User Comments - giannis

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Posted on: The Complement 不了
May 26, 2011, 10:40 AM

I think both 做不完 and 做不了 work in your example. 做不完 would mean "I can't finish" and 做不了would mean "I can't do it." It depends on what you want to emphasize. If the emphasis is that you are slugging away, but have realized that you can't finish it all, then I think one would say 做不完. If the emphasis is that you just can't do it all (and possibly no attempt has even been made), then 做不了. This may seem like too nuanced of an analysis, and it may not be strictly true, but I think that this is the subtle distinction I would employ in choosing between the two options.

Posted on: 利比亚局势
April 07, 2011, 02:50 PM

I liked this episode!  I think you should note in the vocabulary that the full name for NATO in Chinese is:  北大西洋公约组织 (Běi dàxīyáng gōngyuē zǔzhī).

Posted on: Houyi and The Ten Suns
March 30, 2011, 02:48 PM

I agree! The acting was really good. It seemed like you were in someone's house and you could picture the whole scene going down.

Sometimes the mainland pronunciation really catches my attention and that was the case here. Using the "qīngshēng" on "tàiyáng" (i.e., "tàiyang") sounded strange to me. I don't know why.

Posted on: Snoring Again
March 30, 2011, 02:08 PM

Yeah, I think the best way to think about it is like this:

睡觉: Shuì jiào = to sleep

睡着: Shuì zháo = to fall asleep

睡着: Shuì zhe = to be sleeping

Example using all:

我真想睡觉但是因为喝了太多咖啡所以我都睡不着. 我还有个问题. 我也是那种睡着走路的人.

Wǒ zhēn xiǎng shuìjiào dànshì yīnwèi hē le tài duō kāfēi suǒyǐ wǒ dōu shuìbùzháo. Wǒ hái yǒu gè wèntí. Wǒ yě shì nèizhǒng shuìzhe zǒulù de rén.

I really want to sleep but because I drank too much coffee I can't fall asleep at all. I have yet another problem, too. I'm also one of those people who walks while sleeping (i.e., who sleep walks).

Hope that helps.

Posted on: Deadly Complements of Degree
March 29, 2011, 12:26 PM

I think it should be mentioned that 死了is seemingly used more by women than by men. A guy who says 死了 a lot will sound kinda like a woman. Especially the common phrase "气死了". I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that, but it's something worth noting. At least I think so.

Posted on: Rainbow
March 29, 2011, 12:12 PM

I think 青 is technically green and blue.  I think it was the only word that existed for this.  The other terms 绿 and 蓝 are newer to Chinese.

In fact, in Vietnamese, the word 青 is "xanh."  "Xanh" means both green and blue.  There are no other words.  To say blue, you say "xanh" as the sky and to say green you have to say "xanh" as a leaf from a tree.

Anyway, you never taught us how to say rainbow!  It's 彩虹, cǎi hóng, right?  But what does 虹 mean by itself?   Anything?  Is it a kind of reptile?

Posted on: 中国通
February 26, 2011, 08:01 PM

@malilaoshi:  Even better than a friend is a boyfriend or girlfriend.  :-) 

Posted on: 中国通
February 26, 2011, 07:58 PM

I can't type in Chinese on this computer, so sorry.  But I wanted to say that when I was in China/Taiwan in 1999/2000, people would be shocked that someone non-Chinese could speak Chinese or use chopsticks etc.  (mostly in Beijing, not as much in Taiwan or south China).  People would either compliment you profusely or refuse to even comprehend the reality of what was going on.  Once, I was at a restaurant with a Korean friend who spoke NO Chinese, but everytime I would speak, the waiter would answer her, not me!  He wouldn't even look at me.  It was weird because my Korean friend never uttered a word.  I found this inability to grasp reality to be extremely strange.  Now, as this lesson says, I imagine many more foreigners speak Chinese, so it's not as big of a deal.  But I don't know.  Is it?

Posted on: 中国通
February 26, 2011, 07:52 PM

Is this really an American?  Or a Chinese person pretending to be an American? 

Posted on: Dodging Hong Kong Sales Tax
January 29, 2011, 05:40 PM

Cool lesson.  When you were talking about all the different __税 words, I thought of another useful (and related!) word:  免税 (miǎnshuì), as in "duty-free."

As for 打击, I think it's worth noting (maybe just to me!) that in some regions (namely, Taiwan), this could be pronounced "dǎjí" -- in case people hear that and get confused!  Tone police and what not.

Thanks guys!  Nice lesson.