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SunnySideUp

你看着我,我看着你 and alternative meaning of 地方?

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SunnySideUp

I believe my first question is a structure question again, but I don't get it... So the text is written in third person narrative, that's why I don't get why it all of the sudden switches to the 你看着我,我看着你 style. It's the second or third time I came across this pattern in the same text, so I thought I'd better ask, because there's obviously more to it then. (It's another Chinese Breeze reader btw.)

Here's the sentence in full for context:

白春水和毛步康(both are names) 你看着我,我看着你,差不多同时间:“blablbla some quote"

 

And then there's this example sentence here that was supposed to teach me the difference between特别 and 尤其 which I think I'm OK with, but just don't understand清楚的地方. Full sentence:

如果您有什么特别的要求或任何不清楚的地方,请和我们联系。

 

If you have any special requests or if any place is unclear, please let us know.

?

Can 地方 also mean "anything" or" point"? Dictionaries say it can mean place, area, space, room, territory. I'm probably missing something super obvious here...

Thanks again.

 

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roddy
9 hours ago, SunnySideUp said:

So the text is written in third person narrative, that's why I don't get why it all of the sudden switches to the 你看着我,我看着你 style.

That's an interesting question, I've seen that before in Chinese, but I'm not sure it's something English does, or at least does so easily.

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Lu
10 hours ago, SunnySideUp said:

So the text is written in third person narrative, that's why I don't get why it all of the sudden switches to the 你看着我,我看着你 style.

It's a set phrase, basically. This means something like 'exchanged meaningful glances' or 'exchanged a knowing look'. As Publius explains, it's not about a specific 你 and 我.

 

Compare to an English expression like 'the cat was out of the bag': can be used freely even if no cats show up anywhere in the story.

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mouse

I feel like English does use you and I in this way, but maybe there’s a different feeling in the Chinese. For example, I remember coming across it in a description of the TV programme 伪装者. The confusing cross and double-crossing world of spies was described as a life-and-death struggle where「你中有我、我中有你」. Here it clearly doesn’t simply refer to individuals, but my side and your side.

 

《偽裝者》故事講述以抗日戰爭中汪偽政權成立時期為背景,通過上海明氏三姐弟的視角,講述了抗戰時期上海灘隱秘戰線上國、共、日三方你中有我、我中有你的殊死較量。

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SunnySideUp

Thank you all! I like Publius' explanation of simply hijacking pronouns to paint a more vivid picture and Lu's translation of "exchanged a knowing look."

Based on what Mouse wrote... and keeping with the topic of spies... Would it be correct to say A 和B我打着你,你打着我,if i were to describe them fighting against each other?

And as a final question: if that is a fixed expression, where would I be able to look stuff like that up? I tried dictionaries and googling, but to no avail.

 

Thanks again, I learned a lot :)

 

 

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Lu
56 minutes ago, SunnySideUp said:

if that is a fixed expression, where would I be able to look stuff like that up?

I'm afraid I don't know. I learned this type of expression by seeing it in novels every once in a while, never tried looking it up.

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SunnySideUp

Thanks, Lu. Well, I hope you guys don't mind me asking my often very basic questions here then :)

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Publius
11 hours ago, SunnySideUp said:

A和B我打着你,你打着我

I don't think that works. 打 is a punctual/momentary/non-continuous verb here (hit), which means it does not work with the continuous aspect marker 着.

However, this is fine: A和B你给我一拳,我踢你一脚,斗得不相上下。

Or this: 两个人你打量着我,我打量着你…… (sizing each other up)

 

So, you see, it's just a structure that signifies reciprocity, as @mouse's example perfectly illustrated:

、共、日三方你中有我、我中有你的殊死較

Here we have three parties -- the KMT, the CPC, the Japanese -- who are infiltrating one another. 你/我 does not refer to any specific party, but can be taken as any one of the three parties. In this situation, 你 and 我 are both indefinite. Together, they work as a pair of reciprocal pronouns like 'each other', 'one another'.

 

NOTE: 你 and 我 can also be 'iterative' rather than 'reciprocal'. The point still is, they are indefinite, and do not refer to a specific person.

大家你一言我一语各抒己见。

 

NOTE 2: the conventional order (though not absolute) is 你 first, 我 second. So there's another problem with your made-up sentence.

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Publius

This may seem too advanced, but I'd like to share the last few lines of a poem from 《紅樓夢》, English translation by David Hawkes:

......

亂烘烘你方唱罷我登場,反認他鄉是故鄉。

In such commotion does the world's theatre rage:

As each one leaves, another takes the stage.

In vain we roam:

Each in the end must call a strange land home.

甚荒唐,到頭來都是為他人作嫁衣裳!

Each of us with that poor girl may compare

Who sews a wedding-gown for another bride to wear.

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mouse

I thought of another example, the phrase 你推我讓, which means deferring to one another. The MoE dictionary example sentence reads, "主人與客人你推我讓一番, 才依次入座".

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realmayo

你情我愿 sprang to mind and l looked it up in my notes:

你情我愿 to both be willing / mutual consent  

Youting: 但是吸毒嫖娼不行,嫖娼不也你情我愿,潜规则也你情我愿,为什么潜规则可以,嫖娼不行?
QQSRX, talking about how actors/actresses caught doing bad things are 'immoral'; but no-one criticises the casting couch
ALSO 你死我活 nǐsǐwǒhuó lit. you die, I live (idiom); irreconcilable adversaries; v.p. fight to the death

 

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SunnySideUp

Thank you, this is great. I'm glad I asked. Yes, some of the vocab (and especially the poem) goes way over my head at the moment, but here's to hoping I'll catch up at some point :)

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