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Dictionary for Readers of Modern Chinese Prose


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I picked up this book a while back at a Half Price Books store. I figured it would come in handy and would probably be pretty good quality (it's Yale University Press), but I never really took a look at it until today. Now I wish I had. It looks really great.

The subtitle is "Your Guide to the 250 Key Grammatical Markers in Chinese." It has them listed in alphabetical order (pinyin). For each word it has a "grammatical formula" (ie X 的時候, Y = While X, Y), a paragraph (sometimes several) explaining how it is used, and at least one example sentence, but usually several, with translations. For instance, 了 has about 10 pages of explanations of it's different usages (with a separate entry for liǎo), and no less than 52 different example sentences. Obviously 了 is a special case, but it gives you an idea of how thorough the book is. Here's a sample:

(離) 'away from' Coverb

1. 离 X (distance) = Distance from X (Cv) As a coverb marks that X is separate,

apart, or lacking. X can be a time (expl a), place (expl B), or thing (expl c). When X is a

place or a time, is frequently used in the structure Place/time 1 离 Place/time 2

Distance (expls a & B). Distance can be structured as either a Stative verb or a specific

amount of time (expl a) or space (expl B). 离 also represents the verb 'leave, depart.'

a. 今天新年只有两个星期了。

Jīntiān xīnnián zhǐyǒu liǎng ge xīngqī le.

New Year's is only two weeks from today.

b. 北京天津有二百四十华里。

Běijīng Tiānjìn yǒu èrbǎi sìshi huálǐ.

Beijing is 240 (Chinese) miles from Tianjin.

c. 我了词典,差一点儿就看不懂中国报纸。

le cídiǎn, chà yīdiǎnr jiù kàn bu dǒng Zhōngguó bàozhǐ.

If I don't have a dictionary, I almost can't read a Chinese newspaper.

Just taking a look through the book, there are probably about 1200 or so example sentences. The book itself is 239 pages, and retails for $30. Half Price Books had it new for $10. Great investment. Great reference.

Anyone else have it?

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Here is a link to the book on amazon.


Dictionary for Readers of Modern Chinese Prose: Your Guide to the 250 Key Grammatical Markers in Chinese (Far Eastern Publications Series) (Chinese Edition) (Paperback)

by Stanley Mickel (Author)

And here is a picture of the author at Wittenberg University where he used to teach:


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