烦你给我弄杯水. Why 弄?
What is the difference between
smallvilleDecember 15, 2011, 10:46 PM
the character “弄” has several different meanings. The following are just two of its meanings: 1) 做，干，办,搞 (to do, to make (sth)) For example, 弄饭，弄饮料； 2）设法取得 （to make an attempt to obtain something) For example, 弄点水来.
it's my understanding that the character “弄” in the sentence above is part of the structure "给...弄...(来）" and is similar to the structures, "给...买..." and “给...打电话...”.
if you're asking a waiter/waitress to bring you a glass of (hot/boiled) water, I think it sounds more natural and more polite if you say "烦你给我弄杯水来". I think "烦你给我来一杯水" is also acceptable but i don't think it specifies whether you want your water cold or hot.
if you say "烦你给我一杯水“, it sounds - at least to me - as if you're commanding someone to get you a glass of water.
I am puzzled by '烦你给我弄杯水来' - is it really more natural than '麻烦你给我一杯水'?
I am also puzzled by 'but i don't think it specifies whether you want your water cold or hot.' I am puzzled by your 'I don't think...' because your sentence does not say anything about temperature.
You would need to specify 热，温，还是冷水 .. (hot, warm or cold)
as i was saying above, 弄 is part of the structure "给...弄...” which is similar to “给...打（个）电话” , "给...发（封）Email"，“给...买（本）书" ，and so on. in these expressions you wouldn't necessarily omit the second verb (ie. 打，发，or 买）， if you did it just wouldn't sound as natural. and so that's why i said that "烦你给我弄杯水来“ or "请你给我来一杯水” sounds more natural.
as for my reference to the temperature of the water... the verb "弄" can have several different meanings. One of its meanings can be 做，干，办,搞 (to do, to make (sth)). I gave the examples, 弄饭 (to make something to eat) and 弄饮料 (to make/fix a drink) ie. smoothie or cocktail maybe. and maybe it's just me trying to understand how someone "makes" a glass of water when water is... WATER! but i translated the ”弄“ to mean something like "to boil" water. anyway i'm probably stretching the meaning of "弄“ here. maybe Greg can give us some feedback
Interesting - even the use of the word 'natural' may have caused our lack of communication. When Chinese people say 'natural' it is not usually because the expression in question complies with the rules for other similar expressions. Rather, the reverse may be true. Often it is something you could not predict, or a collocation you just have to learn, that is referred to as 'more natural'. The ‘more natural' comments often precedes me thinking oh.. so THAT's how you say it (as opposed to what the text book says.) More natural language is found on the street. Like friends saying 慢走 rather than 再见 or 拜拜 - where I come from 慢走 is I think more 'natural' (because that is what I hear people saying to each other - I eavesdrop on the streets), even though you are probably taught that this is what they say as you leave a shop.
Anyway, yeah I think you are stretching the meaning of 弄 - but it would be interesting to get comment from a native speaker. I have to say that in three years in China I cannot recall anyone asking for a glass of water the way you describe. I won't say I haven't heard it because my memory is really poor. I think you do command people to get you a glass of water - that is more natural.
yeah, i get what you're saying... the more simplified response is usually the more natural, yes? honestly you could probably just disregard everything said up top and say "来两杯啤酒“ and that'd sound natural too.