User Comments - calkins

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Posted on: Speaking with 跟 (gen) and 对 (dui)
July 23, 2011, 03:21 PM

I just listened to this QW and am confused with the very last example sentence:

When I was little, my mother often said to me, "You need to study hard, and improve every day."

When I read this, it seems to me to be saying:

When my mother was little, she often said to me, "You need to study hard, and improve every day."

I would think that it should be:


Am I completely missing something here?  My gut tells me that the lesson's sentence is wrong, but it was spoken by a native speaker, so I'm thinking perhaps I am wrong.

Would someone set me straight please?

Posted on: Job Shopping in Modern China
May 31, 2011, 10:00 AM

I don't hear that in my download. You must be hearing voices in your head. Jenny and John of all must be listening to cpod too much, time for a break :)

Posted on: Rowing a Boat
May 28, 2011, 07:59 AM

It can actually be pronounced both ways, yīhuǐr or yīhuìr (yìhuǐr or yíhuìr with the tone change on yi). I may be wrong, but I think it's actually more common to pronounce it yīhuìr, with the 4th tone on hui.

Posted on: The Complement 不下
May 21, 2011, 01:52 AM

user23060, I can help you with this.


The first 了, as you probably know, indicates past tense:
I ate 5 sandwiches...


The second 了 indicates that the action is still in progress:
I ate 5 sandwiches [and am still eating],

So basically, he has completely finished eating 5 sandwiches and has started eating a 6th sandwich.  This is one hungry dude!

The third 了 indicates that there was a change of state:

I ate 5 sandwiches, [but now] I really can't eat anymore.

So there was a change of state from being able to eat to being so full that he can't eat anymore.

I ate 5 sandwiches [and am still eating], [but now] I really can't eat anymore.

Regarding the second 了,usually when you have two 了's in the same sentence it indicates that something started in the past and is still continuing.  Another example:

I have lived in Taipei for 2-1/2 years [and still continue to live here].

If there was only one 了,it would indicate that something happened in the past but has since stopped:

I lived in Taipei for 2-1/2 years [but now I live somewhere else].

Hope that helps!

Posted on: A Notification Notification, and Other Happenings
May 15, 2011, 01:43 AM

Hi zhenlijiang. I couldn't see my bio either, then I clicked on your username and could see yours:



So you're right, you just can't see your have to go into update profile to see it.

Posted on: Dialing a Nonlocal Phone Number
May 12, 2011, 12:38 PM

I love it! I had to try it here in Taiwan (I have also always wondered). It's just a little different, but for those in Taiwan who want to know:


nǐ suǒ bō dǎ de diànhuà mángxiàn zhōng, qǐng shāohòu zài bō.

The recording in Taiwan also has English, but Chinese is spoken first, then English.

Posted on: Business and Investment in China - Part 2
May 12, 2011, 12:19 AM

Hi Jason, could you also say 复制贴上, or is that only used in Taiwan? Thanks.

Posted on: Living in Nanjing
May 11, 2011, 08:26 AM

"But later on, we notice we never hear this expression, and then someone more learned in the ways of Mandarin says it is an uncommon expression."

I totally agree xiaophil. I thought it was a common expression too, and I would use it often. Then one day one of my Taiwanese friends said that Taiwanese rarely use this expression, but that it is really "cute" when a foreigner uses it.

I don't want to sound cute, and I certainly don't want to use an expression that natives rarely or never American accent is a big enough hurdle.

Posted on: Welcome to ChinesePod
May 10, 2011, 10:17 AM

Anybody can learn Chinese, as long as you have a little cash, a lot of perseverance, and the patience of a saint!

Posted on: The Complement 不了
May 08, 2011, 04:19 AM

You could also use 做不到, "unable to do / impossible to do":