Chinese language tips

The meaning of “再” in “你再不走就来不及了”.

In “你再不走就来不及了” does not mean "again," but is a particle."再 + CAUSE + 就 + RESULT" means **"if you keep doing CAUSE then the regrettable RESULT will happen."**In the Oxford English-Chinese Chinese-English dictionary, one of the definitions of 再 is:⑦(引出条件) [used to indicate the continuing of a situation in conditional or suppositional clauses]▸ 离开车只剩半个钟头了,再不走可赶不上火车了。There’s only half an hour before the train leaves, so we’ll miss it unless we get going straight away.▸ 学习再不努力,就得留级了。If you don’t work harder, you won’t make it up to the next grade.

Difference between 需要 and 须要.

A student asked me what the difference was between 需要 and 须要. To be honest I wasn't certain what the difference was. But after some Googling I found out.Here's the difference:* 需要 is followed by nouns. You 需要 some THING. Example: 需要钱* 须要 is followed by adjectives, verbs or clauses. You 须要 DO something or BE a certain way. Examples: 须要挣钱,须要有钱,须要我去工作挣钱。Even native speakers get these two mixed up as this article points out:

Using the differentiating colors for tones has helped me tremendously to learn the tones.

I'm sure a lot of you have already been using this feature on pleco. I've recently decided to improve my tones, and I have been trying everything. Using the pleco color feature has helped to imprint an image in my mind to remember the tones. It works like a charm for me. I'd like to hear other ideas if you have any.

Adj = Can't imagine how Adj (e.g. 心里别提多美了).

A" means "You can't imagine how much...">孩子们看马戏时别提多高兴了。 > >The children had the time of their lives at the circus.* 别 don't* 提 mention* 多 how much"Don't mention" → "don't even bother mentioning since it's so obvious"

Keep language FORMAL and avoid language of everyday speech.

Don't say: "Cinderella was mellow and good. She never let her stepmother get to her ." Say instead: "Cinderella was mild-mannered and kind. She never let her stepmother affect her high spirits ."

But also work on expanding your VOCABULARY.

When reading, look up words you don't know. See how they're used. Start a list. Incorporate them into your writing as you feel comfortable and as they are appropriate.

Use the VOCABULARY that you know.

Don't always feel you have to use big words. It is always better to be clear and use simple language rather than showing off flashy words you aren't sure about and potentially misusing them. This is not to say, however, that you should settle for very weak vocabulary choices (like "bad" or "big" or "mad").


Don't say: "The mystery lady was one who every eligible man at the ball admired." Instead say : "Every eligible man at the ball admired the mystery lady."


Don't say: "The stepsisters were jealous and envious ." Instead say : "The stepsisters were jealous ." (...or envious. Pick one.)

Closely related to this, avoid CHOPPINESS

Don't say: "She scrubbed the floors. They were dirty. She used a mop. She sighed sadly. It was as if she were a servant ." Instead say : (again, there are multiple ways to do this) "She scrubbed the dirty floors using a mop, as if she were a servant. She sighed sadly."