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Questions tagged [word-order]

Questions about the order of words in a sentence. Word order is a subset of syntax, which is a branch of grammar.

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Why is the word order ……想做一些与工作无关的事情 and not ……想做一些事情与工作无关?

Modern translate engines are good to mimic native speakers syntax, but haven't explained yet why you have to do it in this way. I would like to say something like this: 我现在在休息,我想做一些事情与工作无关 But Google ...
Gleichmut's user avatar
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6 answers
136 views

Why is there a preference for the word order 看上去总是 over 总是看上去?

A HSK5 past exam (source) says: ……,海水越深,被散射和反射的蓝光就越多,所以,大海看上去总是蓝色的。 (The question seems adapted from here, which instead writes 大海看上去总是碧蓝碧蓝的.) I'm surprised by the placement of the 总是 here. If it ...
Becky 李蓓's user avatar
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4 answers
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If A伴随着B, then is it true that B伴随着A?

CC-CEDICT: 伴随 (bàn​suí​) to accompany / to follow / to occur together with / concomitant I saw on Tateoba the sentence 闪电常常伴随着雷鸣。 Lightning is usually followed by thunder. The English sentence ...
Becky 李蓓's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
71 views

What are the correct ways to add subjects (主语) in 虽然……但是 sentences?

I just had a class with my iTalki teacher, and she pointed out a preference for where to add the subject (主语) when writing a particular 虽然……但是 sentence. So I'd like to systematically go through the ...
Becky 李蓓's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
102 views

Inverted word order for a sentence with a relative clause?

So traditionally, translating relative clauses into Chinese involves treating the relative clause a a modifier for a noun and putting the modifier in front of the noun separated by de/的. I.e. a ...
user1365680's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
82 views

do words like 一般,习惯 and 经常 when placed before or after the Time clause change the meaning of the sentence?

The words are used to express that the action occurs in general(一般), often(经常), and is done regularly(习惯), Is this true? should they therefore always come directly before the verb or are there ...
Jay's user avatar
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1 answer
102 views

How to sort list (PHP-Array) of countries in Chinese simplified language ('alphabetically')-> in Radical-Stroke Order?

I have to sort a country list (written in PHP programming language as an associative array in the order 'xy' => 'name of country',) in simplified Chinese language to make sense for Chinese people. ...
Manny's user avatar
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2 votes
4 answers
183 views

What are the key examples to demonstrate whether Mandarin Chinese has a rigid or flexible word order?

I am new to Chinese (Mandarin), and looking at some grammar guides like this word order page, it suggests a very rigid word order (saying sometimes you break the order, but doesn't say when/how): ...
Lance's user avatar
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2 answers
141 views

Is 观点基本 -> 基本观点 really the error in the HSK6 语病 sentence beginning 进化论的一个观点基本是...?

进化论的一个观点基本是:在生物进化过程中,适应自然环境的物种得以生存下来,不适应的就被淘汰,这就是所谓的“优胜劣汰,适者生存”。 This is a 语病 sentence from the HSK6 past exam H61327 (Q.60). Here I noted how the justification was 观点基本 should be 基本观点. But I ...
Becky 李蓓's user avatar
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1 vote
4 answers
133 views

What's the difference between 这本词典是老师的吗? and 这本是老师的词典吗?

I wonder if there is a difference between these two sentences a) 这本词典是老师的吗? and b) 这本是老师的词典吗? Are they grammatically correct? thanks!
Lola's user avatar
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1 answer
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placing the object between subject and the verb

I was watching 三体 ep2 and I came across this sentence 我这房子本来买了就是结婚用的 Why did they put 这房子 before 买了?
n0llakolm3's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
141 views

Are 多 and 一点儿 nouns, adverbs, or adjectives in these sentences?

In a sentence like 可以便宜很多吗 or 可以便宜一点儿吗, what part of speech are 多 and 一点儿? I know what these sentences mean, I just don't know whether 多 and 一点儿 nouns, adverbs, or adjectives in this context. They ...
charlemagne 's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
94 views

How would you say "The mother wants her child to eat at home."?

