modals, again, 能源动词 想, 要

诠注 - exegesis

Some relevant uses of 想 and 要, again.

想 - used as a single character,

想 can only be used in front of nouns to mean 'think about' '思考' or miss '想念'

Nouns: 我想那个。 - Intention: I want that one. Result: Fail.

Correction: 我要那个, 我想要那个。

想 can be used in front of verbs to mean 'want'

我想去上海。 Intention: I want to go to Shanghai. Result: Correct.

要 - used as a single character.

要 can be used in front of nouns to mean 'want'

我要那个。 Intention: I want that one. Result: Success.

要 used in front of verbs to mean either 'want' '想要' or will '将要'

我要去上海。 Intention: I want to go to Shanghai. Result: Success.
我要去上海. Intention: I'm going to Shanghai. Result: Success.



不想 can not be used in front of nouns to mean 'don't want'

我不想那个。 Intention: I don't want that one. Result: Failure.

不想 can be used in front of verbs to mean 'don't want'

我不想去。 Intention: I don't want to go. Result: Success.


不要 can be used in front of nouns to mean 'don't want.'

我不要那个。 Intention: I don't want that one. Result: Success.

不要 can not be used in front of verbs to mean 'don't want.' (unless you are a child.)

我不要去上海。 Intention: I don't want to go to Shanghai. Result: Fail.


想 - can't mean 'to want' in front of nouns in a positive or negative frame. In all other cases, ok.
要 - can't mean 'to want' in front of verbs in a negative frame. In all other cases, ok.

I guess this would make the 'want' use of 想 a full 能源动词, not 'defective' in any case.
And that would make 要 defective in the negative case. (At least in Standard Mandarin and some Northern dialects.) Why 要 functions successfully in the negative and positive case with nouns stems from the fact that 要 in that case is functioning as a full or regular verb, and not a 能源动词.

情态动词 与 能源动词

'modal verbs'

First of all 助动词 is 'auxiliary verb' or 'helping verb' and 情态动词 are just one type of 助动词。

I'm going to go with the thesis that the term 能源动词 is a recent invention and that 情态动词 is the original translation of the term 'modal verb' from western languages. So, 能源动词 refer to the class of verbs in chinese, english and other languages don't have this type of verb, they have a similar type of 助动词 called 情态动词. As for why they use this term 能源 I'm not clear. Also, I understand the logic of moving away from classifying these verbs as '情态动词', but they should similarly change the translation into english as well. In my dict I get the word 'volitive' which emphasizes these are verbs indictating 'will' or 'desire', but why then the 能源? Are we supposed to take this literally as a 'source' of 'willingness'. But 能 doesn't have that feel for me。 Anyway, these 能源动词 a lot of the time aren't indicating mood in the chinese, so they probably shouldn't be called 情态动词 or 'modal verbs' in translation.

I wanted to post some youtube clip about some pop star but it is late, so you will have to wait till next time to hear me talk about 安又琪 or whatever。


From 刘月华, who we will take as the the end all and be all of all thing chinese grammar even though her book is older than the 五月花。 Why we have the term 能源动词:



1.表示愿意 - expresses intention
2.表示对情理、事理的判断 expresses one's judgment towards reason or logic
3.表示对主客观条件判断的 expresses one's judgment towards subjective or objective conditions
4.表示准许、允许 expresses permission or approval
5.表示评价 expresses a valuation
6.表示可能 expresses possibility


I guess I was just dealing too much one class of 能源动词。 李月华 also says 助动词 is just another name for 能源动词, which would mean chinese has no other types of auxiliary verbs. I'm not ready to trust her yet.


Victor Mair/Howard Goldblatt syndrome

Rap, then make it chinese rap, then add translation, then add victor mair = disaster.

It seems every time I read something by victor mair there's always something new for me to cringe about.


Where to start? Who knows.

It's kind of like the train wreck feeling I have when I'm forced to look at 林语堂's 'dictionary.'

Obviously Victor isn't that bad, and 林语堂 isn't either, but they're just off on so many fronts that you don't know where to start.

When you grow up kids, don't be a translator in the vain of these three men. They mean well, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. 周恩来, I think. I think one thing I want to say is, don't translate like that. As for other things, oh, where to start


忙着快乐 - Why I can't write chararcters and neither can you.


Writing them even sounds a bit dirty
The english translations come across as dirty in a completely different way. But it may all be some ancient celestial joke no one want to let us in on.

The heavenly branches and the celestial stems.

There was a brief time when I made a concerted effort to learn these. And then I stoppped and realized. That learning the 天干 was plenty sufficient. And after I could write for a while, I realized recognizing them was just fine, and that's about where I am now.

But, every once in a while I'll fuck with some people and be, what is that thing under the wu3 in tiao4wu3, anyway? And they look down at their feet, and mumble something, or yknow. So today, I was like, what the hell is that thing in 欢迎 anyway? And why do I still feel it is weird?

And then, if you‘re lucky someone will start lecturing you about ancient schemes that involved a whole series of characters and words which you learned about at one point or another, but don't really remember. Yknow, like the zodiac, or the 周 or the number of 更’s in a day, which is not pronounced 羹, but rather 精, but only if you aren't from the mainland, which is a whole other issue as mandarin can't support a 'ging' sound anymore sadly, though it is often imported.

Anyway, so that thing is 欢迎 indeed is the 卯时 的卯。 Though it certainly isn't a good replacement in this font, but then again, what is ever good enough for you anyway.

So, in the esprit of the season (or the corps), I give you 三更半夜, I mean, 地址, I mean 地支。

You know something is bad when even the chinese wikipedia page for something has pinyin.

Enough delay, I present to you, the 'Hours', 时辰, but they're really two hours each, and not in use anymore, and well, yknow.

from baidu, your friendly neighborhood Wikipedia killer

子时 23:00--00:59 zi3
丑时 1:00-- 2:59 chou3
寅时 3:00-- 4:59 yin2
卯时 5:00-- 6:59 mao3
辰时 7:00-- 8:59 chen2
巳时 9:00--10:59 si4
午时 11:00--12:59 wu3
未时 13:00--14:59 wei4
申时 15:00--16:59 shen1
酉时 17:00--18:59 you3
戌时 19:00--20:59 xu1
亥时 21:00--22:59 hai4

And obviously, post-op Jolin. If you can catch the link, you are my hero.


Not bad for Jolin, but it's hard to find the high ground when we're all standing in the mud.


更多能源动词理论, more on modals

So, negation and progation with the modals 想 and 要

你想什么 = Correct, where 想 means to think, not want.
我不(在)想什么。 I'm not thinking about anything. = Correct.


我想那个。 = Incorrect.
我要那个。 = Correct.
我想要那个。 = Correct.

我想去上海。 =Correct.


