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a couple grammar questions


Pravit

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These questions are from the HSK basic. I'm finding the grammar section really straightforward and easy, although I got tripped up on a few questions, which I post below:

(this is from the "pick the correct sentence" section)

A.他一个人就是学贸易的

B.他是一个人就学贸易的

C.就他一个人是学贸易的

D.就一个人他是学贸易的

Correct answer is C. I am unfamiliar with this usage, and I picked A. Could someone explain this?

A.到北京了他就买一辆自行车

B.一到北京他就买了辆自行车

C.一到北京就他买了辆自行车

D.他就买了一辆自行车到北京

The correct answer is B, and I picked A. As far as I can tell, A is correct - dao bei jing le(after reaching beijing), ta jiu mai yi liang zixingche (he went and bought a bicycle). I'm a bit confused about B - specifically, why is the MW "liang" being used without any number?

Thanks for any help!

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ad 1) 就 in this case means "only".

ad 2) Any measure word can be used on its own, the implied number then is 1.

To imply consecutiveness, as you want to with A, the sentence would need to read: 到了北京...

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A and C are obviously wrong.

in B, 前边走来了 means from that direction(ie, my front), someone is walking towards me. that person haven't stop yet, and it doesn't mean he will stop in front of me.

in D, 走来了前边 means someone has walked and stopped in front of me. direction is not specified. but a better one would be 走了前边

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  • 7 years later...

I do not dare to start a new topic, so I go on with this one which has a suitable title.

 

So, I have some beginner's questions on grammar related to example sentences from my elementary Chinese study book:

 

--

 

1) First sentence here has "this book" in the end while three others have "this book" in the end.

 

了这 书。

 

完。

看完?

了没 有?

 

Now, can I switch a place of "this book" and say " " and " " ?

 

If not, why not?

--

 

2) This sentence has chopsticks in the beginning.

 

筷子 用 吧?

 

Can I put chopsticks in the end like this: 筷子?

 

If not, why not?

--

 

3) Here is an example sentence which has temporal complement, aspect particle and pronoun object:

 

三十 分钟

 

Now does the meaning of the sentence change if I put particle to the end instead?

...like this:   三十 分钟

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 I do not dare to start a new topic, so I go on with this one which has a suitable title.

 

That thread was 8 years old, congratulations on your archeological skills! :clap 

 

 

Now, can I switch a place of "this book" and say " " and " " ?

 

Yes, you can.

 

 

Can I put chopsticks in the end like this: 筷子?

 

Yes, you can.

 

 

三十 分钟

 

Now does the meaning of the sentence change if I put particle to the end instead?

...like this:   三十 分钟

 

Is the sentence exactly as you found it in your book?

I think it's not correct. It should be "三十分钟"

 

了 after the verb and了 at the end of a sentence definitely have different meanings.

 

了 after the verb marks a completed action (could be completed the past or in the future).

So depending on context, the sentence can mean:

"I searched for her for more than 30 minutes [and then I found her / and then I gave up / ...]"

"When I've searched for her for more than 30 minutes [then I'll start worrying / then I'll do something else / ...]" (though it might be better not to use the in this case, it doesn't make a lot of sense)

 

了 at the end of the sentence is used in a number of different cases, most commonly to express a change of state.

In many cases, it's meaning is similar to putting a 现在 into the sentence. Like "筷子了"  -> "I can now use chopsticks." (I couldn't before.)

"我三十分钟" would mean "I've now searched for her for 30 minutes" (the "了 ... " structure is used to describe an ongoing action, I know it's confusing but the first 了 here does not mean that the action is completed).

I'm not sure if the sentence only with one 了 in the end ("我三十分钟") would many any sense, I'd rather think it doesn't. But maybe someone whose Chinese is better than mine can answer this.

 

One more thing, better avoid separating the characters by spaces. It's clear what you're trying to do, but it looks weird. :P

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Thanks a lot for your answer. I'm studying alone and I really have nobody to ask about these things.

So, it seems that while it is stressed that to have a certain order of words is highly important in Chinese, there are some possibilities to change the place of the object.

My study book speaks of an aspect particle (when 了 is after the verb) and a modal particle (when 了 is after the sentence) but I have not known so far that aspect particle refers to a completed action (my book seems to be a bit vague regarding to this). So your clarification was really useful.

Now I realize that my study books uses spaces between characters because it has always pinyin running under them (and since pinyin takes more space, some spaces between characters are necessary). I have not read texts outside my study book yet and actually, it feels weird that there are no any spaces. Isn't it difficult to distinguish compound words from single character words?

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Oh, I forgot that troublesome sentence. It seems that I had copied it correctly from my book (so it has ...) So, this remains open, whether there's a mistake in my book or not.

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Now I realize that my study books uses spaces between characters because it has always pinyin running under them (and since pinyin takes more space, some spaces between characters are necessary). I have not read texts outside my study book yet and actually, it feels weird that there are no any spaces. Isn't it difficult to distinguish compound words from single character words?

 

There'll definitely be cases in which you'll be fooled into mentally separating two characters when they shouldn't be separated, or vice-versa. In most of these cases, you'll notice the problem, as the sentence that you'll end up with will just be nonsense. But in some cases, a sentence can have two different meanings, depending on where you separate the characters into words. It's one of the things that make Chinese so interesting! :P

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

"我三十分钟" would mean "I've now searched for her for 30 minutes" (the "了 ... 了" structure is used to describe an ongoing action, I know it's confusing but the first 了 here does not mean that the action is completed).

I'm not sure if the sentence only with one 了 in the end ("我三十分钟") would many any sense, I'd rather think it doesn't. But maybe someone whose Chinese is better than mine can answer this.

 

I'm no authority, but I like to watch 非诚勿扰 a lot, and I've heard 孟菲 use the "了.....了" structure with only one 了 at the end; I'd say his Chinese is pretty good.

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