Questions tagged [usage]

Questions about the use of expressions, parts of speech, words, verbs, etc.

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1answer
41 views

In 林业、农业、草原、海洋、资源、环境等行业, what industries does 草原 (“grassland”) and 海洋 (“ocean”) refer to, and why not use 农业 (“agriculture”) and 渔业 (“fishing”)?

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What's the difference between 让, 令 and 使?

I am in doubt whether 让, 令 and 使 are interchangeable, and if not, how to differentiate their use. What I understood so far: 让 tends to be used in spoken language and it's pretty universal, meaning to ...
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24 views

What's the difference between 一下子,一刹那,and 一时

I know the usage of 一下子 but I don't really understand about 一刹那 and 一时
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2answers
100 views

Why "我想了退这件新买的毛衣。” is wrong?

The correct sentence is "我想退了这件新买的毛衣。" But why? Please do not use grammar jargon because I seldom understand them. I have been teaching Mandarin with grammar included but never mention and ...
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50 views

Why can some words such as 安宁 be either a noun or a adjective?

This is just one of the many examples where I noticed this, but with these words, does that mean I can say something like: 我找到我心里的安宁 or something along those lines and treat it as if it were a noun, ...
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4answers
87 views

Why does 中 come first in order when it is in the middle (i.e.: 中小、中前)?

The following phrases sometimes give me pause: 中小学 中前期 The first phrase, 中小学, is a backwards(?) combination of elementary and middle school. The second phrase is seemingly another backwards(?) ...
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1answer
58 views

What are some examples of stative -le and iterative aspect in Mandarin?

I'm a graduate student studying how bilinguals interpret certain aspectual expressions in Mandarin. I'm currently preparing all of my stimuli, but I'm hoping for some help from native speakers since I'...
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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 ...
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3answers
64 views

What is the difference between 还是 and 还?

What is the difference between 还是 and 还? Is 还 the short of 还是 and, consequently, they are interchangeable in every situation, only in some cases or never? For reference, I will list the different ...
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2answers
59 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 ...
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2answers
65 views

Differences between “Verb + Adj”, “Adj + Verb”, “Verb + 得 + Adj” and “Adj + 地 + Verb”?

I am having some difficulties understanding the differences in meaning between the following structures (the examples are from Line dictionary): Verb + Adj e.g: 走快了她会累。 Zŏu kuài le tā huì lĕi. ...
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5answers
209 views

Difference between using 被 and the object in the topic position?

I just learned about the preposition 被 bèi to express passive voice. If we have a S-V-O sentence, we can reexpress it using the 被 structure as O-被-(S)-V. This introduces a passive voice into the ...
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1answer
73 views

When does 一会儿 go before / after the verb?

I have seen some sentences where 一会儿 (yīhuìr), meaning in a while / in a moment, is placed before the verb and in some others, after the verb. Is there some rule for deciding the position, are both ...
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1answer
52 views

Why 这么 / 那么 are placed before the action verb?

I have some confusion with the use of 这么 (this, so) and 那么 (that, so). I found these examples (from Pleco): 大家都这么说。 Dàjiā dōu zhème shuō. Everyone says this / so. 你不该那么做。 Nǐ bù gāi nàme zuò. You ...
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3answers
61 views

What's the difference between 开 and 举办 when used for the meaning “to hold an event”?

What is the difference between 开 and 举办 in the following sentence? They both mean "to hold". Can you use both for big events like 奥运会 or little events like 派对 or 聚会 ? 每年开两次运动会,一次是水上运动会,...
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4answers
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What is the function of 一次 in “去一次”?

I came across these translated examples: [Talking about a place]: 明年夏天我打算去一次。 Mínɡnián xiàtiān wǒ dǎsuàn qù yí cì。 I plan to go there next summer. 三年以前我去过上海,去年我又去了一次,明年我想再去一次。 Sān nián yǐqián wǒ ...
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2answers
49 views

What's the difference between 检测 and 检查?

Google translate gives "discover" and "detect" for "检测" as well as "examination" and "checking" for "检查". When talking about COVID-19, ...
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2answers
58 views

When to use 很 vs 非常?