我不要去 = Incorrect

你要去上海吗? (Are you going to Shanghai? 或 Do you want to go to Shanghai?)
我不要去。 Incorrect.
应该 我不想去 = I don't want to go.
或 我不去。 = I'm not going.

Child's play.

Childspeak differs on this account. Differentiation of objects into classes such as nouns and 'verbs' is less developed.


1. 你要这块糖果吗?
2. 我不要啦!

3. 你要去看看你的新的爸爸吗?
4. 我不要(去)!



能源动词 modal verbs, 想, 要, and 想要

So, I was going over some writing and my teach was like, you can't you use 想 like that.
What do you mean?
It's a 能源动词,需要加动词在后面不能加名词。

Ok, so after many years we have something on the the 想,要,想要 split. In Taiwan my teach was supposed to do a research paper on this and get back to us after a few weeks. Then it turned into a few months and then she went to Beijing and like made it here thesis or something. I gotta get that paper someday.

So, 想 used without 想要 as a regular verb, and not a 能源动词 only can mean 'to think'.

So, you can say 你想什么? which means 你在想什么? What are you thinking (about)?

But you cannot say 你想什么? To mean, what do you want?

要 apparently can be used as a 能源动词 with all its incredible uses, and still retain its core meaning as want, when used independently as a verb 你要什么? is ok. But, with 想, 你需要‘想要。

Quick post. Need to leave now. Stay gold, ponyboy. I don't even remember liking that book.

I still blame everything in 听说读写. I took one look at their use and explanation of 想与要 and the teachers explanations and knew it was going to be cold day in hell when I felt good about chinese. It is fucking freezing here though. So, maybe hell just is other people.

I also have no idea if there is or what the difference is between 能源动词与情态动词. 我觉得情态动词指的是英文的能源动词而不是中文的,但是英译都是modal verb.


连动句与了 连动句 and 了, serial verb construction and the use of 了

Ok, 我去超市买了几斤水果 is an example of a 连动句, which is a serial-verb sentence. Ok, there are many types of 连动句 but the relevant one's are like this, in sentences like this one with serial-verb construction the 了 must be places after the second verb, in this case 买, and not after the first verb, in this case 去。

This a rule you may or may not have figured out along the way, but this is how it is. Now I know the range of the term 'verb' is fairly broad in chinese so don't think too hard about this, what you need to know is that sentences with fairly normal verbs, like the one above have this sort of rule, as for other types, I don't know and I'm not going to look into it now.


No need. 不必,用不着,犯不着.

Ok. This is a small point so we'll say it fast.

不必 is a 副词, it can be placed in front of 动词 and 形容词.

用不着 and 犯不着 both contain verbs so after them 动词,形容词,名词都行。

譬如 = 你用不着这支笔。 You don't need (to use) that pen.

你用不着生气。 你用不着高兴。

他知道是自己的错误,用不着吵架。 (你不用跟他吵架) (不必跟他吵架)

Ok. according to my dict 用不着 has two uses, 1, the standard 'no need'. 用不着这支笔。

and 2, the 'not worth it, not worth you time, pointless, useless, below your level, not worthwhile.)


And from the dict, and from what I understand, 犯不着 is used for the second definition only 用不着。

nciku also informs me that 犯不着 has a variant of 犯不上 which is exactly the same. And now I've just discovered why I have to write this entry, because I have always used used either 不必 or 不值得。

A use of 够。 够不到,够不着,够得到,够得着,够到了吗? Can you reach it?

This post is about a use of 够 that was unfamiliar to me.

So, this is something I can't ever recall encountering, but it is incredibly useful and I'm a little surprised it feels so new to me. You can obviously see the meaning here from 够, but this actual 伸 (reach out) and 接触, 碰 (touch/'get') something is something even the dictionary acknowledges a separate entry.

So this is a fixed use to talk about "be able to reach/get" something.

够到了吗? Did you reach it? Did you get it?

Note: this is about actually reaching out with your hand or in the actual air, something reaching a distance to be able to 'touch' or 'grab' or 'get' something.

My test was testing the complement 到, but the dictionary has 着 as a standard usage, so know both, they are kind of similar in many cases.

We're done here.

double-word sentences, 忽。。。忽,时。。。时。。。

Ok, I'm not going to go over the ones you should know already like

又。。。又。。。 - 她又笨又好看,去找找!


有。。。有 - 这儿的学生有好有坏,大多数没用。

I'm going to go over the ones I'm less familiar with.

忽。。。忽, this feels like HSK grammar I saw once in another lifetime. It has this 'oscillation' usage, 他的病情忽好忽坏。

From nciku:



Know this.

This is similar to the use of 时。。。时。。。, with it's 'flickering' or 'going back and forth' between two poles.

又。。。又 does not have this kind of usage.


nciku also puts this the 时。。。时。。。 usage like this:


and the 一会儿。。。一会儿。。。 usage like this:

now...now...; one moment...the next...

(which I think is about right)

Their example

天气一会儿晴一会儿阴。 (Their translation kind of sucks, but you get the idea.)

I think you get the idea.


And sometimes, even though I don't want to believe it, I think Chinese people can be very stupid

The case of 折腾.

(Note, the following post refers to Chinese to English translation.)

Ok, I have refrained from delving into the waters of lake 折腾 largely because I think it is so small and stupid an issue as to be unworthy of mention. But, I saw it again today somewhere, with this headline:

"Bu zheteng" -- almost impossible to translate

and I think I decided it was time to comment.

I've seen stupider comments and articles about this, no doubt.

First, a little background. In the West, we have something like this:

First was the word, and the word was God

While in China, they actually take this literally.

I think once one deals with translation community here (or doesn't, and say, just is in china for about five minutes of one's life) they will realize that Chinese ideas and production relating to translation are about as reliable as a lead-filled toy, some milk that might kill my baby, or a chinese fire-drill. (Look it up.)


It's not that there's a lot of bad translation, it's that there is ONLY bad translation, and it is not given even a first thought. And this isn't in small outlying cities where that might be expected. This is in every spot of every crowded foreign spot in the major cities of china. Sometimes you'll be tempted to ask someone, why didn't you have a native speaker check that, or some other useless question...The point is, your language (english) is irrelevant. It is meaningless to them. It's meaning derives from the fact that they can use it to get what they want.


is just as good as


to the chinese businessperson.

Why do the signs always end up like this? Because a, they don't have translation read/proofread (let alone done) by native speakers, or even competent foreign speakers. B,the just use iciba. C, the don't care.

What I found shocking is that proofreading, in china, for translation, is a 'mandarin-optional' profession in many places. That's like teaching someone how to fly from reading a book about how to teach someone how to fly (without ever actually flying.)

What I found even more bizarre is that there is this book in the bookstores written by this (I'm sure incredibly nice) woman who worked as a proofreader for years (I can't even imagine a week, the terror) and published a book of her comments on chinglish. Interesting to note, or more appropriately (YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST KNOW THIS) despite living in china for years, she had absolutely no knowledge of chinese.

Now, when I was offered a job as a proofreader initially (once someone thinks your chinese is good they'll want you to work as a proofreader (not a translator), if they are a translator) I imagined one would absolutely need to know how to read chinese. Well, the companies all seem rathered shocked when I could speak and write chinese. (Never once did they say, hey, become a translator.) I said, of course, how else would one proofread? They said, well, you just look at the english and fix it. Fix it? Yknow, usage problems, grammar, etc. Well how do I know how to fix the bad word choice if I don't know what the original intent was? That's why it's so great that you know chinese! Needless to say, I don't work as a proofreader.

A lot of the companies will send you some documents to proofread or translate. But taking one look at the documents only causes one's head to explode. These aren't capable of being proofread, they have to be re-written, and the only way to do that is through re-translation. Hence I don't work as a proofreader. A proofreader in china is more likely to be a stamper, and if they are not a stamper they are a re-translator. And if you're going to be a re-translator you might as well sign up as a translator and cut the crap.

Back to 折腾. 折腾 is a word I recognize as meaning 'torture'/'suffering'. Before the fiasco I had no direct knowledge of it's alternate meanings/uses. (That is not to say one couldn't simply understand it's use in context (like english, how many, many words are properly understood). And, in the dictionary, this use is found, along perhaps with two others. Whether it is in the dictionary of record 现代汉语词典, the mysterious magical Party dictionary of party/dipolmatic speak, or the translators dictionary (don't kid yourself, they all use iciba.com), is something I have no interest in exploring. Needless to say, the chaos wouldn't be there if in all these dictionaries there existed an 3rd, 4th, 5th defintion, whatever, of 折腾

5. 动词, (方), (口), to muck around, waste time, fuck around, etc.

Now, that is to say, we've already got way more information than most 词条 have, 词性, and two qualifiers. (A record!).

But, the issue here is, once someone sees an entry like this, and (in this case, is a native speaker of the fucking chinese language!) they should be able to make the logical leap and say, oh, 折腾 means this, these english words convey a certain impression, i'll use one of those or a similar term I think is more appropriate.

So, this is one possible cause, there is simply no entry to 折腾 with the meaning required in the major dictionaries so that all the mindless robot translators could cut and paste instead of doing actual translation. SOMETHING chinese people still don't understand at all, you cannot just find the word in the dictionary and swap. dictionaries provide meanings in a language, not 'translations' or 'words' for immediate use.

There is one more likely cause, and I'll get to that in a moment.

One must also understand how chinese dictionaries work in china, very much a holdover from pre-history. I had always known my dictionary was kind of like this, but it wasn't till I started taking 文言文 and having to hear my teacher explain certain terms (and relevant replacement terms that they would fit in when translating 文言文 into 白话文, a required skill for any chinese students) that I started noticing very clearly how my dictionary was written, and later how most if not all chinese dictionaries were written, and why Charles Crow is not a real person. Sorry guys, he's not.

You may find it odd that the chinese-english dictionary I use, was done by all chinese people (with one fake american), but that goes to show you the state of dictionary work in china because it is far and away the best one (the new age is essentially the same dictionary.) That unfortunately is like being in a concentration camp and getting shot in the head instead of beaten to death or shot in the heart.

文言文 is heavy in it's use of 固. Now, in modern usage, I tend to think of 固 as 固定 or 固然. But I was told in 文言文 it means 本来。

本来 for me had always been originally, or 原来, etc. But 本来 also has another meaning, which is what 固 means.

I think it's best rendered as 'as a matter of course', with its meaning somewhat like naturally, or 'of course' in many ways similar to 当然。


他本来就不会接受你的帮助。 Naturally, he would not accept your help.

With the 'naturally' here denoting 'as a matter of course'.

But this sentence could just as easily be into english as:

Of course he wouldn't accept your help. (I don't really believe in commas.)

Which bleeds terribly dangerously into 当然 territory (along with other related words.

Anyway, the interesting point here is that the english definition for 本来

3. (副) - in the first place; naturally; it goes without saying; as a matter of course

english definition of 固

1. (副) - originally, in the first place, as a matter of fact/course

Now this is a case where there is at least some variation, many entries are simply word for word the same. This leads one to believe either a, a batch or primitives are defined and then people ask, hey what the hell the 折腾 mean and someone says "XX" and then the entry for 折腾 is made with the definition of 'XX'. Or, that it is simply highly grid-like/self-referential without the need to first build up a lot of primitives.

So, it's not that 折腾 is hard to translate at all, i could off the top of my head think of 1,000 words that I would have more trouble translating into english, but rather that it lacks a dictionary entry. This explains why all the boards and articles are filled with their 'attempts' at translation, which are horribly off and are just the entries for the related meanings already listed in the dictionary. Yes, your translators are that stupid and that robot-like. They know absolutely nothing about language, let alone english or relevant english slang. (This is a large cause of the problem, but wait for part 2.) So, what about all those hard to translate words? Well, they have entries in the dictionary? Let's take 相处, a word I have been dealing with lately. It doesn't matter if the translator doesn't know how the english reads or anything else, 相处 is read as essentially having only one meaning in chinese, so if the translation becomes the incomprehensible

You mix in with him long or You get along with him long



there is no issue to speak of among the translation community!

Part 2.

While the utter lack of understanding of english, slang, or translation is a huge contributor to the problem here, the main issue may just largely stem from the 丑陋中国人. 胡锦涛 can't be seen saying 不折腾 because that is not what 胡锦涛 should say. (as evidence by it's absence from the dictionary, 胡 should know better.) This is a face moment, 胡 can't be seen saying this, (even though he already said it). Well, even if he's seen saying it, he can't really be seen as saying this the foreign media.

If Barack Obama gives a speech before the nation and says 'wall street bankers have to stop fucking around." He said it, you translate into whatever language, but the meaning is clear. Maybe you don't think he should say it, maybe niceties (or laws) don't allow you to give the 'swear' force in translation, but there is no confusion, lack of clarity, 'impossibility of translation'. Now, what's interesting to note here is that the issue in this case is the opposite, the translation of one's native language into a foreign language. Last time I checked, who cares how the original speakers understand their words (in a foreign language)? Their understanding will always be superseeded by a native speaker who has acquired mastery in the foreign language. That's why we hire native speakers to translate into their native language and not foreign language learners to translate into a foreign language. This is elementary. All it shows is that the chinese translation community is not to be taken seriously and that there is a dearth of native englsh-speaking translators. Or perhaps there isn't a dearth and they just ignore stupid shit like this from their chinese counterparts because it's ridiculously stupid.

I'm done.


