12 votes
Accepted

Why can't 去 or 回来 be used with 在 or 正在 to become progressive

The answer is "habit". Because we don't write or talk in that way. For example, both 肥 and 胖 mean "fat". We call a fat person as 胖子. 肥子 is not usual because we don't have the habit. He is going to ...
user-487's user avatar
  • 1,974
10 votes

What's wrong with this sentence 我终于快到中国了

我快到中国了。 I will arrive in China soon (O) 我终于到中国了。 I finally arrived in China (O) 我终于快到中国了。I finally arrive in China soon (?) 'finally' refers to the present or past events (you cannot say 'I finally ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
  • 78.3k
8 votes
Accepted

Is there something about 是在 that is meaningful in 让任意的值是在一个上下文当中?

The article in the first link is clearly machine-translated from the original version in the second link with some partials not even translated. A lot of the sentences are difficult to understand, if ...
NS.X.'s user avatar
  • 14.9k
8 votes
Accepted

Can I use 告诉 to quote what someone has said? Please help!

今年初,我的朋友告诉我他这个学期每个星期要打工三十个小时。 It is correct. You can use 告诉 in this way. You can add a comma to make it clearer. 今年初,我的朋友告诉我,他这个学期每个星期要打工三十个小时。 BTW, the sentence can be simplified as follows. 今年初,...
user3a's user avatar
  • 1,511
8 votes
Accepted

How to say "it is actually something that does something"?

The usage of 是 is correct. 是 ( shì ㄕˋ ) 〈动〉 (5) 表示肯定判断之词 [be] I think it is actually the idea that can really light up the future. 其实我觉得是主意点亮未来。 我觉得其实是主意点亮未来。 我觉得其实是主意才能真正点亮未来。 To emphasize ...
user3a's user avatar
  • 1,511
8 votes
Accepted

Use of 还 in reference to "on top of that, also"

还 ( hái ㄏㄞˊ ) (7) 更加 [even more]。 (9) 不但(不仅,不光)…还… [not only ...... but also]。 In the economic sense, good ideas can increase productivity, and can also produce new innovations and inventions. ...
user3a's user avatar
  • 1,511
7 votes
Accepted

How to say: "I have been studying Chinese for 4 years."

Basically, all of your three sentences are correct, but different in emphasis. The sentence 1 "我已经学习中文四年了" is the best match for "I have been studying Chinese for 4 years." In this sentence, you ...
dan's user avatar
  • 24k
7 votes
Accepted

What is the subject of 其他的都很满意?

I am glad to see this interesting question. The omission is really one of the most confusing but fascinating parts of the Chinese language. My explanation would be almost similar to your first one. ...
smartsheep's user avatar
7 votes

开一个生日会 explanation as to why 开 is used here?

开会 (“to host/attend a meeting”) is an example of a separable verb—we can add content between the two characters. The 开 relates to the “hosting” whereas the 会 relates to the “meeting”, and the in-...
Becky 李蓓's user avatar
  • 16.2k
7 votes

If a response to a question was "我很喜欢看法国电影," would the question be "你很喜欢不很喜欢看法国电影?" or "你喜欢不喜欢看法国电影?"

I understand your train of thought and it is reasonable: you wish to make the distinction between asking 'whether the person likes French movies a lot', and 'whether the person likes French movies (at ...
L Parker's user avatar
  • 5,605
7 votes

Longest sentence where all characters have the same sound

I believe it is 施氏食獅史 原文: 石室詩士施氏,嗜獅,誓食十獅。施氏時時適市視獅。十時,適十獅適市。是時,適施氏適市。施氏視是十獅,恃矢勢,使是十獅逝世。氏拾是十獅屍,適石室。石室濕,氏使侍拭石室。石室拭,施氏始試食是十獅屍。食時,始識是十獅屍,實十石獅屍。試釋是事。 Pinyin: Shíshì shī shì shī shì, shì shī, shìshí shíshī. ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
  • 78.3k
6 votes
Accepted

A more direct translation for "I [verb] [x] more than [y]"

There is a very direct translation. If "more than" means higher degree/level of the [verb], then I [verb] [x] more than [y] can be translated to 我 [verb] [x] 甚于 [verb] [y]. I [verb] [x] more than [y]...
ltux's user avatar
  • 545
6 votes
Accepted

What does 一个赛一个不讲理的 mean? Does the 的 determine its meaning?

赛 is the same as 比 in this case. 一个赛一个不讲理的    ↓ 一个比一个不讲理的    ↓ 一个比一个不讲理    ↓ One is more unreasonable than another is. The word '的' is not important, and can be removed.
Farnz Seager's user avatar
  • 1,328
6 votes
Accepted

What does the second "幅” mean in the following sentence?

"一幅幅" in "一幅幅美丽的山水画" mainly means 'one after another', (indicates plural by extended logic) 一幅幅 is short for 一幅又一幅 or 一幅接一幅 (one after another) "一幅幅美丽的山水画" means "...
Tang Ho's user avatar
  • 78.3k
6 votes

是 does not connect two nouns in "有什么事是我该做的吗?"

