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  5. "你姓李。"


Translation:Your last name is Li.

November 4, 2017



I'm new to learning languages so i don't know all of the technical terms but in Chinese do you not have a verb in the sentence or is this an exception ? For instance : would you include( IS )in a sentence and where would you use it ?


Yes verbs are used, and "is" is a word, but the way Chinese talk about names is different. In an ancient sense, we are saying "You born-into family-Li", in three words. 1) you, 2) born-into and 3) Li. But that is not how we say it in English, so to translate into what an English speaker says, the answer is "Your family name is Li" or "Your last-name is Li", even though Chinese people don't put their family name last. And now that ancient translation of "born-into" has become the word for family-name.


Would 你的姓是李。be acceptable as well?

Also, when should I use 的, and when should I not?


"姓" is a verb here if that helps. You can think if it as something like "to be surnamed" (which is how the FSI Chinese course translates it).


Yes, it's acceptable, but it will sound weird in conversation... so you can just say "你姓李".

About 的 : https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E7%9A%84#Definitions_2 In the "Definitions 2.3.2 " (1.~6., I never heard the 7.) , it's quite clear, hope this will help.
(I feel like it's hard to explain that when to use or not...sometimes it could be omitted.


Yes, although 你的姓氏是李。is apparently the more accurate answer.

的 can be used to show possession, e.g. 她的 (hers). Sometimes you can choose whether or not to use it, since its a ancillary and accessory character.


So does 姓 mean last name?


It means surname, since the family name is the "first name" in Chinese. Here you can translate it as "You're surnamed Lee/Li.".


Is is Li pronounced as bi?


Li, like Lee. You know, like the word 'Leeway'.

[deactivated user]

    Actually, vitofaro1 does have a point. For anyone technically interested in phonetics and phonology, I recommend https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Chinese_phonology


    The character for 'you' and 'your' is the same?


    There is too little explanation. Why are some characters in brown/yellow? Does it mean something different? Is the pronunciation different? You may think that we should guess when we have not been given a word before but Chinese is not an easy language to guess at. Please get real and have some idea of what you are asking us. And be logical about new words. There are several characters which have not yet been translated for us. I'm beginning to lose patience.


    Yellow just means they are new, black means you have seen them before


    I swear I heard Chun li


    This is a poor translation since Chinese give family names first!


    The translation is correct. 姓 Refers specifically to family name.

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