User Comments - chris.k

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Posted on: License Plate Characters
March 03, 2011, 07:19 AM

Yeah, neither did I- Chinese adjectives sort of function like verbs, and I think they can be used that way in 被 sentences, but I'm not too sure.

Posted on: License Plate Characters
March 03, 2011, 12:19 AM

Not sure that the rest of the sentence quite works, but the subject (thing that did the mystery-ising) is optional in 被字句, although not in 把字句.

Although here, maybe we could try it with 云 as the subject, and say 云的发音被云神秘了 (the pronunciation of 云 is made mysterious by the clouds)...?

Posted on: Duty-free Products
February 21, 2011, 01:05 PM

Great idea. You mean an exercise where we're given a scrambled sentence and have to put the words in the right order, right? I'd love to see that as well.

(I think that was the idea, rather a section with different ways of structuring a sentence. That could be cool too, though.)

Posted on: Eating Idioms, Part 2
February 19, 2011, 07:36 AM

I'd say it would be, 我们吃得消。

This type of construction, with (verb)+不/得+(result) is called a potential complement. The meaning is something like, to be unable(不) or able (得) to achieve that result by doing the verb... That's probably not the best explanation, but, you don't need 可以 because the 'able to' meaning is already there.

A lot of these seem to be idiomatic expressions, and often either the positive or the negative form is a lot more common (and sometimes one isn't really used at all). Here, "吃得消" gets about 300,000 Google hits, to 8 million for "吃不消".

Posted on: Eating Idioms, Part 2
February 19, 2011, 06:41 AM

Seems right to me: 他干的 = "that which he does", 拿的 = "that which he gets".

Someone else can probably explain the grammar better than me, but as I understand it, they're both noun phrases, and kind of short-hand for something like "他干的工作” (the work he does) and "他拿的收入" (the income he receives).

Posted on: Lili and Zhang Liang 4: Lovers' Spat
February 18, 2011, 04:16 PM

Just because I feel the need to nitpick a 4-year-old lesson, it's a bit odd that 耐烦 is listed in the Vocab list as meaning patient, when the lesson emphasises that you can't use it that way- just having 不耐烦 on there would make a bit more sense, since that's how it's used in all the examples anyway.

Loving this series, though. The banter in these older intermediate lessons is a good challenge.

Posted on: Discussing Basketball Teams
February 05, 2011, 01:03 AM

The problem is that languages aren't static. They change over time, and some of those changes occur as a result of contact with other languages. I strongly doubt that any modern language is pure in the sense you give; Modern Standard Mandarin certainly isn't (much less English, as mentioned above). Trying to halt that process would be artificial and probably impossible. Which, in itself, doesn't mean it's a bad idea... But it does mean that we might want a better reason than the unsupported assertion that loanwords shouldn't be imported because they aren't cool.

So, even if we could isolate languages from outside influences, why would we want to?

Posted on: Discussing Basketball Teams
February 04, 2011, 10:12 AM

What exactly do you mean by 'purity' in a language, and why do you think it ought to be preserved? What do you think is "lame" about loanwords being imported from foreign languages? What do you find problematic about the use of Arabic numerals in Chinese script?

Posted on: New Employee in the Office
February 01, 2011, 04:34 PM

I think you're right (baba), and even those of us who aren't bilingual do it at least in one direction. If a Chinese friend asks me how to express a Chinese sentence (which I understand) in English, I'll often give a relatively literal translation, then add "but what we would probably say there is...".

On the audio review, I prefer it the way it is. It's not a perfect way to practice constructing sentences, for the reasons selfcontrol mentioned, but it's about the best that can be done without actually interacting with another speaker. Listening practice is everywhere on CPod. Though, having a couple of sentences the other way around in addition to the current style could be good, to add some variety.

Posted on: The Various Guises of "Until"
January 31, 2011, 03:55 PM

I'm the opposite, there. If I want to know how to say grey, I can look it up in a dictionary. On the other hand, there are a lot of grammar points, and subtle distinctions between similar words, that actually need to be explained. I wouldn't mind seeing a little bit less banter and a bit more explanation/discussion of the topic itself, but I think Qing Wen generally does what it's meant to do quite well.