In short, the second noun "事" is omitted. The complete sentence should be like this: 有什么事是我该做的(事)吗? For more, in Chinese, the attributive clause goes before. The proper way to translate "Is there ...
Shaw's user avatar
  • 868
6 votes

What's the structure of this word / sentence? 搬进、走出、跑回

The “进” part is called directional complement. Rather simply, as we do in English, you can add a directional word to the verb, to describe where the verb is going. The most common words to indicate ...
fefe's user avatar
  • 8,725
6 votes

How does word order work in "作业 他 一点 都 没 做 ?"?

This is the classic "topic-comment" structure in Chinese sentences. Bring the object of the verb to the beginning of the sentence for focus and emphasis, then comment on it. 作业他一点都没做。 Homework (...
monalisa's user avatar
  • 6,106
6 votes

What is 了 doing in 这个表快了+time?

Grammatically, the completion is not only for verbs but also for adjectives. In your example 快了, 快 is an adj. Another example might be easier to understand. 苹果红了, apples turned red. 苹果熟了 is a ...
dan's user avatar
  • 24k
6 votes

Can an adverb modify another adverb in Chinese?

we don't say 你太快说 你说得太快 means you speak too fast 你快说 expresses that I want you to speak faster, it's like a request. 你快说 can be used on informal occasions (with your friends or your family). We ...
yangyang's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Reduplication of adverb in Adv. + V1 + Adv. + V2 structure...?

This is a form of reduplication. However, the general form of reduplication depends on the word. 轻拿轻放 means someone picks up an item, and puts it down. The emphasis is on the gentleness of the action. ...
Axel Tong's user avatar
  • 1,658
6 votes

How would you say: "This is my family photo taken two years ago of my younger brother's 10th birthday party."

我认为这样就可以了 这张全家福是两年前在我弟弟十岁生日聚会时拍的。
aafulei's user avatar
  • 251
6 votes

What's wrong with this sentence 我终于快到中国了

If you put it into Baidu "我终于快到中国了", you'll see Chinese people sporadically use this sentence. Nevertheless, I believe the intended issue is the mismatch between: 终于 = "at last" (...
Becky 李蓓's user avatar
  • 16.2k
6 votes
Accepted

Use 我对你想说 or 我想说对你 to say: I want to talk/speak to you?

It should be 我想对你说 我想说 = I want to say 我想(对你)说 = I want to say (to you) 对 have to be placed before the object, and [对 + object] have to be followed by a verb 想(want to) is the main verb, it is not ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
  • 78.3k
5 votes
Accepted

Starting a sentence with "actually..."

It is true that a lot of words in an English conversation such as 'basically', 'well...', 'actually' don't have good one-to-one translation mappings to the Chinese language. 其实has a negating ...
wchyk-cyw's user avatar
  • 119
5 votes

Chinese word order assistance

中文常会有倒装句(inverted sentence),建议不要执着文法,谁先谁后。 Both sentences in the Question can be reversed with a little modification. 我很久没看到你了。 我没看到你已经很久了。 我整天打网球。 我打网球一整天。
Farnz Seager's user avatar
  • 1,328
5 votes
Accepted

How to form a relative clause with a 是 in it?

Unlike in English, in Chinese, an attributive clause is not long in general. Instead, we prefer to a subject-detail stucture over the sentence-attributive cluase structure. In your case, if you ...
Huang's user avatar
  • 10.4k
5 votes

Expressing 'about' in Chinese

[About + adjective phrase]= [有关 + adjective phrase + 的] or [关于 + adjective phrase + 的] 'My teacher taught us (knowledge) about Chinese' 我老师教我们有关中文的 (知识) 'Chinese'(中文) is a part of the adjective ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
  • 78.3k
5 votes
Accepted

Does 出太阳时候不能吃饭 (chū tàiyáng shíhòu bùnéng chīfàn) express "I can't eat when the sun is out" appropriately?

Question: Does 出太阳时候不能吃饭 express "I can't eat when the sun is out" appropriately? Not completely, because '出太阳' (sun is out) can refer to 'sun coming out after the storm' That implies you can still ...
Tang Ho's user avatar
  • 78.3k
5 votes

How to say: "I have been studying Chinese for 4 years."

这三种表达在日常生活中都可以被中国人理解,中文是种意合的语言,而不是形合的结构性语言,我们的中文教学并不专门教授中文语法。书面表达上,我更接收第一和第二句翻译。
SEBASTIAN's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Why does 考 precede 中文 in 我下个星期要考中文?

考 is the verb. 我 / 下个星期 / 要 / 考 / 中文 I / next week / will / test / Chinese If it helps, you could regard 考中文 here as a set construction meaning "to have a Chinese test". Same for 考数学 etc.
Angus Macrae's user avatar
  • 1,022

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible