Questions and Answers

Questions from lisaC
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In Chinese, many verbs (but not all) can be reduplication. For a verb that has only one syllable, e.g. 看, its reduplicated form will be “看看”. The second syllable will ... [Read more]
  
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传灯 literally means "to pass on the light". The word is used metaphorically to refer to the Buddhist doctrines, in the sense that it is like a lamp, the light of which penetrates ... [Read more]
  
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This is widely used in spoken Chinese, especially in mainland China to address to an elder man with respect. Please note that when it is used in this meaning, 爷 is pronounced with the neutral tone - ... [Read more]
  
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The five great generals are namely: Guan Yu (关羽/關羽), Zhang Fei (张飞/張飛), Zhao Yun (赵云/趙雲), Ma Chao (马超/馬超), Huang Zhong (黄忠/黃忠). [Read more]
  
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This is often used after "有" or "没(有)", to indicate a degree of certainty, or whether one has a definite idea about something. [Read more]
  
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The literal meaning of this idiom is -- the magistrates are free to burn down houses, while the common people are forbidden even to light lamps. [Read more]
  
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From the shape of the character, and its pronunciation, we can see that "甭" is a combined word of "不用". [Read more]
  
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In this punishment, someone was forced to walk on a burning hot beam covered with oil. When the person couldn't tolerate the hotness, he would eventually fall into the fire under the beam and be b ... [Read more]
  
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"自选商场" is usually called "超市 chao1 shi4" or "超级市场chao1 ji2 shi4 chang3" nowaday. Especially for chain supe ... [Read more]
  
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"反而" is an adverb used to indicated something has happened contrary to what should have happened. Extra attention should be paid to how "反而" should be used. ... [Read more]
  
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"做销售的" is a "的-phrase" or "的-structure". A "的-phrase" can used to refer to a person or a thing. In this case, " ... [Read more]
  
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In English, if a word is used as an adverbial adjunct in a sentence, that word is most likely to be an adverb. However, for the Chinese language, an adjective can also assume the position of the adver ... [Read more]
  
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Nowadays, "缪" only appears in the idiom "未雨绸缪", of which the meaning is "to close the windows and doors before it starts to rain (extended meanin ... [Read more]
  
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"凑足" is a phrase composed of a verb and its complement. When the phrase is used alone by itself, it means "gather enough". When this phrase is followed by a certain numbe ... [Read more]
  
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In some cases, the phonological process of “儿化” has diminutive and differentiating functions. E.g. "头 (tou2)" means "head", while "头 ... [Read more]