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An Expanded 是 and 一

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As you may or may not know, I have had some trouble with my dictionary (can't tell when to use a word monosyllabically or not) and these words cause some trouble as in all the reading I have done, I don't think I have seen them used this way. E.g for是 my dictionary gives these definitions:

  • "...(4)[used to indicate concessions這東西舊是舊﹐可還能用。
    (5)[placed before a noun to indicate fitness or suitability]: 這場雨下得是時候。
    (6)[used before a noun to indicate each and every one of the kind]:是集體的事大家都要關心。
    (7)[pronounced emphatically to indicate certainty]:他是不知道。
    (8j)[used in an alternative or negative question]:你是坐火車﹐還是坐飛機﹖
    I'm not sure if I have seen any of these, so can someone confirm if they are modernly used terms (I don't have any chinese friends).

一 My dictionary has this to say,

"...(3) same:這不是一碼事。"

Again, I have never seen this used this way before.

So, do you guys think you could help me out? Thanks,


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(4) is common, and a nice way of expressing something. "This thing might be old, but you can still use it. I want to stick in 的 in the rest of them, but I'm sure they're not wrong if the dictionary offers them. Probably more common in written Chinese though.

(1) 這不是一碼事 is good Chinese ("this is not one thing" = "this is not the same thing"). Really translates as "one" through.

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All of the uses of 是 which you have enumerated relate to the basic function of 是, which is to highlight a state of being for things you wish to emphasize. Except for number 4, which functions as a kind of idiomatic expression, every example that you stated has an comment or subject emphasized by 是, which makes it the focus of a sentence.

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Ok, thanx, I know they can be used then. Some of them seem alittle strange still but hey, what do I know.

Thanx again

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