14 votes
Accepted

What does "小" mean in "小炒牛肉"?

To understand the meaning of 小炒, you need some more background information. Chinese factories or companies normally employ chefs to cook for employees, and chefs need to cook with super big pot or ...
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  • 358
9 votes

What are the rules in Chinese for adjective order when multiple adjectives describe a noun

There are a few general points on the order: words with two or more characters should be further away than single character words phrases/words ending in 的 should be further from those without the ...
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  • 4,910
9 votes

How to say "obscene": translate 下流 or 輕佻?

'Obscene' is not 下流(no class/ bad taste) or 輕佻 (frivolous) One definition of obscene is 不堪入目 , it is used to describe perverted, immoral act or behavior For example: Taking a child from his mother ...
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8 votes
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美国意大利黑帮 - Expressing location without 在?

Chinese and English express this in different ways. Or better yet, English emphasizes the nuance that these mafiosi are of Italian descent but operate in America: Italian mafia in America. The ...
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  • 7,078
7 votes

Sentence with demonstrative without explicit subject - de required?

这个很好吃。 一般语气,可以不加'的'。 若要加强语气,加'的',而且念重一点。 这是黒的。 这猫是黒色的。 通常要加'的'。 这本书很好。 和第一例一様,平常可省略;加强语气时,加'的'。
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  • 1,328
6 votes

What are the rules in Chinese for adjective order when multiple adjectives describe a noun

I'm afraid that there is no easy answer to this question. I searched with keywords 汉语+形容词连用顺序 and found an article 《现代汉语多个形容词定语短语的定语顺序》discussing exactly the same question. The article mentions that ...
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  • 136
4 votes
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Usage of 的 to refer to a generic class of things

Short answer: yes. Your understanding is mostly correct. Long answer: what happens in a sentence like 我喜欢吃好吃的 I like to eat delicious things is that you are omitting something that would ...
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  • 5,336
4 votes
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Can one use 热 and 冷 to describe people?

You may need words of 2 characters, but I'm sure Chinese can do that. Specifically, what do you want to express? Hot or cold: passion, zeal, enthusiasm, interest, love, desire, hate? Here are some ...
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  • 14.2k
4 votes

When should I use 地 with an adjective and when should I not use it with an adverb (and why do some adverbs require 地)?

一个劲儿地 is not a standard adverb, It is an adverbial phrase 一个劲儿 (constant effort) is a noun. Adding 地 make it an adverbial phrase 一个劲儿地 (with constant effort) 刻苦 is not only an adjective, it can also ...
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4 votes
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When does an adjective require 的 to describe a noun?

Single character adjectives do not need possessive 的 when it is connected to single character nouns 利刀, 大樹,好人 Single character adjectives do not need possessive 的 when it is connected to multiple ...
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4 votes
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Adj. + 到 to express an extent

Your understanding is mostly right “A 到 B 了” means "become so A that have got into the condition of B" A: adj, but used as a verb, which means "become A" B: a condition "...
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  • 2,586
4 votes

Why is it correct to omit 很 in 小男孩嫌小鱼儿丑?

When there's a verb before the object, you usually don't need 很 before the adjective Since 嫌(dislike) is a verb, 嫌鱼儿丑 ( 這鱼儿我嫌丑) is a perfectly acceptable sentence, More example: 天氣很冷 怕天氣冷 (天氣我怕冷) 這詩很好 ...
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4 votes
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How do you translate "美容的" for food?