Appendix 1:


deal; get along with

Where's that 词性 anyway?

Matters of great consequence: hardworkingness and sloppiness

The case of 马虎。

The HSK knows, on some level, that it graduates students who if they don't have solely a knowledge of language related terms, at least have a vocabulary top-heavy in school/language related words. Why does it know this? Because for some reason Marvel started letting Joss Whedon write X-men and one day all of a sudden the HSK had acquired consciousness and could fly around the world and do evil shit. No, wait, that's the danger room.

马虎 - 形 - careless, sloppy, not serious (不认真), done 'sloppily', 'poorly', 'carelessly'
I see this stretched all the way to 'casually', which is a pretty big leap in english, but let's go there.

马马虎虎 - 1, same as 马虎
2, the oft-used and somewhat infamous 一般, which is taught as the rarely used by english speakers 'so-so’, more properly rendered as 'ok' with an emphasis on the 'not that great'

刻苦 - kèkǔ - 形 - hardworking, on the same with 勤奋, with both of them being stronger than 用功

勤奋 - qínfèn - 形 - not very 口语, but you will see it written often. - diligent

粗心大意 - cūxīndàyì - 形 - 算是口语或“习惯用语”,at least according to the HSK, careless, sloppy

note that 粗心 and 大意 also both independently mean careless, sloppy

Don't worry about usage, just know these words and you'll be fine.

and finally

含糊 - hánhu - 形 - 马虎, careless, sloppy

礼节与礼貌 礼节 and 礼貌, manners and customs

I'll be the first to admit I have no clue how to use 礼节, but I can tell you this.

品茶是一种礼节. and not 一种礼貌。

How I understand it, 礼貌 is a collective noun essentially meaning 'manners'。

礼节's uses are a bit more complicated. How I see it, it means a few related, but rarely used concepts in english: "ceremony", "protocol/custom", and "etiquette."

Understanding it as etiquette is not particularly useful as like 'manners' it is a collective noun with little real difference in use/meaning. Understanding it as a 'custom/protocol' or a 'ceremony' that is relating to etiquette/manners is the only way to make it's use understandable in English. Just remember that these 'protocols' and 'customs' are different, at least slightly different from customs (风俗) which I am hoping you already have a good grasp on because I don't feel the need to explain something like that because to an english speaker, those customs should be more understandable.

More later.


Now is the winter of our discontent

English grammar is hard too.

Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this son of York.

has nothing to do (in terms of meaning) with the 'full' modern english phrase we all love and know:

Now is the winter of our discontent




了 Thoughts on the 久了, 了






Ok, so the first two common uses of 了 (final sentence 了, change of state) and completion 了 are fairly straightforward, and even when they're not, they usually 不会成问题。

But then, there is the 持续 了, which in reality is not a third use, but rather an extension of the final sentence/change of state 了。 But, for now we'll say it is a third 'use' at least.

From Rimmington and Ching's Intermediate Chinese, I found this interesting comment on their take on this third (of course there are many uses of 了, but you know what I mean) use of 了。

"Sentence 了 le naturally often occurs in sentences which include a verb-object or verb-complement phrase marked by the aspect 了 le. In these cases the speaker, by using sentence 了 le, is adding his or his gloss to the statement or question. Consider the following pairs of examples in which the first is a statement of fact and the second adds the speaker's comment: (italics added by me)

我们等了两个钟头。 - We waited two hours.
我们等了两个钟头了。 - We have been waiting/have waited for two hours.

她去了三次。 - She went three times.
她去了三次了。 - She has been there three times.

我们看了那个电影。 - We saw that film.
我们看了那个电影了。 - We've seen that film.

他喝了十啤酒。 - He drank then glasses of beer.
他喝了十杯啤酒了。 - He's had ten glasses of beer (and that's why he can't stand up).

End quotation.

This is their explanation of the language point you likely learned as:

我学了两年汉语。 I studied chinese for two years.
我学了两年汉语了。 I've been studying chinese for two years.

Now, something has struck me as off about this whole thing for a long time, and I'm glad Rimmington and Ching at least try to illuminate it, however badly, with this notion of a 'gloss' over the previous utterance.

Real English in use:

How long have you been studying chinese for?
Two years. I've been studying for two years. I studied for two years, (so far). So far, I've studied for two years.

All four of these responses are totally acceptable and while you can read some of them with a heavier emphasis on past completion or continual study, depending on context, inflection, etc, this distinction, while existing in english, is hardly critical in a wide variety of contexts. Chinese places an emphasis on this. Bothersome. Why? Because completion 了 is very strong.

Back to the more.

Their translation of "have waited." Seems iffy at best.

If one waned to say "We've waited for two hours." that seems to me to be an 已经 sentence even if the english omits the 'already'.

While I see the 持续 element in all the sentences, it's the third example:


that strikes me as the most troubling. Troubling, because if this really is

We've seen that movie.

Then this subtle use of the 持续 final 了, needs to be given a very serious treatment in language textbooks because it strikes heads-on with two related sentences.


Ok, if we are to take the 过 to be an emphasis marker, then we must accept that the english sentence

We've seen that movie.

can be read two different ways.
1, with an emphasis on the continuation into the present and it's effect in the present on the situation regarding the speaker's utterance.
2, with an emphasis on the completion of the action.

But, because of how english grammar works, this is going off the hill. Why?

Because english verb use is either nonsensical, or it simply allows 持续 in a wide variety of contexts with different verbal conjugations.

There is no reason to assume that in response to

Do you want to see that movie?


We've seen that movie (before).
We saw that movie (before).

carry any different level of 持续 just because one utilizes the word "have" or it's contraction "'ve" denoting a perfect (in this case, present perfect) tense. The influence of that completion is equally relevant and "coninuing" onto the current situation of the speaker/situation.

The same idea in some sense includes the length of study example.

How long have you studied for?
I've studied for two years. (I studied for two years.)

In the second case, an addition of "so far" at either end makes this very clear that the verb use is not the determining factor in reading english grammar, while the 了, being an aspect marker, but the closest thing chinese gets to a verb conjugation, is decisive in the reading of the sentence.

Back to the top

认识 as a verb only deals in fixed points and hence can't be 持续'd, hence the 了 aspect marker here is not our 持续 了, but rather a 变化 了, or perhaps a special use of 了 that accompanies the use of 久。

熟了 is clearly both a completion and a change of state, but not a 持续。

What about number 3?

Number 4, What's weird is this 了 is emphasizing the action, 相处 a 持续'able action (in chinese, the condition and verb need to be something is capable of continuing and flowing, with 熟悉 the verb can't be 'flowed' and only brings about a state, a new condition, the same problem with 认识) continuing into the second clause's condition as a precondition for it.

Again, already started to 相处 with someone (we'll call it 'get to know' or 'get along with'), continue doing that and it will bring about whatever clause two says.

