Questions tagged [word]

For questions about a discrete unit of written or spoken text of the smallest size to convey distinct meaning. In English but not Chinese will usually be separated from other words by a space when written or printed. Other tags that may be more appropriate include [word-choice] and [word-requests].

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13 votes
4 answers
8k 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 ...
  • 555
20 votes
8 answers
8k views

What's the difference between 星期X and 周X?

When accepting an answer, I noticed that the example used the word 周三 for Wednesday, but in my grammar, the days of the week are 星期一, 星期二, etc... They seem both correct but, what's the difference? ...
  • 6,425
5 votes
3 answers
858 views

Is there any character with radical 月 that has a meaning of 月 (not 肉)?

Is there any character with radical 月 that has a meaning of 月 (not 肉)? What I can find is 期,阴,and 胜,
  • 1,905
5 votes
4 answers
249 views

How can I tell apart which two-syllable adjective forms "ABAB" to emphasize it?

I'm now learning on emphasizing adjectives by the repetition (e.g. 你的脸红红的。). However, some two-syllable words form ABAB and others AABB to emphasize the adjective. For example, 开开心心 好吃好吃 干干净净 便宜便宜 ...
  • 5,395
3 votes
4 answers
214 views

How does 客 (kè, "customer, guest") and 气 (qì, "gas, anger") combine to give 客气 (kèqi, "polite")?

Looking up their definitions: 客气 (kè qi) = polite 客 (kè) = customer; visitor; guest 气 (qì) = gas; air; smell; weather; vital breath; to anger; to get angry; to be enraged There seems to be no ...
  • 13.9k
10 votes
4 answers
4k views

How to correctly use "多" to say "more than"?

I know a similar question has already been answered but I still have a lot of doubts. To my understanding if a number is ≤9, you need to put "多" after the measure word (or after the name if it doesn'...
6 votes
2 answers
375 views

Are there large discrepancies between what Chinese consider to be words?

Looking into the Chinese dictionary I have on my phone, I noticed that 我是 (I am) is listed as a word, while I as a non native speaker would consider this to be two separate words. Whether or not 我是 is ...
  • 708
1 vote
3 answers
1k views

What's the difference between 周 and 星期? [duplicate]

From a dictionary lookup, it seems that both 周 and 星期 can mean "a week"—is there any difference in usage?
0 votes
2 answers
276 views

Difference between 问 and 让 "to ask"

How do 问 and 让 differ in meaning and in what sort of situations would you use either of them? In chinese.yabla.com there are a lot of different verbs with the meaning 'to ask'.
  • 2,132
10 votes
3 answers
3k views

What does 'duang' mean in 'online Chinese'?

I see this word popping up on Weibo and Taobao. It's not written with any character, but spelled out in Pinyin. What does it mean? EDIT: For the annals:
  • 7,118
15 votes
2 answers
172k views

Very frequently used word in Mandarin that sounds like "nica" or "nigah"

I work in a group where I am the only person that does not speak Chinese, thus I hear Chinese conversations all day every day. I've noticed that there's a word which is used extremely frequently, in ...
  • 261
9 votes
5 answers
829 views

Do all one-syllable words need to be followed by a 子 to make it colloquial?

Do all one-syllable words need to be followed by a 子 to make it colloquial? For example, 椅 becomes 椅子, 锤 becomes 锤子, 尺 becomes 尺子 and etc. I thought about this because I came across a picture ...
  • 701
6 votes
2 answers
539 views

Can 来 be used as a 虚词?

来 usually means "to come". In this sentence from an online database: 旱区人民需要我们的帮助来渡过难关 来 does not seem to me being used in its lexical meaning here, but rather containing a grammatical expression ...
  • 1,064
4 votes
4 answers
1k views

What percentage of Chinese words are 1-character ? ... 2-character?

Within an average Chinese person's vocabulary ... (which may be ~ 30,000 (?) words, but this number isn't important) could you guess what percentage of the words are 1-character, and what ...
  • 271
2 votes
1 answer
97 views

What words exist that come from deconstructed characters?

Page 178 of《成都话方言词典》has the following entry: 丘八儿 qiū bér [tɕ‘iəu⁵⁵ pər²¹] 丘八, 旧时称军人。因“丘”加“八”为“兵”而得名(含贬义)。 丘八 is a deconstruction of the character 兵. What words exist that come from ...
  • 34.8k
11 votes
4 answers
2k views

What is the difference between 究竟 and 到底 ?

So, a teacher explained to me that 究竟 is a more formal way of saying 到底. However, I'm still curious if there are there any other usage differences between the two? Is 究竟 only used in examples that ...
  • 4,587
6 votes
5 answers
502 views

Can all adjectives be transformed into adverbs with 地?

