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Fred0

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Fred0

I am unable to find a reference to this expression:  苦守寒窑.   (bitterly defends a cold oven?)

 

It is part of Chang Ailing's  description of Shijun's mother's character. She is explaining why it is surprising that the mother would be having interactions with her husband's concubine.

 

尤其因为她母亲这种女人,叫她苦守寒窑,无论怎么苦她也可以忍受,可是她有她的身分,她那种宗法社会的观念非常强烈,决不肯在妾媵面前跌了架子的。虽然说是为了看护丈夫的病。但是那边又不是没有人照顾,她跑去一定很不受欢迎的,在她一定也是很痛苦的事。

 

Thank you.

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Fred0

It's a lovely story. I'm so grateful to be able to explore this rich culture by way of it's language. Thank you for the  reference. Next time I encounter something like this I won't stop before I explore the parts of the phrase as well as the whole.

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Fred0

儿女情长 appears to be a chengyu. What does it mean?

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Fred0

Publius, thank you for the reference. But, what leads you to send me to the second website?

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Publius

Because 英雄气短 and 儿女情长 are often used together. They make a perfect couplet, 平平仄仄 vs 仄仄平平.

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Fred0

Yipeng has just made a typical for him salacious remark about his relationship with Manzhen. Shijun finds it inappropriate and somewhat offensive, and furthermore expects that Yipeng's finacé, Cuizhi will not see it as a joke, but take it seriously.

 

世钧觉得他大可不必开这种玩笑,而且石翠芝这人是一点幽默感也没有的,你去逗着她玩,她不要认真起来才好

 

My question is about primarily about 才好.  I see this tag at the end of sentences from time to time, but can't make out it's meaning.

 

 

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Publius

才 = only in such a case

好 = will it be good

So it can be used in a similar fashion as "if only", i.e. to express a wish that is not likely to come true.

她不要认真起来才好

let's hope she won't take it seriously (but I'm afraid she will)

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Fred0

窦文娴便道:“要买东西,是得到上海去。上海就是一个买东西,一个看电影,真方便!

 

一个。。。一个。。。  Does this structure mean something like "for one thing... and for another...?"

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Publius

I'm not sure if it accurately captures the semantics. As I understand it, "for one thing... and for another..." suggests there are several reasons for something but you're not going to mention them all. 一個……一個…… in this sentence, however, is a casual way of making a two-item list without implying more. I don't think it needs a literal translation. Just something along the line of "Shopping and movie going are the two things that are really convenient in Shanghai."

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Fred0

翠芝也微笑着,她俯身替那只小狗抓痒痒,在它颔下缓缓地搔着,搔得那只狗伸长了脖子,不肯走开了。

 

I don't understand how 得 functions grammatically in 搔得。Is the sentence saying "Being scratched the dog extended his neck," or "in order to be scratched, the dog.... , or "having been scratched the dog extended his neck (wanting more of the same)? 

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Publius

This is just the basic function of 得, which is to introduce a degree complement (程度補語).

The basic pattern is

    VERB + 得 + [Degree Complement]

for example, 說得很好, 做得不錯, 聽得昏昏欲睡, 氣得暴跳如雷...

The degree complement can be a whole sentence. Which shouldn't be a surprise, because in Chinese, an adjective is essentially a stative verb. So normally the degree complement is a verbal phrase. A sentence is also verbal in nature, only with a subject as argument: S = NP + VP (where VP is the head).

Take 氣 + 得 + 暴跳如雷, add a subject to 暴跳如雷, we get 氣 + 得 + 他暴跳如雷. Quite easy to understand, right? In fact, many chengyu or idiomatic expressions take the form of subject + predicate, and they all can be used as complement. For example, 說得天花亂墜, 做得滴水不漏, 餓得前胸貼後背, 高興得手舞足蹈, 打得皮開肉綻...

I think you should be able to analyze your sentence by yourself now.

 

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Fred0

Thank you for taking the time to write such a lengthy and helpful response. I will get to work on it. Maybe it's time for me to learn some Chinese grammar. This is much appreciated.

 

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Publius

Chinese Grammar Wiki is a very useful resource. For example, you can learn more about degree complement here, or browse through all B1 grammar points here.

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Fred0

于是就到清凉山去了。六个人把一辆汽车挤得满满的。

 

Is the 的 at the end of the second sentence an example of 的 as a modal particlee expressing certainty?

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Fred0

Two brothers-in-law are meeting after a long separation. Xiaotong is recovering from a stroke; Jusun asks about his health.

 

菊荪阿起他的病情,...

 

Does 阿起 here mean "flatteringly?" 

 

啸桐也想道:“菊荪这副假牙假齿装坏了,简直变成个瘪嘴老太婆了吗!

 

Does 假牙假齿装坏了 mean "(among his false teeth) one false tooth was broken?"

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roddy

阿起 

My first suspicion is an OCR error for 问起

 

PS Over a year! 

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Fred0

That makes sense. Thanks. 

 

What do you mean by PS Over a year!? My last visit to the forum was only a couple of weeks ago.

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