I've come across: 妈妈要她的孩子在家吃饭。 However, this feels a little unnatural to me. I feel that "在家里吃饭“ or “吃饭在家” would be better. Firstly, am I correct that those word-orders would be more natural? If ...
Buddy L's user avatar
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4 answers
174 views

Is there a difference between "我明天要看电视“ and ”我要明天看电视“?

My instinct is that 我要明天看电视 is more likely to be understood as "I'm going to watch TV tomorrow", whereas 我明天要看电视 is more likely to be understood as "I want to watch TV tomorrow." ...
Buddy L's user avatar
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1 answer
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How can I parse 自己做 inside 自己的事情自己做? Seems no passive voice is used in it

自己的事情自己做 (Do one's own things by oneself) I've analyzed above Chinese sentence as follows using direct translation. Oneself's matter must be done by oneself But there seems no passive voice structure ...
TG24's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
55 views

Is the word order of the phrase 瞻仰 wrong?

Reading the news that Chinese leaders joined with the public to pay homage to the war heroes today in Beijing, I notice that the structure of this phrase 瞻仰 that appears in the text is a main word ...
NanningYouth's user avatar
  • 2,841
2 votes
2 answers
46 views

Transposed Subject with the verb 到

In the sentence "医院到了" meaning "We arrived at the hospital", is the word 医院 object of the sentence? Then, why has it come before the verb 到? Wouldn't it be better to say "到医院了&...
Mohammad Talebi's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
74 views

Why does 两次 change position in 我们每周两次用中文聊十分钟好吗 vs. 我们每周用中文聊天两次好吗?

I want to say: Shall we chat in Chinese for ten minutes twice a week? Translator program gives the following output: 我们每周两次用中文聊十分钟好吗? When I remove the duration from the sentence, the position of ...
Selflearner's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
131 views

Word order question (在一起 and 合作)

I am learning Chinese on my own and I find myself getting the word order wrong on some sentences. For example: 我們在一起合作很多年了 I sometimes mistakenly use this word order: 我們合作在一起很過年了 I realize this is a ...
Laban007's user avatar
  • 153
5 votes
8 answers
2k views

Why is the 所有 misplaced in 今年所有发生的事情?

This is a 语病 ("faulty wording") sentence: 今年所有发生的事情,将深深留在每一个中国人的心里。 刘云, 新汉语水平考试,HSK6级攻略,阅读, 2011, p.6. (alternative image host) The explanation is that the placement of 所有 is wrong, and ...
Becky 李蓓's user avatar
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4 votes
4 answers
408 views

Adjectives before or after classifiers in Chinese

So far, I have learned that adjectives come after classifiers and before nouns. For example, 一只黑猫:a black cat During my studies, I came across this sentence: 他在自己家附近的一间办公室里工作。 In this sentence, 自己家附近 ...
Mohammad Talebi's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
142 views

Difference between 走得快 and 快走

I'm already familiar with the complement of state. (verb + 得 + adjective pattern) like, 他走得快。 But sometimes I see adverbs of manner go before the verb. For example, 我们快走。 Are these two patterns the ...
Mohammad Talebi's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
152 views

Which one is the correct way to say "what I like most is to sing"?

Which is the correct way to say "what I like most is to sing"? Someone said no. 3. If it is, why we have to use 的 particle? 我最喜欢是唱歌 我最喜欢唱歌 我最喜欢的是唱歌
Lola's user avatar
  • 165
2 votes
6 answers
454 views

How should I understand the sentence structure in 你在这儿写了很多?