In Mandarin if you use 地 to an adjective, it can change into an adverb. For example, 我真喜欢你健健康康地长大。 他舒服地躺在那里。 Now I wonder whether all adjectives can be transformed into adverbs in this rule. Is this ...
  • 5,395
5 votes
1 answer
121 views

Official definition of (單)字, (單)詞, 片語, 成語

As stated in the title, is there an official, or unified, definition of these terms?
  • 7,387
4 votes
3 answers
235 views

Why is 的 necessary in 你是什么时候买的苹果?

I've found the following sentence: 你是什么时候买的苹果? However, I'm convinced that this sentence should be 你是什么时候买苹果的?. Why does the sentence above require 的 after 买? What purpose does it function for?
  • 5,395
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Usage of 万 (wàn): ten thousands or just a great number?

I noticed that very often the word 万 (wàn) occurs in poetry (e.g. poetry of the Tang dynasty). My dictionary reports its meaning as "ten thousands", but it looks like it's used in place of a generic "...
3 votes
3 answers
191 views

Is it OK to use 只 (only) when it already uses 只 as a measure word?

In the following sentence: ”银座养蜂项目“始于2006年,目前在银座的三个大厦屋顶都设有养蜂场,各有20-30万只蜜蜂。 The sentence means: "Ginza Bees Project" started in 2016. Now the roof of all three buildings in Ginza have the bees ...
  • 5,395
3 votes
1 answer
82 views

Where does 别间 ("other") as in 别间大学 come from?

As a follow up to this question What does 别间 in 别间大学的男生都土里土气的 means? I was trying to figure out where the term 别间 comes from. Judging by the context, it appears having the same meaning as 别的 (other, ...
  • 5,386
2 votes
2 answers
247 views

What is the difference between 有时 and 有时候? How are they used differently in context?

大家好! I noticed that in Chinese, there are two similar words for "sometimes": 有时 and 有时候. Are they any different from each other? For example, is one more formal than the other? Thanks! :)
2 votes
2 answers
420 views

帅哥/美女 to get attention of someone who isn't handsome/beautiful

In China (at least in mainland), it is common that people say 帅哥/美女 to someone to get his/her attention. Example cases: If a person wants to use an iPhone charger but someone blocks the outlet and ...
  • 5,395
2 votes
1 answer
103 views

Can I use 兼 for more than two positions?

兼 takes two objects that are in the same category. For example, 一般来说,在IT行业一个中小企业创始者担任CEO兼CTO是常见的。 在我的家庭,妈妈是个厨师兼清洁工。 However, can I add one or more, and make it more than two positions, such as: ...
  • 5,395
2 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why is Oxford called 牛津?

Most chinese words about the name of foreign places are mapped phonetically, such as 华沙, 纽约 or 首尔, I believe. But in some cases it is from the historical incident, such as 旧金山 (I don't know how many ...
  • 5,395
1 vote
1 answer
211 views

What is this word? (Characters Identified: 招財進寶) [duplicate]

I was cleaning my room and found this pyramid thing with what I would guess a chinese character (because I'm chinese). Tried to look it up but couldn't find anything.
1 vote
3 answers
163 views

What does 别间 in 别间大学的男生都土里土气的 mean?

I've been sentence mining from Meteor Garden (2001) and I came across the sentence 别间大学的男生都土里土气的。 Can someone help me figure out what does '别间' mean in that sentence? Thanks!
1 vote
1 answer
546 views

Meaning of 上 as Result Complement

I look up in youdao and it says meanings of 上 as below : (1) from the high position looking down: 登上山顶, 爬上河堤 (2) presents the result of the action: 穿上外衣, 没吃上饭 (3) presents the beginning and ...
  • 821
0 votes
2 answers
68 views

Meaning of 的 in 只有三个得满分的

The full sentence is 他考得很好,得了满分。听说只有三个得了满分的。 I get a bit confused with 的. I understand that the sentence means “there are only 3 people that get full marks.” Please help me out. Thank you guys :D
  • 821
0 votes
3 answers
100 views

Is my sentence 如果没时间的话就告诉我 grammatically correct?

I am not sure that my sentence: 如果没时间的话就告诉我 is grammatically correct or not. So please guide me, have I used the right words?
-1 votes
2 answers
38 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?
-1 votes
1 answer
311 views

What does the chinese lettering mean on my shirt? [closed]

I bought this shirt and now I'm curious what the Chinese lettering means. i tried to translate, but it is very hard. Can you help me translate?
-2 votes
1 answer
99 views

Can I use 跳舞 into these three words? [closed]

跳那舞 跳华尔兹 跳奇怪舞 All of these three words can be used? I think the second word is possible Thank you in advance