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12 votes
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How to say "Please, go in front of me" when standing in a queue?

In this situation, I would say "您先请", which works fine. "您先请" means 'after you', which is very polite. If you really want to say 'Please, go in front of me' in Chinese, you could say "请走在我前面吧". ...
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  • 446
11 votes

What is the meaning of the sentence 字了一?

This is a good question. 字了一 should be understood as: (and his) 字 (is) 了一 Thousands years ago, many people in China have a special name besides their first name and last name though nowadays ...
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9 votes
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What is the function of the complement 下来 in 买下来?

下来 puts an emphasis on the fact that the action is completed. 雨停下来了。The rain (has) stopped. (It's over, it's not raining anymore). 我们把休假的地方决定下来了。We have decided where to go on holiday. (The decision ...
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8 votes

What is the meaning of the sentence 字了一?

字了一 means 表字:了一。 表字: Chinese style name; courtesy name (a name traditionally given to Chinese males at the age of 20 (also called 字)) check http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E8%A1%A8%E5%AD%97 http://...
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7 votes

How does inserting 起来 into 请客 as in 请起客来 changes the meaning?

This infix -起-来 is usually considered a variation of the suffix -起来, and analysed as having an inceptive aspect, also called the inchoative aspect. The sense that it produces is "starting to do", "to ...
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  • 5,608
7 votes

Boundary-shifting wordplay (or mishearing) in Chinese?

喜欢上 一个人 to get to like someone or to get to like being alone 喜欢 上一个 人 to like the previous man/woman 喜欢 上 一个人 to like to f-word someone
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7 votes
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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. ...
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6 votes

How does inserting 起来 into 请客 as in 请起客来 changes the meaning?

for meaning change due to 起来 following verb see any dictionary e。g。HSK dictionary (汉语水平考试词典) In cases shown above verb is a 离合词 which just means that 起来 also is separated,but does not seem to change ...
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6 votes
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The correct usage of 大约 vs. 差不多

大约 means "approximately", 差不多 means "almost". 大约 is normally used as an adjective or adverb in phrases like: 大约四英尺厚的雪 snow that is approximately 4 feet thick 差不多 can be used in a similar way, but ...
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5 votes

Do people say 有能力 <do something> or 有 <do something> 的能力

Both is correct. Yay! Think "I'm ABLE to code." and "I HAVE THE ABILITY of coding."
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5 votes
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What is the difference between 看来, 看起来, and 看出来 ?

Obviously, this is a tricky one. I know these three phrases have some same words and looks no differences for foreigner, but they are very different! If I give you one example for each phrase, you ...
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  • 246
5 votes

Boundary-shifting wordplay (or mishearing) in Chinese?

Chinese do have mishearing issue, because of the limited pronunciation and tones. The classic example may be all foreigners know when they were starting to learn Chinese tones is: 请问shui jiao ...
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  • 1,297
5 votes

Is the 有 in 你有想要买什么吗 some kind of auxiliary verb?

你有想要买什么吗. It sounds more like Taiwanese usage of 有 to my ear. I found they often put 有 between subject and verb. E.g. 我有去过;我有看过;where I often just say 我去过;我看过. In this case, I'll probably say 你想要买什么? ...
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5 votes
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How to do line breaks when mixing in Simplified Chinese characters and non-Chinese characters?

It is not acceptable to break up 100 to 1 00 in any language line break between 一百 is acceptable, but from a graphic designer's standpoint, it doesn't look professional breaking up non-digit/non-...
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  • 67.4k
4 votes

How is this sentence translated into Chinese "The man, who kissed the woman, who betrayed him with the man, who loved the one, whom nobody knew"?

The words 'who' in this sentence is called 'relative pronoun', the clause introduced by which is called 'relative clause'. A sentence with more than one relative clause is said to contain 'nested ...
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  • 14.7k
4 votes

How to correctly order the words 张先生 男朋友 卖 妹妹 书 那个人 的 是 的?