Why 3 makes things weird. It forces you to resist thinking the 了 signals simply a 变化.

Translation of 3/4 : Once/After you've spent a lot of time with him, I'm sure you'll like him.

ISSUE: this 持续 'have' 'pefect' aspect in english is so weak here as to be almost non-existent. Why? I don't know! I think in English the main idea here is the completion, the arrival at a new point, the change in the status, which is not what the 了 in the chinese signifies. Yes, the 'have' in english denotes perfect aspect, and the 了 in chinese appears to be a perfect aspect marker in this case, but that idea is not important in english.


After you finish loading those boxes you can go play with your friends.
After you've finished loading those boxes you can go play with your friends.

Get it?

Yes, the 2nd holds the perfect aspect, but does it matter? Sure, if you are hip to grammar and think about these things you can see what the perfect aspect means, why it exists, originated, etc, but in real use, the important thing this sentence and situation is the completion, not the aspect. I would imagine this is why english doesn't stress this difference in certain situations and why I felt impelled to write a 100,000 word post on it.


And sometimes, for reasons I don't understand, you get to just hang out in Germany.

On reclaiming the lost histories of oppressed peoples:

Sometimes the degree of power is so great that the even the punctuation of another country's language is marginalized.

I just went through and re-tagged all my tags with English commas as it appears both chinese commas did not seem to properly split at the comma point.

So if you have a blogger blog, or whatever other kind of blogs there are these days, you be careful!


I just like a band that would put a remix of their own song on their own album and call it a remix by themselves. It's like writing a book of poems and then inside, even though all the poems are still yours, you say, and here's another poem, you already read, re-written by me.


What time is it? 凌晨,黎明,清晨,早上

12:00 - 4:00 a.m. = 凌晨 língchén

4:00-6:00 a.m. = before sunrise, I think this technically means dawn/daybreak, 黎明 límíng

6:00 - 8:00 a.m.= early morning, after sunrise, 清晨 qíngchén

8:00 - 11:59 a.m = the morning = 早上

12:00 = 中午

12:00.00 = 正午 = high noon

Why are you holding the basketball, Ella? Four character phrases you should know!



Man do I love taiwanese dramas aimed at 16-year-old girls.

Today's lesson is in four character phrases you need to know (ok, maybe with some 3 character phrases you need to know.)

You know hugging 王力宏 is a bad sign for anybody.

1. 聊聊天. This is the phrase you want. All the other ones are there to fuck with you.

2. 在我看来 The answer is always 在我看来, remember that, always.

3. 去去就来. This is the answer. Believe me. Unless it is clearly something else they give you (but trust me, they are likely testing to see if you know this word.) Trans: "I'll be there in minute."

4. 十有八九. The other options there are to fuck with you. Trans: 'In all likelihood.'

5. 倒了八辈子霉。 Yes, it is this one. Trans, rough "fucked royally." So bad all 8 previous (future?) lives are fucked as well。

6. 出洋相 = 丢面子

Remind me to go over all the 没,丢,面,脸,人 words.

7. 闲着也是闲着 and 呆着也是呆着。 It's only these two, I swear.

Ok, we're done here for the time being.


All I'm saying is that every clip on youtube seems to have her hugging 王力宏。



She is the only one with any personality.

Crisis on infinite earths 危急,危险,危害,危机

Who doesn't love 威海?

As Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice once had to lobby the Chinese for the right incorrectly use their characters. True story.


Wow, just realized Hanzi Smatter writes in traditional characters, wow.

I won't go into it because it's the most famous western screw up of a chinese character and everyone knows it, but whatever.

It's sad becuase I've heard her Russian is actually quite good.

危急 - critical (形) (in the sense of her situation is critical and she is going to die)

危险 - 1, (名), danger

2, 形 dangerous

危害 - (动)to put in jeopardy, to put in peril,to put in danger, to harm. (I know, but it is all these things.)

危机 - crisis. (There is a crisis on infinite earths, what are we to do? Write a new series and call it Identity Crisis.)



And then?

Infinite Crisis










Legion of Doom 呢?





Final Crisis, obviously.





a call into the wilderness

Dear legions,

I am looking for the best translation into chinese of

"showed my ass" and no, I am not looking for "给我屁股看“

”showed my ass" in the sense of embarrassing oneself.

the voice in the wilderness,
John the Baptist

DISCOVERY! 就是,而是,只是

(copyright infringed)


No, not that kind of discovery, but almost as good.

Music's got me feeling so free...


Man am I old.

Ok, so the discovery is of my 口头禅,a phrase my teach used, and is more properly referred to as a mistake.

I have known for a long time which words I used a lot and overuse and feel are somehow different from how chinese people use them or are simply wrong. Really off things you'll likely get around to correcting some day, but things people seem to just not notice or let go are incredibly hard to fix. I suppose if I did more writing (and actually worked on corrections) that might help, but a lot of things are simply oral patterns which might not necessarily show up in writing. OK! So what is the 'mistake?'


The 只/就 distinction combined with the 只是/就是 distinction and use, is to put it lightly, somewhat _______. Anyway, so one of the questions on the practice test had me choose between 而是与就是 when the first clause was preceeded by a 不是。 Something like: 不是我不想帮你,__我帮不了。Now, usually when an 而是 is required, I can just kind of see it, it feels more direct and doesn't interfere with this 'apology'/'concession' feeling. Example:

不是他很笨,而是老师交的特别不好。Here and in many other cases, while there is a 'concession' effect, it is trumped by the explanatory power and use of 而是. It's not A, but rather B. 不是他作弊,(而)是他姐姐作弊。 你不用处罚他。

I'm sure I've been alerted to my error before (I'm kind of remembering it now, maybe), but now it's more clear than ever.

不是。。。就是 only has one 'correct' usage:

他晚上不是打他孩子,就是打他的妻子。At night if he's not beating his kids then he's beating his wife. (If not A, then B. With the implication that both are done most of the time.)

So how have I been fucking this up so long?

只是 can be used as concessionary particle/(副词) with 不是, but apparently 就是 cannot..

我不是不想去,只是我老板让我加班!(NO 就是!)

I essentially use 就是 to mean "it's just that" after an "it isn't", now apparently, this isn't grammatically 'cool.'

不是你们不知道怎么对待外国人,就是,就是你们不太懂他们的文化。 (Apparently not good enough for HSK or 'grammar'.) I think 只是 would be a better replacement here than 而是。

But then again, we could be justice after all.




Talk about a fire. TVCC is down for the count! None of that piddly 五道口 shit!



Ok, I use n词库 a lot because it is a decent site. Then again it has its problems and I rip it apart every chance I get, like when they have a 'language note'. If you want to see what I deem a decent language note, see my entry on 难道.