What is the difference between using 很 and 非常? For example: 猫和狗都非常可爱 and 猫和狗都很可爱。Is there any difference? Which one should I use with 漂亮?
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2answers
99 views

What is the difference between 几月几号 and 几号?

What is the difference between 几月几号 and 几号, when asking about the date? Like 今天几月几号? or 今天几号?
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8answers
699 views

吃 Vs. 喝 in this sentence: 既然敬酒不吃那就吃罚酒

So I watched a movie, in this sentence why did they use 吃 rather than 喝?
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11answers
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What is the purpose of 是 in “我应该是感冒了”?

I came across the following translated example: 我应该是感冒了,耳朵也有点儿疼,不过没发烧。 Wǒ yīnɡɡāi shì ɡǎnmào le,ěrduo yě yǒudiǎnr ténɡ,búɡuò méi fāshāo 。 I think I caught a cold, and my ears are a little painful, ...
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2answers
95 views

When can 要 replace 需要?

In an answer to the post 要 to indicate "will [verb]" vs "need", it is argued that 要;yào;want to, need to, going to is actually the short form of either 需要;xūyào;to need, to want ...
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6answers
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How to understand “你怎么了?”

I understand 怎么 generally means "how". However, I came across the following translated example: 你怎么了? 说话声音这么小! Nǐ zěnme le ? Shuōhuà shēnɡyīn zhème xiǎo! What happened to you? You are ...
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4answers
180 views

Difference between 以前 and 前 to indicate past time?

I wanted to express in Mandarin: Three months ago I started yoga classes. I thought about whether to use 前 or 以前 to express "ago": 三个月以前我开始了上瑜伽课。 Sān gè yuè yǐqián wǒ kāishǐ le shàng ...
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3answers
292 views

Difference between “believe” 认为 and 相信?

This question is related to: Is there any difference between 想, 觉得 and 以为? What are the difference between e.g. 想, 觉得 and 认为 when expressing opinion? In there, they mentioned both 认为 rènwèi and 相信 ...
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6answers
172 views

Does the word '县子‘ exist?

I wonder if the word "县子" colloquially exists in the Chinese language. I’ve probably heard this word before, and I‘m not exactly sure, but I blurrily remember it was from a conversation ...
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5answers
183 views

Where is the verb in reduplication of adjectives “Noun + Adj + Adj + 的”?

I understand the 的 from the structure: Adj + 的 Example: 高的。 as attaching the Adj to an omitted Noun. This omitted Noun can either be a general noun such as "one/s" (高的 can mean the tall ...
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4answers
200 views

What's the difference between 是不是 and 对不对?

Can you use both of these interchangeably? Is one more common than the other? I also haven't seen this pattern used with other verbs. Are there other verbs where this is commonly used as well?
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2answers
390 views

What is 要 doing in 每天她要慢跑?

In an exercise, I came across this sentence with the translation: 每天早上她都要慢跑一个小时。 Měi tiān zǎoshɑnɡ tā dōu yào màn pǎo yí ɡè xiǎoshí. She goes to jog every morning for an hour. What is the meaning of ...
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4answers
89 views

Can you still use “Number + MW + 多” when the Number can be more than one MW larger?

I have a doubt related to these questions: Does 多 always come after the measure word?, How to correctly use "多" to say "more than"? In the answers, they explain you can give an ...
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2answers
100 views

To make friends: 交朋友 vs 认识朋友?

I have come across some sentences where both 认识朋友 and 交朋友 were translated as to make friends (even though typically 认识 is translated in English as to know). Is there a difference between them? ...
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2answers
174 views

Is 各式各样 Taiwanese version of 各种各样?

I know that 各式各样 = 各种各样, but is one Taiwanese version of the other one? What I mean is: is one more frequently used in China and the other is more frequently in Taiwan?
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3answers
112 views

Why is 很早 after the verb in 我起床很早?

I came across the following sentence: 今天我起床很早。 Jīntiān wǒ qǐchuáng hěn zǎo. Today I wake up very early. I am confused about 很早 appearing after the verb. I think here 很早 (very early) indicates the ...
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935 views

What is 吗 doing in 你有什么事吗?

In a Chinese lesson, I came across these sentences: 你有什么事吗? Nǐ yǒu shénme shì mɑ? 你有什么事? Nǐ yǒu shénme shì? And both were translated as: What's the matter? I don't understand 1. Without 吗, I ...
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3answers
564 views

Can an adverb modify another adverb in Chinese?

I was wondering if an adverb in Chinese can be used to modify another adverb. I looked some resources but I could not find it. For example, in Adverb in resources.allsetlearning, they just say "...
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7answers
199 views

How to translate “something separates me from other people” in Chinese?

I'm trying to translate a song lyric that reads "something separates me from other people". My translation is " 我从别人点儿什么分开“. Is this correct? Thanks in advance for your help!
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2answers
88 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'.
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4answers
213 views

Trust/Believe : “信任” vs “相信”

How is the usage of 信任 and 相信 different ? According to my understanding the scope of 信任 is more than the scope of 相信 . For example if we are talking about a person or a few people , we might say 我相信你 ...
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1answer
30 views

Placement of duration complement 很长时间 before a negated verb 没看?

I found the following sentence: 我很长时间没看电影了。 Wǒ hěn cháng shíjiān méi kàn diànyǐngle. I haven't watched a movie in a very long time. I believe 很长时间 (very long time) is the duration of the action 没看 (...
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90 views

Passive object position in 是…的 structure?

I came across the following sentences: 1. 电话是谁打来的? Diànhuà shì shuí dǎlái de? Who was calling? 晚饭是妈妈做的。 Wǎnfàn shì māma zuò de. Mom made dinner. Which literally is something like: The phone call ...
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1answer
58 views

If I go to a store and the cashier asks “有會買嗎?” what does that mean?

For example, if a cashier rings me up and says "這樣一共是五百元, 有會買嗎?" What does the "有會買嗎" mean and how would I respond? Thank you.
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2answers
61 views

Is it okay to use stative verbs in Topic-Comment?

In the topic-comment structure, I notice that action verbs and adjectival verbs often appear in the comment part. This makes sense because the topic is typically an object: with action-verbs, you can ...
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4answers
122 views

Why 了 in 走+time+就到了?

I came across the following sentence: 她的家很近,走五分钟就到了。 Tā de jiā hěn jìn, zǒu wǔ fēnzhōnɡ jiù dào le. Her house is very close, only need to walk for five minutes to arrive. Question: Why is there a ...
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3answers
127 views

Meaning of 的 in 真的?

Question: Is the 的 in 真的 a modal 的 [see resources.allsetlearning.com]? How does 的 change 真? Does it bring some emphasis? I guess the purpose of 的 in 真的 is the same as in 好的 or 有的? See Is each 的 in 有的 ...
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1answer
40 views

可以 altering time words order?

In this site they say time words can only appear in two possible positions in a sentence, either before or after the subject: Time + Subj. + Verb + Obj. Subj. + Time + Verb + Obj. But I came across ...
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2answers
62 views

How to proceed after forgetting to include time-when/location/adverb phrase before main verb?

In English (and other languages), I commonly do this in conversations: I'll say a short + simple sentence (subject-verb-object), but moments later, I'll want to add a detail to the statement. ...
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2answers
58 views

播出,廣播,轉播 :哪裡不一樣?

So I'm studying the translation for broadcasting and three terms (well, excluding one, which I'll mention at the end) are given to me by a textbook. They are 播出, 廣播 and 轉播. For the life of me I ...
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3answers
155 views

Which one is more commonly used in Chinese speaking communities: 年轻 or 年青?

One of the elective projects on the study of Chinese culture given in my high school is as follows: 探讨中国传统文化如何助当今年青人走出困局。 I thought this was a typo so I asked our teacher to correct it to 年轻. But ...
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2answers
60 views

可以 order structure?

I have some confusion about the grammar structure of 可以 Kěyǐ. I found in this website the basic usage is: Subj. + 可以 + Verb + Obj. But then I came across a dialogue where they put it after the verb: ...
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1answer
83 views

When does an adjective require 的 to describe a noun?

In this post on the omission of the possessive 的,I came across an explanation of the adjective suffix 的 by Tang Ho. An example was: 强大勇敢 (brave + strong) = correct without 的 强大勇敢的人 (brave and strong ...

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