Reasonable answers by Sage
Here's some questions from the site, and Sage's response. I feel that, if these were written by a human, it would be quite a good answer.
For my Chinese class, I have to make a film recording an exchange in a restaurant. I'm trying to say "This is a lot of money! Goodbye college money..." in reference to someone spending too much on their meal.
The sentence "这很大钱！再见大学钱...." is not grammatically correct. A more appropriate way to express the idea of "This is a lot of money! Goodbye college money..." in Chinese could be:
这花费的钱很多啊！大学的学费都没了... (Zhè huāfèi de qián hěn duō a! Dàxué de xuéfèi dōu méi le...)
In this sentence, "花费的钱" means "the money spent", and "很多" means "a lot". The phrase "大学的学费都没了" means "the college tuition is all gone".
I hope this helps! Good luck with your Chinese class and your film project.
I am a beginner in Chinese (Mandarin), and I am following a phone app to learn.
However I cannot understand what is the difference between 正在 and 在 ? For example:
The app says that they are interchangeable... is it always the case?
Both 正在 (zhèng zài) and 在 (zài) are used to indicate an action or
event is happening or in progress, but there is a slight difference in
正在 (zhèng zài) is used to indicate that an action is currently in
progress at the moment of speaking. It emphasizes the ongoing nature
of the action and implies that the action is not yet complete.
For example, in the sentence "你正在干什么？" (What are you doing?), the use
of 正在 emphasizes that the person is currently doing something, and
implies that the action is still ongoing.
On the other hand, 在 (zài) is more general and can be used to indicate
that an action is happening or taking place, whether it is ongoing or
not. It can also be used to indicate a location or a state of being.
For example, in the sentence "你在干什么？" (What are you doing?), the use
of 在 indicates that the person is doing something, but does not
necessarily emphasize the ongoing nature of the action.
In general, both 正在 and 在 can be used interchangeably in many cases,
especially in casual conversation. However, using 正在 can add emphasis
to the ongoing nature of the action, while using 在 can be more general
and less specific about the duration of the action.
How can I express that something happens if another condition is true?
(Eng: "Subject ... but if ... subject ...")
I usually get up at six o'clock, but if I'm really tired, I sleep until eight.
我常起來六點，但是很累到八點睡覺。 （Can I write this?)
To express the idea of "but if" in Chinese, you can use the phrase
"但如果" (dàn rú guǒ) or "但是如果" (dàn shì rú guǒ).
For example, to translate your sentence "I usually get up at six
o'clock, but if I'm really tired, I sleep until eight", you could say:
我通常六点起床，但如果我真的很累，就会睡到八点。 (Wǒ tōngcháng liù diǎn qǐchuáng, dàn rú guǒ
wǒ zhēn de hěn lèi, jiù huì shuì dào bā diǎn.)
In this sentence, "但如果" (dàn rú guǒ) is used to indicate the
conditional "but if" clause. Another alternative, "但是如果" (dàn shì rú
guǒ), can also be used in a similar way.
The sentence you provided, "我常起來六點，但是很累到八點睡覺" could be understood, but
it sounds a bit awkward and doesn't clearly convey the conditional
"but if" meaning.
In the following sentence:
I think the use of "、" should be A、B、C与D. In other words, it should be
put between each word except the last one, in which case 与 or 和
(etc...) should be used instead.
However in this sentence, it is in the form of A、B与C、D, so now I
wonder what is the correct form, and whether there is any difference
on the meaning regarding how you put the "、" to concatenate words.
In Chinese, the use of "、" to separate items in a list is similar to
the use of commas in English. It is generally used to separate three
or more items, including the last item in the list.
Regarding the placement of "、" in a list of items, there is some
flexibility in Chinese. It is common to use "、" between each item in
the list, as you mentioned, such as A、B、C、D.
However, it is also acceptable in Chinese to use "、" between some
items and "与" or "和" between others, especially when there are
multiple groups of items being listed. For example, in your sentence,
"沙溢、胡可与安吉、小鱼儿一家四口" is a group of people, and "Ellen Poon" is a
separate item. Using "、" between each person's name and "与" between
the two groups is a common way to structure the sentence.
KeKeNet translates "beating a dead horse" as:
ICIBA translated it as:
Are there any other better alternatives to this translation for
beating a dead horse? Hopefully more idiomatic.
There are several colloquial and idiomatic expressions in Chinese that
can be used to convey the idea of "beating a dead horse". Here are a
"老调重弹" (lǎo diào chóng tán) - This means to repeat the same old tricks or ideas, even though they have become ineffective or no longer
"杯水车薪" (bēi shuǐ chē xīn) - This literally means "a cup of water to put out a cart of fire", and is used to describe a futile or
ineffective effort to solve a problem.
"画蛇添足" (huà shé tiān zú) - This means to add unnecessary or redundant actions to a process that is already complete, much like
drawing legs on a snake.
"无病呻吟" (wú bìng shēn yín) - This means to complain or make a fuss about something that is not a real problem or issue.
All of these expressions convey the idea of wasting time or effort on
something that is no longer useful or effective, much like the English
expression "beating a dead horse".
"悠久" is often used to describe a period of history (I read it from ),
and I wonder how does the adv "悠" work in "悠久".
I've searched, the complete word means,
悠久，汉语词汇，形容词（褒义）。 拼音：yōu jiǔ 词义：长久；久远。
But I can't figure out what does "悠" mean.
In the word "悠久" (yōu jiǔ), the character "悠" (yōu) means "leisurely"
or "at ease", and is often used to convey a sense of relaxation or
In the context of "悠久", the character "悠" is used to describe a period
of time that is long and uninterrupted, much like a leisurely and
unhurried stroll. The word "悠久" implies a sense of continuity and
endurance, suggesting that the period of time it describes has endured
over a long period without interruption or disruption.
Overall, the character "悠" in "悠久" conveys a sense of leisurely
continuity, suggesting a long period of time that has endured smoothly
and without interruption.
What is the antonym of 不如? E.g.:
今年我旅游很少, 不如去年 (situation is worse than last year)
And I need a word for the reverse situation:
今年我旅游很多, ???去年 (situation is better than last year)
不如 has a negative meaning so it does not suit here, as far as I know.
The antonym of 不如 (bù rú) in the context of making comparisons is 好过
(hǎo guò), which means "better than" or "superior to".
In the sentence "今年我旅游很多，好过去年" (jīn nián wǒ lǚ yóu hěn duō, hǎo guò qù
nián), the phrase "好过" is used to indicate that the current situation
(having traveled more this year) is better than the situation in the
past (having traveled less last year).
It is worth noting that "好过" is often used in comparison to a specific
time or situation, much like "不如". In the absence of a specific
reference point, other words or phrases may be more appropriate for
expressing the idea of improvement or superiority.