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LuDaibola

Is it okay to contract 一個 any time you mean "a" or "an" ?

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LuDaibola

Ever since I found out that you can leave of the 一 in 一個 when you mean "a" or "an," I've been constructing sentences in this way indiscriminately; however, I thought it would be a good idea for me to check in with you all about this.  Is Verb + 個 + Noun more commonly used in speaking than Verb + 一個 + Noun?  An example would be: 我需要個詳細的計畫。 Thanks.

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889

Language being what it is, no doubt some folks will come up with examples where you shouldn't drop the 一.

 

To my ear, though, dropping the 一 often sounds not just colloquial, but casual. I think I'd be cautious doing it indiscriminately when speaking with those towards whom I should show respect and in formal situations.

 

So if you're looking to find work as a waiter or receptionist in a high-class hotel, for example, maybe you'd better practice both with and without dropping your 一s.

 

 

 

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anonymoose

I'd hazard to say that usually it is not dropped, but spoken in such a quick or abbreviated way that it is difficult to hear.

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Publius

You can't drop the 一 in 我需要一個星期的時間來考慮一下。

You don't want to drop the 一 in 讓我們攜手努力,共同建設一個更美好的明天!

But you have to drop the 一 in 還考慮個屁啊!

It's complicated. Feel free to experiment.

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Beelzebro
10 hours ago, Publius said:

You can't drop the 一 in 我需要一個星期的時間來考慮一下。

You don't want to drop the 一 in 讓我們攜手努力,共同建設一個更美好的明天!

But you have to drop the 一 in 還考慮個屁啊!

 

I'd say the reason you can't include 一 in the third sentence is because verb/adjective个屁 is a set construction, the reason you shouldn't drop it in the second sentence is because it's a slightly formal/flowery sentence, and the reason it can't be dropped in the first sentence is because the quantity "one" is a critical piece of information. When you omit the 一 it kinda gives a feeling of the actual quantity not being important. 

Edited by Beelzebro
typo
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LuDaibola

Very interesting responses, which I understood except for:

 

6 hours ago, Beelzebro said:

the reason you can't drop it in the third sentence is because verb/adjective个屁 is a set construction

 

Publius said that the 一 should be dropped in the third sentence and, indeed, s/he has done so.  So I'm not sure what you mean, Beelzebro.  BTW, how do you all come up with such creative user names.  I simply tried to remember what name I was given when I was a child living in Taiwan though I think I got it wrong.  The last name I'm absolutely sure about because I remember my father telling people he'd meet, "It's "陸" as in "大陸的陸."  But Deborah is probably more commonly 德博拉.  But back to the matter at hand.  How does one know when something is a "set construction?"  Is that something you just have to memorize?

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Beelzebro
13 minutes ago, LuDaibola said:

Publius said that the 一 should be dropped in the third sentence and, indeed, s/he has done so.  So I'm not sure what you mean, Beelzebro

 

Sorry, that was a typo, I meant to say "the reason you have to drop it"! I've edited it.

 

15 minutes ago, LuDaibola said:

How does one know when something is a "set construction?"  Is that something you just have to memorize?

 

Yeah pretty much. Many of them will be included in your dictionary (depending what dictionary you are using), for example mine includes an entry for 个屁. But other ones you just have to learn "in the wild" so to speak. For example 这包在我身上 meaning "leave it to me" (context: you're at work and you say this to your boss to communicate that you will handle a task yourself) would be pretty difficult to guess the meaning of just by looking at the words, so it's better just to learn it as a set phrase.

 

18 minutes ago, LuDaibola said:

how do you all come up with such creative user names. 

 

Haha, in my case, many years ago my friends and I were skyping while playing video games and had a running joke of trying to come up with words including "bro" in them, and one of them said beelzebro (beelzebub). Not long afterwards I was registering an account for a new game and needed a nickname and this popped into my head, and since then I've used it in a few places. 

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LuDaibola

Okay, good to know.  Now I'm trying to figure out the meaning of 還考慮個屁啊 because it's not in my dictionary and I'm not having much luck with Google.  I'm going to make a stab at it and guess that it means something like, "What goes around, comes around."  Am I close?  

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Lu

I'd translate it as 'Consider, my ass!', or, without the ass, 'What the hell is there still to think about?' It's not an easy sentence to translate, more context would help. For that reason, it is perhaps not the best example sentence to illustrate a grammar point to a beginner...

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Publius
3 minutes ago, LuDaibola said:

Am I close?

No.

It's a cuss word closer in meaning to "my ass" as in "A: That's pretty decent. B: Decent my ass!"

The offensive noun part has many variations: 毬/頭/毛/毛線/雞巴/錘子/先人板板/...

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LuDaibola

Aw...and I thought I was so clever.  Actually, I think this isn't a bad example to illustrate the concept of set constructions because I'm not likely to forget it.  Fortunately, Archchinese does have a lot of these in their dictionary.

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