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Confusing sentences and words.

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Hello all,


I am trying to read a story in chinese to supplement my chinese learning. I needed some help on translating some words and sentences to english. I have done most of the translating, so it should be brief. The ones I don't understand are underlined:


1. What does 画画儿 and 被 mean?

-Context: 我是一张古代的纸,我不但可以用来写字,画画儿 我还常常被人们用来衣服和鞋。

-My translation (correct if wrong): I am a sheet of ancient paper, I not only can be used to write words, I am also often used by people to make clothes and shoes.


2. What does the underlined part translate to? 

-Context: 在古时候,我长得又厚又结实,用我做的衣服和鞋都很耐穿。

-my translation: In ancient times, I look both thick and strong, (people) used me to make very durable cloth and shoes.


3.What does 做成, 到了,& 又把我做成 mean? 

-Context: 冬天的时候,人们还把我做成帘子来防寒;到了夏天,人们又把我做成蚊帐来防蚊子。

-My translation: In winter time, People make me to become a curtain to defend from cold; (?) summer, people also make me into mosquito nets to defend from mosquitos.


Thank you all very much!


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Mr John

Hey there,


1.画画儿 just means to paint or draw as far as I'm aware. 被 is used in something resembling passive sentences. For example 我被他打了 - I was hit by him.


2. 用我做的 - The clothes and shoes I was used to make were all durable. (The clothes and shoes made using me...) I could be wrong here...


3. 做成 - turn into / make into / to become. 到了夏天 Once summer arrives... 又把我做成 Used me again to make...


Hope that helps!

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  • 画画儿 -> 画 / 画儿 (huàr) -> draw pictures.
  • 被 -> used to form passive sentences. “被(v.)” = “(v.)ed”; “被(smb.)(v.)” = “(v.)ed by (smb.)”.
  • 用我做的衣服 -> 用 / 我 / 做 / 的 / 衣服 -> the clothes that were made using me.
  • 做成 -> 做 / 成 -> make into.
  • 到了 -> 到 / 了 -> arrived.
  • 又把我做成 -> 又 / 把 / 我 / 做 / 成 -> also made me into (here “又” is “also”, not “again”).

I would translate the sentences as follows:


我是一张古代的纸,我不但可以用来写字画画儿, 我还常常被人们用来做衣服和鞋。 (Note the punctuation change; “、” is the correct punctuation to use here.)

  • I am an ancient sheet of paper. Not only could I be used to write and draw pictures, I was also often used by people to make clothes and shoes.



  • In ancient times, I was both thick and sturdy, and the clothes I was used to make were very durable.



  • In winter, people also made me into curtains to keep out the cold; when summer arrived, people also made me into mosquito nets to keep out the mosquitos.

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Thank you all very much. 


wouldn't 长得 be translated into "look" as in 'I look pretty' (etc..)?


在古时候,我长得又厚又结实 = In ancient times, I looked both thick and sturdy. 


Demonic_duck, am I wrong here?

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I started typing out a reply about how “长得” doesn't always express just the outwards appearance of the subject, but the more I think about it, the more I'm not too sure. Certainly when it's used to describe humans (长得漂亮、长得很丑、长得很帅、他们两个长得一模一样、长得像韩国人、长得高 etc.) it always seems to mean this.


As for inanimate objects, I'm not so certain. If the sentence is “树苗长得很壮实” (a sample sentence from 汉语规范词典), it expresses that the saplings have grown like this (the more fundamental meaning of “长” [zhǎng]). This makes sense for saplings and other living plants, because they really do grow. It's quite possible that this is even the basic sense when describing humans - there's quite a lot of overlap. However, paper doesn't grow.


Basically... I'd suggest sticking around to see if anyone with better Chinese can provide a better answer!

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