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kimberlyandkeith

Zai4 with a verb? Does it mean currently?

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kimberlyandkeith

I'm needing clarification on something....

Tā zài chuān wà zi.

and

Tā chuān wà zi.

The only difference being the addition of zài. So she's wearing socks.

Does that mean "currently" or "presently"? What is the point of adding zài? Does it do anything special that I'm missing?

Thanks!!

Kimberly

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skylee

Compare -

She is putting on her socks.

She wears socks.

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ChouDoufu

the "zai" in the first sentence is usually a shortened form of "zhengzai" (正在) and denotes being the the process of something.

ta zai kan shu (he's reading a book)

ta kan shu (he reads books)

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kimberlyandkeith

awesome!

Thank you!! I appreciate it a ton- I was not getting that clarification from my dictionary! Sometimes I wish the dictionary could talk back!

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yonglin

You could also get a grammar. They don't talk back either, but do a lot of explanation.

The basic structure is

subject + 正在 + predicate (+ object) + 呢

and they can be used in any combination, i.e., 正、在 or 正在, with or without 呢

although there is a slight difference

The meaning of the adverbs 正, 在 and 正在 is essentially the same, only, 正 emphasises a certain period of time, 在 emphasises the state of being in progression, while 正在 refer to both time and state.

I'm using "A Practical Chinese Grammar for Foreigners" 《外国人实用汉语语法》by Sinolingua. It's got 742 pages (including grammar exercises and answer key), was 45元 and I think it's absolutely splendid. A lot of people would say it contains too much "Chinese" grammatical jargon (however, learning what they call things will help a lot if you would ever end up doing some self-studying), and it doesn't provide any pinyin at all (only for ambiguities, such as 着), which would make it unsuitable for an absolute beginner. However, I'm a post-beginner, started using it after having studied Chinese for two months, and I find it indispensable.

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kimberlyandkeith

thank you for that recommendation! Adding it to my list!

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中文的力量

Maybe you should buy an other dictionary.

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