "Si maritau Rosa" (Rosa has gotten married). I have three questions about how to best render the last verse. Here are the ...
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1answer
115 views

Need help translating a few words [closed]

So far I have deciphered them, but it makes no sense.
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2answers
35 views

In a set word, can't I use a complement between it? [closed]

For example, in 明心 that each can't stand alone, can it be used into 明完心 or 明了心? If not, why?
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1answer
63 views

Looking for best rendition

Today when aboard a bus, I heard the following "车开了请扶稳坐好" from the paging, and the English version was also given "The bus is leaving, please hold steady and sit well." Obviously, such an expression ...
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2answers
206 views

Does Chinese distinguish between (western) pole dancing and Chinese pole dancing? If so, how?

How does Chinese distinguish between western pole dancing and what English calls Chinese pole dancing, if at all? The Chinese edition of Wikipedia has an article on pole dancing, using the word 钢管舞. ...
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1answer
103 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 American authors for a Asian company. Whenever students are asked to identify the number of rectangles in a ...
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2answers
132 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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1answer
75 views

If 太大 and 太大了 have the same meaning, which should I say? [closed]

I've been playing around with a translater with Mandarin Chinese, and I've come across the sentence "Too Big" and both 太大 and 太大了 have the same meaning. Which should I say?
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1answer
78 views

Is it okay to say both 冷清清 and 冷清冷清?

Is it okay to say both 冷清清 and 冷清冷清? Can adjectives that can be used into ABB be also used into ABAB or, in a certain case, AABB?