But, I was browsing the interwebs today and ran across their video feature and it is fucking awesome. I never really thought I would get to know the difference between 抽 and 拨 (real useful, I know) just like I always thought I had to take it for granted that 酥 is flaky and 脆 is crispy, but that these definitions of crispiness and flakiness are culturally dependent and I never care that much.

So, check out their video section, it rocks.


Oh yeah. And I hate their name and the fact that I feel obligated to write it out correctly so it doesn't look retarded.


Ok. 麻烦 used as a verb alone:

麻烦你, 你别总去麻烦他。

Here, 麻烦 really means 'ask for a favor' or 'bother'.

The problem here is 'bother' in english encompasses 打扰 (which is to actually "bother"/"disrupt" someone) and "bother" in the soft sense of "can I bother you for a second."

So, when chinese people say 不好意思打扰你 after you help them, this works because 打扰 really is a bad thing. 麻烦 seems to be weaker on that front.

找麻烦 really is cause trouble, cause problems, look for trouble.


你最好不要给我找麻烦。 Don't cause me any trouble/problems. Don't fuck this up for me. versus

你最好不要麻烦我。 Don't ask for anything from me. Don't bother me. You shouldn't bother asking me for help.


Oh god, I know what you're thinking: Are you really going to post these fucking horrible grammar points. Yes.

多么。 Learning it, everyone laughed and prayed they never would take the HSK. That day has arrived.

I'm assuming you know the standard use of placing it before adjectives and before a chinese person laughing at your use of 多么。But, it also can be placed in front of 心理动词。 Go figure out what those are. Hint, it's shit like 希望, 喜欢,etc.

Example sentence: 他是多么希望大家能在他困难之时帮他以把啊?


只管,尽管 and a return to the days of useless 语法

Back when this blog started I thought it was going to filled with useless and rarely used 语法 of the likes of 万万, 偏偏, 索性。 Well, strangely it seemed to wade through slightly less moronic waters. UNTIL, until I got a new book by the eminent 梁鸿雁 and now I can spend hours a day pondering the endless uses and significant of mandarin all-stars such as 那会儿 and 多会儿. But on a serious not, I don't think I'm going to keep on using her book unless I really decide I hate myself and want to subject myself to grammar and words I can be guaranteed will not only not be used in real life, on the tests, or even in much 北语式 material, but most certainly will cause even a seasoned prof to scratch her head and ask if 梁鸿雁 really does have a death wish and or have her address listed. (That is not a threat, 中国当局, no need to come to my house and make me write a self-criticism. I know you're reading too CIA, we love you too. :>)

Ok, back to 文法。

never used: 只管:

Use 1:
梁红涵 试题: 你对我有什么意见, (只管)讲。 Here it means 随便。 Feel free to ask any question you might have.

尽管 shares this first use exactly.

Use 2. Actually, use two we are going to avoid dealing with until we run across it in real life.

尽管 jǐnguǎn, a rare 3rd tone jin, is used as a 虽然 surrogate. Everyone learns this and you recognize it in context, but why would a test want you to recognize something in context?


尽管病的严重,他仍然去上班了。 Despite being really sick, he still still went to school.

Ok, a long time ago I got the impression that 尽管 was always more like despite, in spite of, in english and since I either don't see it that much or it doesn't make that much of an impression on me, I still have that impression. 虽然 because the more vanilla 'although'.

梁鸿雁 my hero, my zero

One day I'm going to get around to reading her '有名' 语法书。 More on this later, but let's just say I'm seriously considering going to her 华清嘉园公寓而跟他商量商量。And not in a good way.


A few comments about compliments

I don't normally have a big issue with compliments, but there are a few cases that still don't come naturally to me apparently.

1. for time compliments with regular objects, you must place the time compliment before the object:

学了两年中文. Your teachers and some grammar books will tell you you can add a 的 between the time and object, at least in this case, and you can, and people might say that or write that, but the test will most certainly not be like that.

for time compliments with 人名 or for those who like r, 人名儿, the time compliment can in theory go before or after the object, but just forget that. For all intensive purposes it has to go after the object.


2. if the object of a verb is a place and the compliment is a direction, the compliment must be placed after the place.

请进教室来。 and NOT 请进去那个教室。

Ok, more comments and compliments about compliments later will likely involve stranger and more obscure cases



= Wudaokou is on fire you know?
+ What? No way, where?
= Down the street, over there.
+ I always knew it was going to be that BBQ chicken place. Never should have given them an operating license, again.
= No, it's the Adidas store over there.
+ Wudaokao doesn't have an Adidas store. You mean Wandanu?
= Infinite Serfrdom?
+ No, not 完蛋奴, 万达奴. And no, I no idea what that is supposed to mean.
= Isn't that that adidas logo?
+ Don't ask.

Wudaokou caught on fire the other day, I want to say 5 pm monday or tuesday. It lasted a good half hour, maybe longer. Those little stores sitting there next to 东源大厦 I'd say have about 3 years before they are bulldozed over and replace with 东源大厦二.



Ok. What's the deal with this? I've seen this for a long time and always found it a little odd. Let's get into that.

From the test:

大规模 “自行车革命” 引发的环保生活方式备受___

correct answer being 关注。

The reason why this feels weird is how it comes into english and there we see why the chinese grammar here is weird (to an english speaker.)


The environmental lifestyle that the large scale 'biking revolution'' has brought about is receiving a lot of attention.

Translation back into chinese:



1. When 受 is used with some verbs it creates a pseudo adjective, e.g. (受欢迎). Here it is modified with 很 and is not the same as 受到欢迎。 Mainly because no one says this, at least not directly, and mainly because 受到 is going to take 像名词性的东西。 This is an english speaker's take, but what 受到 takes, although it may be a 'verb', it sure as hell doesn't feel that way.

他很受欢迎。 and 他受到欢迎. Don't feel the same at all, even if we factor in for the 很。

2. 备 used in this sense does not appear anywhere else in the chinese language, it modifies 受 in this way and no other word, phrase, etc。 Due to this, it doesn't feel like other modifiers you are used to "太,很,etc"。

3. 备受 is really used only in fixed use with a small number of verbs, such as 关注. You simply learn to know these.

so, when you see 备受 you should think "has recieved a lot of ____"

4. Other things that make this feel weird. passive in chinese always feels weird, and especially when you're dealing with a passive that not only doesn't use 被 (or one of it's relatives), but uses a totally unrelated 备。

5. you cannot really omit the 备。 you can't let 受 sit there alone and you can't use a 很 to replace it. You can replace the whole thing with a 收到xx(很多,不少,etc) verb, but that is a lot of work.

6. word's that modify verbs that are placed directly before them can often be very weird. We avoid this in cases like 很受欢迎 by mentally making 受欢迎 an adjective. But we are totally fucked when we have cases like 多亏. 亏 here is a verb, meaning (fortunately). But, like 备受, this use gets weird because english takes one look at this construction and cringes.