Below and many other orders are grammatically correct: 张先生的男朋友是卖妹妹书的那个人 张先生的妹妹是卖男朋友书的那个人 妹妹的男朋友是卖张先生书的那个人 男朋友的妹妹是卖张先生书的那个人 卖书的那个人是张先生妹妹的男朋友 <- your order 卖书的那个人是张先生男朋友的妹妹 <- if you allow ...
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4 votes

What is the function of the complement 下来 in 买下来?

indicating success, cf。实用现代汉语语法 555页 (下面所有文字都关于"下来") 5。结果意义(denoting result)(三):表示完成一件费时、费力、需要克服一定困难的动作行为 (expressing completion of some time consuming,strenuous activity involving certain ...
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  • 2,446
4 votes
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What is the difference between 写完 and 写得完 ?

写得完: possible to complete writing 写完: complete writing Beginners often learn 能+verb first, but in many cases, verb+得+complement sounds much more natural when they want to express can/be able to +...
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  • 866
4 votes
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Could you underline the parts of sentence contained in: "她一向忌讳家人向陌生人提及自己的隐事"?

A predicate, by definition, is the whole verb phrase following the subject. You are calling verbs predicates which probably is incorrect. Time phrase and place phrase are nothing special, they are ...
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  • 4,492
4 votes
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What is the phrase for "sounds like" as in "it sounds like your dad is getting better"?

Drunken (programming) Master is right. These 2 from iciba: It sounds like a wonderful idea to me, does it really work? 听起来这个主意很不错,真的能行吗? His rhetoric sounds like the death rattle of a fading ...
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4 votes

Boundary-shifting wordplay (or mishearing) in Chinese?

There are wordplay in every language, Chinese is no exception. Example: "下雨天留客,天留人不留。" "Raining day make the guest stay, although heaven keeps the guest, the host does not." "下雨天,留客天。留人不?" "留!" "...
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4 votes
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How do I analyze "是其于主也至忠矣"?

This is how I read this passage: 公行之計是其於主也至忠矣 [If] you/公 use (行) this (之; read it as 此) strategem (計), this (是) inevitably [shows] (其; read it as 乃 or 然) to (於) the lord (主) pause (也) great loyalty (...
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4 votes

How do I analyze "是其于主也至忠矣"?

The verse is from 戰國策 卷二十八: Though the OP asked one particular verse, and we must comprehend the related text (from page 80-82), in order to interpret it correctly. 或謂公仲曰.今有一舉而可以忠於主.便於國.利於身.願公之行之也 ...
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  • 12.5k
4 votes

"以 V 之" as a post-nominal modifier in Classical Chinese

in classical chinese, the structure “以” + one character + “之” could be interpreted in multiple ways. in the analects (論語), chapter 為政: 子曰・詩三百・一言以蔽之曰・思無邪 confucius said (子曰): “the book of odes” (詩三百),...
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4 votes
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Wh-questions in Chinese

Tl;dr: Placement depends on whether the wh-word is the subject or object of the sentence, and whether emphasis is intended. Given both Chinese and English follow the SVO structure (hence their ...
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  • 5,400
4 votes

Garden Path Parsing of 雲南那兒的人有少數幾個民族說的是漢語的方言

雲南那兒的人有少數幾個民族説的是漢語的方言。 The sentence is understandable but ungrammatical strictly speaking because 雲南那兒的人有少數幾個民族 doesn't make sense. The sentence can be improved by removing 的人, like ...
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3 votes

What is the translation of 托业考试必备 ?

I do not agree with S.Rhee. It seems like here it is a name of a book or some TOEIC test preparation reference. Thus, the better translation in English would be: Essential for TOEIC
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  • 181
3 votes
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Do nested complements exist in Chinese?

Short answer: yes. I think we should at least distinguish two types of complements. For the first type, it is very difficult to insert anything else between the complement and the verb. One way to ...
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3 votes
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Do people say 有能力 <do something> or 有 <do something> 的能力

Yes,both is correct.but I think 他不会写代码 is more naturally.
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3 votes

What's the Least Awkward Way To Say "I am Not A Native Chinese Speaker" In Chinese?

A rather concise way: "中文不是我母语"
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