I went through similar questions but haven't seen something as simple as my question. In the online course I am following this example is given: 你在这儿写了很多。 Though, AFAIK the sentence structure is S+t+...
DDogu's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
150 views

Chinese word order

a) Position of Object: Here is a sentence from the Practical Chinese Reader 2, that reads: 我这儿的书可以借多长时间? I wonder whether the following word order is wrong or not? 我可以这儿的书借多长时间? b) Adverbial Phrases ...
Mohammad Talebi's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
85 views

Arrange 叶子 / 落下来 / 一片片 / 从 / 树上 to form a sentence: is 一片片叶子从树上落下来 the only correct option?

This is 排列成句 ("form a sentence") exercise from a Chinese textbook about measure words: 量词 训练大全, p.26. I infer from the Internet (e.g. here) that a (the (?)) correct answer is: 一片片叶子从树上落下来。...
Becky 李蓓's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
97 views

"在市中心的这家意大利饭馆很好。" or " 这家在市中心的意大利饭馆很好。" Regarding word order and grammar, are both these sentences correct?

"在市中心的这家意大利饭馆很好。" or " 这家在市中心的意大利饭馆很好。" Regarding word order and grammar, are both these sentences correct? The first sentence comes from some learning material, so I assume it's ...
Joseph King's user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
129 views

Position of 不 in a sentence

Is there a difference between these two sentences? 他不在学院学习。 他在学院不学习。
Mohammad Talebi's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
77 views

Word order in 能源保障供应

"能源保障供应" (Source) seems to mean "to guarantee the supply of energy". But I would have guessed the word order to be "保障能源供应", with the verb in front. Why is this not the ...
user22495's user avatar
  • 183
1 vote
5 answers
117 views

What is the appropriate word order for "I want to eat in a restaurant in Beijing"?

A couple of days ago I was wondering about the word order of the translation I want to eat in a restaurant in Beijing. With my rather limited knowledge of Chinese (and its grammar), I thought the ...
Philippe1123's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
409 views

Why does "yin" (陰) comes first in "yin-yang" (陰陽)?

In the yin-yang dynamic, yang is pretty much always the dominant force: it represents the sun (the "great yang", 太陽), brightness, positivity (陽性), masculinity (the penis, 陽物), the living (陽間,...
Vun-Hugh Vaw's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
158 views

Why is it 搬运工人把电视机从楼上搬了下来 and not 搬运工人从楼上把电视机搬了下来?

An HSK5 exercise is to arrange these words to make a grammatical sentence: 搬运工人 把 从楼上 电视机 搬了下来 HSK5 应试指南,170页 This is my attempt: My answer: 搬运工人从楼上把电视机搬了下来。 ✗ Textbook: 搬运工人把电视机从楼上搬了下来。 ✓ I'...
Becky 李蓓's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
649 views

I do not really understand the word order in these four examples

这个故事发生在上个世纪末. I wonder if 发生 could be placed after 在上个世纪末. Shouldn't time be placed before a verb? 电梯已经可以正常使用了 正常 is an adjective, and adjectives describe nouns? Can't 使用 work as a noun? ...
Vertro Sliw's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
119 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 ...
user28306's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
72 views

Position of direct object in a sentence with an adverb of degree

I came across the following sentence: 怪不得法文他说得那么好。 Which translates as "No wonder that he speaks French so well". So far so good. However, this word order is intriguing to me. "He ...
swrutra's user avatar
  • 169
1 vote
3 answers
989 views

The difference between 左右 and 大概

房子大概九十平方米。 房子九十平方米左右。 I believe, 大概,左右 both mean: roughly, approximately. Why should/must 大概 precede and 左右 follow?
Pedroski's user avatar
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1 vote
4 answers
314 views

Why is 很多 sometimes before the noun and sometimes after the noun?

I have sometimes seen 很多 after the noun and sometimes before and I don't understand what the reason is for it being in different places. For instance, here it follows the noun, "活动": ...
A. Bell 's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
501 views

Should words like 一般 or 平时 be put before or after the time reference?