I think part of the problem stems from 备受关注 and other 4 character phrases seem like they should be split evenly between two verbs, and while some dictionaries classify 备受 as a verb (and others simply don't have it) like 多亏 it's really verb that got a modifier attached to it and 'maybe' became a verb on its own.

Dictionaries try to rememdy this confusion by translating 备 as "to the utmost" and 备受 as 'to have had plenty of' (nciku). While I understand what they're getting at and why they translated it like this, so you can replace 备 with the translation to get it, this leads to some ugly and awkward english than only makes you wonder how the hell you're are going to make that translation less ugly and how you are going to use the word in chinese.

My dict:

备受虐待 be much abused

I mean seriously, where in english will this ever appear? He suffered a great deal of abuse, he was abused alot, he was greatly abused (slightly different), are all resonable utterances in english; be much abused, is not. Really, any "be much" doesn't quite compute in my head.

Anyway, I've got my head wrapped around this thing now, but it really doesn't feel like 口语 at all to me, which I don't like. By 口语 I mean anything I can imagine ever saying, ever.

I think we're done here. I'd love to get into 多亏, but maybe another time, or maybe another post on this closely related phenomenon.

临时 and 及时, at the last moment, in the nick of time

I'm not going to spend a lot of time going over this because it's straightforward and not terribly important.

临时 to mean 'at the last moment' can only be used in this way:


It has to emphasize a change, something that happens from what 临时 is describing that causes something to change of plan. This is a little weird, so let's look at 及时。


Ok, so there's a change here, but the plan is saved, rather than scrapped. It's more like ‘in the nick of time'. 临时 doesn't have that meaning (ever, I think. Like if you want the plans to be canceled I don't think you use 临时, I would use 及时。)

Obviously 临时 and 及时 have other uses, but you should know them and we aren't going to talk about them here.

some verbs involving 弃. 放弃,丢弃,抛弃 I just can't quit you.

Quitting can be tough to do, so let's begin with my favorite of the 弃’s.

Qiqi - Back at home Chi Chi's was the 'famous' restaurant that served mexican food so tasty, that it kind of burned down and was replaced by (I can't remember for the life of my right now, but I'll get back to you UPDATE: name is Que Pasa. And my order of the closings is reversed, Que pasa was obviously the first one.), which I believe also later closed. Interestingly, a lot of the properties got sold to Outback and that's how Outback was born. Chain restuarant geneologies are far more interesting than Chinese and I encourage you to explore them. I encourage even myself to start a webpage documenting these things for the public good. Oh, Irving's. Anyway, they didn't burn down, they had the largest hep A outbreak (the chinese one!) in US history (kinda remember that) and then just dissappeared. But you can still buy their salsa (not that great). Sadder, from the wikipedia page, they got rejected when trying to trademark 'salsafication.' I understand the tm office's logic, but still, they needed that. If you have to apply for that kind of word, you should get a pitty approval.


丢弃 = 扔掉, garbage, toss it aside,drop, abandon

放弃 = to give up (something), 习惯, 等等。 主动不要,主动停止。

抛弃- pao1qi4 不喜欢而不要,不喜欢而放弃、扔掉。 Most often translated as abandon.

If they give you a question like this, it'll be clear. You have to know the collocations, that's it.

There's also 舍弃 and a few other important 弃’s which I'm not going to go over now, but you should know as well

It's time to exercise some fucking leadership! 带头,带领,领导

What do we need to know here? a few things.

带头 = means to set an example (for others), take the lead in doing something.

带领 = to lead someone along a path (real or 'abstract')。 You can think of it as the the verbal form for 领导, which isn't completely right.

领导 = while most often being a noun meaning simply leader (领导者,领导人, etc), can be used as a verb to mean something like "exercise leadership" in the sense of 'authority', we need someone to lead this group so it doesn't fall apart, we need someone in this country to lead. Not in the sense of 带头 which implies one is ahead of the curve, or simply do something others should follow and emulate.

Yes, the distinction is rather subtle so the questions will either be difficult or they will make it clear. Also, note that 带头 is a special verb and can't just take any object as its complement.

n词库 正 = 他带头捐书给图书馆
正 = 在这方面,只好希望他们带头。

Also, with 带领, its a rather normal verb, it needs an object (usually people) and 'path'.



充分, 充足,充实,足够,sufficient

its time to 充。

充分 - 1, 形,足够, 用于抽象事物

最重要的语言点: 充分与充足不同在于充分的意思是 sufficient to convince, win, etc. 充足仅仅是足够,丰富,很多而已。

充分 - 2, 副, "to the full" - 充分利用 to use something "completely, to its full use, etc.)

充足 - 1, 形, 具体或者抽象, 强调丰富,很多。 就是足够。

充实 - 1, 动 to replenish, strengthen, enrich, etc. It's a weird thing in English for many of its uses. But that really follows all verbs/adjs involved in knowlege or mind related stuff
2, 形 rich, 丰富,满足心理上, substantial, full

足够 - 1, 形 (you need to know this word by now) 'enough' 'sufficient', 具体


宁可...也要, willing to... in order to

Despite what you think, in English, 宁可...也要 bares little resemblance to 宁可...也不


I'm willing to stop talking to my parents in order to get married to that girl.

Correct translation: 宁可跟我父母断绝关系,也要跟那个女孩结婚。

Setup: (If you really want to marry her, you only have two choices: you can kill them or cut off all contact with them.) I'd rather stop talking to my parents to get married to her. (How you might think, incorrectly, to translate 宁可跟我父母断绝关系,也要跟那个女孩结婚.)

Ok. Comment. This English sentence:

I'd rather stop talking to my parents to get married to her.

doesn't pass the smell test. The use of "rather" in this sentence and in english in general follows a fairly strict pattern.

NOTE: 与其。。。不如 is "rather than" and NOT "rather". Or can often be translated in much better ways.

Ok, back to our point: "rather", alone in english implies a comparison with exactly one other thing. Hence our sentence failing the smell test. It should properly read:

I'd rather stop talking to my parents than kill them.

However, while the first sentence appears iffy, or maybe doesn't pass the smell test, it's actually ok. Why? Because it has become this:

I'd rather stop talking to my parents to get married to her than kill them (to marry her).

Like the "good sentence"

I'd rather stop talking to my parents than kill them.

can simply omit the second clause (than kill them) and become

"I'd rather stop talking to my parents."

Our "smelly" sentence's "man in full"

I'd rather stop talking to my parents to get married to her than kill them (to marry her).

can likewise omit its "better half" and morph into our smelly, but on second thought 臭豆腐 is actually ok:

I'd rather stop talking to my parents to get married to her.