美容:make oneself more beautiful 美容的食物:beauty foods, beauty-enhancing foods I even found this: 营养美容: nutritional cosmetology 关键是将有助于美容的食物放在手边”,他说。 He said, "The key is having beauty-enhancing ...
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  • 14.2k
4 votes

Compound Structure of Chinese Nouns

Edit: how should one say "an old tiger, a fragrant banana, a big garlic", an old tiger - 一頭年邁的老虎/ 一頭年老的老虎 a fragrant banana - 一根芬芳的香蕉 a big garlic - 一大棵大蒜 for compound word nouns, it ...
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4 votes

Compound Structure of Chinese Nouns

lǎo​hǔ=tiger (虎), which literally means "old tiger (老虎)". xiāng​jiāo=banana (蕉), which literally means "fragrant banana (香蕉)". dà​suàn=garlic (蒜), which literally means "big ...
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  • 4,270
3 votes

Using SHI4 for noun and adjective, exceptional rules

It is much easier if you know how your own mother language works, instead of trying to understand "grammar logic" of foreign language with your own understanding. Let's look at some example : the ...
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  • 1,342
3 votes
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比 comparison structures: positive adjectives?

Personally, I've never heard about this as a strict grammar rule. You can say both versions of the same sentence as: 他比我高 vs 他比我矮 or 他比我富有 vs 他比我穷 and they would be equally correct, even though I ...
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  • 5,336
3 votes

美国意大利黑帮 - Expressing location without 在?

Drunken Master have given the correct answer in my opinion. But I'd like to add some details about the phrase 美国意大利黑手党. As Drunken Master said, meaning of Chinese heavily depends on context. The ...
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  • 1,297
3 votes

Where to put the adjective when asking for something that comes in multiple sizes?

I'm not a linguist, just a native speaker. My opinion is that 大 should go before 杯, i.e. 我要一大杯咖啡, since I have never heard anyone said 我要一杯大咖啡. Words like 杯 are called 量词(sorry I don't know the exact ...
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3 votes

Can “未” modify descriptive adjectives?

Can “未” modify descriptive adjectives? I think so. 我把油画平放以防止未干的颜料流动。未干的颜料 not (yet) dry paint 那家公司已被卖掉,具体售价未公开。未公开 not public
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3 votes

Can “未” modify descriptive adjectives?

Yes, definitely. Disclaimer I am not nearly as proficient in classical Chinese, so my answer is limited to modern Chinese. IMHO, 未 is more commonly seen in formal context and is often used with 曾 ...
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  • 3,207
3 votes

What are the rules in Chinese for adjective order when multiple adjectives describe a noun

I don't think we will use so many adjectives in Chinese. Usually we will use alternative sentence structure to overcome such situations depending on the original English sentence. For example, for "...
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  • 2,421
3 votes

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

My take is ABAB expresses dynamically (表示动态感) or extent in degrees, while AABB is for statically (表示静态感). For example, 舒服舒服 vs 舒舒服服。 舒服舒服 is kinda like 'Wow, I feel great!', it might imply that you ...
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  • 23.2k
3 votes

Can all adjectives be transformed into adverbs with 地?

Check out these dictionary entries for 地[de5]: ABC (adv.-forming, like English -ly) 很快地 hěn kuài de very quickly Oxford AUXILIARY [used with an adverb or adverbial phrase] 合理地安排和使用劳动力 dispose of ...
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  • 34k
3 votes

When should I use 地 with an adjective and when should I not use it with an adverb (and why do some adverbs require 地)?

Many Chinese grammar books imitate those grammar books on Western languages. That does not fit well in Chinese grammar. The details I am not going to discuss here. While Western languages transform a ...
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  • 2,004
3 votes

How to say "obscene": translate 下流 or 輕佻?

下流 describes indecent action or person, sexually harass is the typical 下流的行为, a voyeur is a 下流的人. 輕佻(轻佻) is slightly literary, only used for woman, it describes her characteristic. This word is not ...
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  • 5,892
3 votes

How to say "obscene": translate 下流 or 輕佻?

My Chinese friend says 下流 is very, very bad and out of proportion and recommended 輕佻, but dictionaries say this means 'skittish, flippant, giddy, frivolous'. These words seem much too cute to me, ...
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  • 311
3 votes

In 你多吃点 and 多给他点时间吧, is 多 an adjective or an adverb?

"多" here functions just like "more" in English. It can be an adjective or adverb In "多吃点", '多' (more) is an adverb for the verb '吃'(verb). In English, "多吃点水果" means "eat fruit more" ~ In "吃多点"...
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