So, for example, I want to ask — When do you usually do your homework? Should it be 你什么时候(一般/平时)做作业 or 你(平时/一般)什么时候做作业 Crucially, I'd like to know why should it be done the way it should be.
Simullacra's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
243 views

Subject + predicate as topic and prepositional phrases

I found this sentence while doing some listening practice: 长时间看电脑,对眼睛不好。 At first, I didn't understand why 长时间, expressing duration, is at the beginning of the sentence acting as topic 长时间看电脑, since I ...
Jon's user avatar
  • 43
3 votes
2 answers
271 views

Why is the 多 in 每个月150个多小时 misplaced?

I have a new teacher, and we've been communicating on WeChat. I wrote this: 我大部分时间在自学。目前我每一天花5个多小时在学习,包括周末(每个月150个多小时),不过…… She says that 每个月150个多小时 is incorrect and it should be 每个月150多个小时. ...
Becky 李蓓's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
76 views

A question about the structure in this sentence

地球圍住太陽轉。 I understand this to be "The Earth revolves around the Sun." My question is: it feels to me the structure/order of the words is a bit strange. I could have said: 地球轉太陽圍住. Can ...
cgo's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
1k views

How Would I Write 多为和平 Vertically?

I used Google translate to tell me how to say Mostly Peaceful in Chinese which it said was 多为和平. I do not know any Chinese at all and I am designing a shirt where I would like to stack the words 多为和平 ...
mhcisme's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
175 views

What does 都 mean when added to 主 here: 主都知道,主都不在乎

This is a quote from “黑暗森林”, I've never quite understood the 都 there. Also, I've opened the book and tried a quick search, it seems like the author switches between 主都 and 主, which is entirely out of ...
Simullacra's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
107 views

Which is the correct translation for "I went to the bathroom twice": 去了厕所两次 or 去厕所两次了?

Which one is correct please? If I try to translate: I went to the bathroom twice. 去了厕所两次 去厕所两次了
O0123's user avatar
  • 385
1 vote
4 answers
362 views

Why is the 几次 in 你这个星期买东西几次了 incorrect?

When trying to translate this sentence: How many times have you gone shopping this week? I would assume that it is: 你这个星期买东西几次了? But apparently I put the 几次 at the wrong place? Can somebody help ...
O0123's user avatar
  • 385
3 votes
6 answers
331 views

What is the role of chengyu (成语) in a sentence?

I've learned some chengyu (idiomatic expression), and I see many are used in different position in the sentence. For example: adjective -> 那个人看来有点不三不四 noun -> 我集市看到人山人海 adverb or verb? -> ...
blackgreen's user avatar
  • 5,452
2 votes
3 answers
193 views

Why does 喜欢 go before 跟 in 他喜欢跟她在一起?

I am somewhat new to Chinese and was learning “跟”. One of the sentences is "he likes to be with her" and 我的老师 says the correct form is 他喜欢跟她在一起。 Would anyone be capable of breaking down ...
我爱学校's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
253 views

Why is 都 placed after a verb in "什么时候还都可以"?

I found this example: 你拿着用吧,什么时候还都可以。 Nǐ ná zheyòng ba, shénme shíhòu huán dōu kěyǐ. You can have it as long as you want. I am confused about the grammar structure behind 什么时候还都可以 (literally: any ...
Puco4's user avatar
  • 2,142
2 votes
2 answers
156 views

Is it possible to combine 起来 and 住在?

I came across the following sentence: 这个房子住起来不舒服。 Zhège fángzi zhù qǐlái bu shūfú. This house seems uncomfortable to live. I think in this sentence, 起来 indicates an initial judgement, i.e. like in ...
Puco4's user avatar
  • 2,142
3 votes
5 answers
456 views

Must 怎么 be right after 你 in this sentence: 你怎么知道我的名字

When you ask someone his/her name, you can say: 你叫什么名字 什么 is not right after 你 but when you ask someone how he/she knows your name, you say: 你怎么知道我的名字 Must 怎么 be right after 你 in this sentence? Is ...
O Connor's user avatar
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