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usage of liu


freefall

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I asked a native speaker how to ask

"Did you meet at the university?"

and she said

"Nimen jiu zai daxueli renshi ma?"

my book translates jiu as "the very one (indicating verification of someone mentioned before)".

the usage of jie in the above translation doesn't really make sense in the context of the above translation, because the daxue wasn't mentioned before (and a daxue isn't a someone). can anyone give a better explanation the usage of jiu for me? what if jiu were omitted from the above sentence?

thanks very much! you all are supremely helpful.

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就 has many, many different meanings and usages. In the example given, I read it as adding emphasis to the location, 大学里. I believe the speaker might have misunderstood "at the university" to mean "physically inside the campus" instead of what I assume your intended meaning was (i.e. "during your years of university study"). I'm not sure how the sentence's meaning changes without the 就.

Though I'm not a native speaker, my preferred translation of "Did you meet at the university?" would be "Nimen shi shang daxue (de shihou) renshi de ma?" "你们是上大学(的时候)认识的吗?"

Any other thoughts from anyone?

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As you're using pinyin and not characters, you need to ensure you at least type it right for us to help ;)

You used LIU in the subject, JIU in your first message and JIE in your last. If you could get tones as well, it'd clear up confusion for more complex words.

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Jiu4 is adding emphasis here as in most cases. It's saying "just this" or "exactly that". So in this sentence 'nimen jiu zai daxueli renshi ma?' , jiu is adding emphasis to say that it was "exactly" or "actually" in the university where you met.

If you omit jiu here then 'nimen zai daxueli renshi ma?' sounds like "did you meet in the university", (very plain, no emphasis) while 'nimen jiu zai daxueli renshi ma?' sounds like "was it in the university that you met?'

So it's just to add emphasis to whatever follows it. In this case 'zai daxueli' is emphasized by jiu.

Hope that helps. :)

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