When you look directly at the chinese:


and write out some translations, things may look fishy, but after some 思索 you realize they just eat the bones here, and the sentence, in context, can be fine.


Anyway, while our smelly sentence turned out to taste great (or is at least edible), it's simply the wrong translation.

宁可 most often means "rather",

but, in a 宁可...也要 句子, it means "willing" or "willing to"

Sentences of this structure in chinese imply that the thing stated in the first clause is the worst of all possible choices, but because achieving the goal stated in the second clause is so important, you are willing to do it.

我宁可牺牲自己,也要救我的孩子。 I'm willing to sacrifice myself in order to save my save my child. == 为了救我的孩子,我连牺牲的决心也有。

Moving on. So, how do we translate

I'd rather stop talking to my parents to get married to her.

into chinese 呢? Well, let's see:


One day I need to look up the origins of 宁愿 or 宁肯 to see if they are somehow related to this.


充电 does not mean recharge your batteries

Ok. So, obviously, literally, if you have a battery (电池) 充电 does mean to charge it, but that's as far as the metaphor goes.

The english (charge or recharge one's batteries) is not related 充电。

My notes/dict:

充电 = to brush up on, study up on something

from the chinadaily bbs, (yes, I know)


Seems about right to me. To go review something.

悲惨与悲伤, 难过,伤心,悲哀, and the meaning of sadness

In the HSK world these two can qualify as "synonyms".

Just to be clear here, 悲惨 is really "miserable” or "tragic". Which is a bit odd since in English, these two concepts are fairly far apart. Deal with it.

悲伤 = sad, but can be pushed to include (grieved, sorrowful, etc) like every bad dictionary will tell you so that you'll never ever learn the word for sad in chinese. How fucking sad because it's true!

Well, then again 伤心 may be the word for sad, who fucking knows? Or maybe it's 悲哀。 I will do some social investigations into this 社会调查!


So, I gave my teach a 测验 today. It consisted of two questions, well, really three or four, but who's counting!

测验 翻译 英-中

1. sad (形).... _____________
I feel sad. ..._____________

2. outstanding: (Not 特别好 or 棒)... _____________

And the responses:

1. 伤心, 我很伤心
2. (left blank)

Ok, so we have some progress!

What you need to do with a lot of teachers is ask them the "base" word they were taught means the word you are thinking of. Odd that they never care to bring these things up. When you learned chinese, and you came across some base word in the language you probably ran into somethng like this:

聪明 - clever, witty, smart

often with the emphasis on "clever"

Luckily most important base words and emotions are simply never even taught! Think of how many base words in english, basic emotions or verbs you simply were never taught or never appeared in your teaching materials. It's phenomenal. What's worse is, oftentimes you'll simply be thinking you're saying one thing for years and then it turns out, you were just a fucking idiot.

Even in n词库 now looking up 聪明 only returns "clever". I cannot believe the british have fucked up english so much for so long that I can't get a decent definition of 聪明 as smart rather than clever in fucking 2009.

Anyway, the point is, when chinese people learn english they are given an english word like "sad" and next to it is one fucking chinese word "伤心”. Not 难过, not 悲伤,悲哀,悲惨什么的,就是再简单不过了。You, on the other hand are given shit. In the later stages they won't even bother to give an english trans and if they do its sure to be either wrong, not helpful, or helpful in horrible ways. YOU need to ask your teacher, no matter how bad their english is, what they were taught some english word means, because that is how they understand it, its often the most basic word, and its most often right. Besides, you can almost never find that kind of info unless you talk to people. You may be able to go check out youngans workbooks and textbooks and next time I head to a big bookiestore I'll do some more 社会调查于它。

Anyway, so back to "sad". After much discussion, we admit that 伤心 is the basic word for 'sad.' However, 难过与悲伤也是同样的意思。 区别在程度。

最轻: 难过
最强: 悲伤

难过与伤心能这样用: 我很难过,我很伤心。 悲伤不行

悲伤能这样用: 感到悲伤, 难过与伤心不能。

Additionally, 悲惨 like we imagined, does imply 'miserable, tragic,etc'.

悲哀 on the other hand implies an observer viewing your situation as "sad" in the sense of "pathetic"。

Don't get me started on what "happy" is 快乐,愉快,开行,高兴。 Maybe another time if I really hate myself.

摆摆, 摆脱! 摆脱,摆动,摆放,摆手

摆脱! 救命!


摆脱 = 动词 = to break free from, to cast aside, be rid of,

摆动 = to swing back and forth, to sway, to oscillate

摆放 = to lay out, to put out, arrange, etc

摆手 = my book has 摆动手, which is literally correct. But you should think of it as wag of "hand", to shake one's hand in disapproval, or to wave/beckon.


坐与座, 坐 and 座 做作 to sit, or not to sit


座 zuo4 - 1) a seat 席. 2)量词, 山,楼, 桥等等

坐 zuo4 - 1) to sit

Needless to say, these two words are chalked full of other meanings. You need to know these three. GO!


语体与语域 register, linguistic register

For a long I wanted to know how to say the term register in chinese, namely linguistic register. And then all of a sudden, many years later, when a teacher was lecturing me about some words usage she all of a sudden dropped a 语体 which was something I had never heard. I had looked up register before and only found 语域, which is something that is not used, or at least rarely used in the academic community but not among the teachers who I spoke to. (The difference between language teachers and language professors is alarming. Alarming that both are so bad.) Anyway, I looked up 语体 and its not really "register" its more like style, but since it's the thing your teacher can understand and in theory other people may accept, I reccomend its use.

Note. Not an hsk question, just useful.

打招呼, 跟、同, 和。 跟你打招呼, 和他打招呼, 同谁打招呼

打招呼 cannot be used with 对, but it can be used with 向。 More on this later.

What you need to know is that 打招呼 goes with 跟,同,和.

I don't really understand how this word functions in the language and I never use it. I imagine its simply convention and once I accept that I'll be much happier.


真不像话. Well, this appears to be the relevant "口语” or 习惯用语 that finds its way onto the test that I find my way of never learning or paying much attention to.

It means outrageous, "scandalous", inappropriate, unreasonable. Really, it just sort of expresses a person's disapproval/disagreement of something.

Know it, but don't translate it back into English or into you head as these bizarre extreme words. If those words make sense in the context with the tone, then by all means. Otherwise take it about as seriously as someone saying "this is completely unacceptable" when all they really mean is 'that sucks' or 'that's really bad', etc.

the verbal complement 下

You should know how this complement works, but here is a reminder of a key usage they seem to like to test, and that is 下 as a complement indicating "fit into" "place/put into"




So, what is the deal with 哪怕。 One day I'm going to look up the history of 哪怕 and figure out a, why it is so weird, and b, why it's so sporadically used.

哪怕 is a generic even, even if, but there's something broad about it's use that I haven't figured out how to describe.

Another day.