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my chinese teacher wrong or dict.cn wrong?


y00nsk

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So for an assignment to make sentences for some vocab words in our Chinese class, I mined sentences off of dict.cn for the word 动机 and found this sentence:

他们的动机很快就能看出, 完全是自私自利.

I repeated it verbatim for my teacher, but she said there are two grammar mistakes. She said it should be written like this:

他们的动机很快就能被看出, 完全是自私自利的.

now before you think I'm a terrible student for cheating, I do this because I think it's more helpful to learn Chinese written by native speakers (input) than to get my mind used to my own, usually incorrect Chinese.

So is my teacher or dict.cn at fault? I assumed dict.cn didn't have any mistakes, as the English sentences are all correct (from what I've seen), and since it's a native Chinese website I assumed the Chinese ones would be so as well. If my teacher is wrong, how should I tell her that I think what I wrote is right? (she's native Chinese btw)

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No comment on the actual sentences, but ... I think it's a teacher's job to be as accurate (pedantic, even) as possible. It's then up to you to become more lax during every day speech.

Mandarin seems to be very strict when it comes to written grammar but very relaxed when it comes to speaking.

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Your teacher is much correct.

BTW, in oral speaking, I always see another way to say this sentence more frequently:

他们的动机很快就能看出来, 完全是自私自利的.

But if I want to write it down, I have to use a conversed sequence:

很快就能被看出他们的动机, 完全是自私自利的.

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No, learning the grammar isn't unnecessary. There are grammar mistakes even native speakers can possibly make like that in this case; however without knowing the grammar rules, non-native speakers will make mistakes such as incorrect word order that native speakers don't.

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That's like saying "Stan Getz didn't know anything about music, he just played by ear. I won't learn anything about music either and I'll be like Stan Getz."

No, Getz was a rare case. You are not Stan Getz, and you are not 曹雪芹. Learn to read music and learn grammar. It will only help.

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1st is spoken Chinese, 2nd is written Chinese.2nd is perfectly right but many people will choose the 1st in everyday life.

Spoken language is always full of grammar mistakes.for example:

凶手抓到了没有?(凶手被警察抓到了没有?)

好漂亮啊,你们家的狗狗!(你们家的狗狗好漂亮啊!)

戒指掉下去了,那是我买的(那是我买的戒指,它掉下去了)

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yes, maybe the subject and object often be omit, in spoken Chinese, the sentences can be understood by other things, such as your tone, your gesture. But in written Chinese, the grammar is very strict. Best thing to learn Chinese is living in China for about 2 years.

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I am a native speaker, here are my two cents:

Your teacher’s correction of 他们的动机很快就能被看出, 完全是自私自利的, is correct. However, I will not say 他们的动机很快就能看出, 完全是自私自利, is totally incorrect, because we native speakers do say things like that and are fully understood without any questions.

As for grammar study, if you are studying Chinese as a second language, you should learn grammar. Grammar is a bunch of rules for those who are learning the language as the second language. A native speaker does not learn the grammar as much as a non-native speaker does. This applies to any languages. Thinking about your native language, and listening to anyone who is studying your native tongue, you will find out how fewer grammar rules you know for your own language. I found this in my English study: when I asked native English speakers a grammar question, most likely, they did not know the grammar terms I was talking about, but all of them knew how to use the words and structure sentences correctly. Don’t take “Cao Xueqin did not know grammar” as your excuse for not learning grammar, because this excuse only applies to native speakers, not to the ones who are learning Chinese as a second language.

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if you are studying Chinese as a second language, you should learn grammar

I don't think it's appropriate to make this kind of sweeping generalization.

I think it depends very much on whether the right or left side of your brain is dominant. If you are more the reasoning, logic type of person, then learning grammar will surely help you create structure and organize your knowledge more efficiently. If you are more of the emotional, artistic kind of person, however, this is not necessarily true. Some people learn foreign languages perfectly just by reading and listening, developing a strong "feel" for what sounds right and what does not, without necessarily being able to explain it in grammatical terms.

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I am sorry for making such a “sweeping generalization”.

Grammar is a bunch of rules. After a person has learned all the grammars, he/she still need to bring him/her into listening and reading in order to grasp the language. Knowing grammars alone can not make your language excellent.

True, “Some people learn foreign languages perfectly just by reading and listening, developing a strong "feel" for what sounds right and what does not, without necessarily being able to explain it in grammatical terms” it is probably even truer if they are living among the people who use this language. However, you can also find some people who live in a language environment still can not speak/use it well. You can argue both ways. My point is, learning grammar may help most people to pick up the language faster. Just like our schooling education, most kids adapt the methods taught in school and learn, but some genius like Einstein, would fail in school.

Hope I make myself clear this time. Nevertheless, I apologize for my “inappropriate” opinion.

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