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  5. "It is six years old."

"It is six years old."


November 15, 2017



In Taiwan "它" is further divided into two characters: "牠" and "它". We use "牠" for animals and "它" for nouns which are not people or animals. (Wiktionary says this character is archaic but it's still commonly used in Taiwan.)
Therefore the Taiwan version of this sentence is "牠六歲。"


Well the English sentence just says "it" so it could be referring to a tree or building or something.


2020.6.5 Thank you for all the info about Chinese in Taiwan.

Do you know of any good Internet sources for Taiwan Chinese? I know some words have entirely different meanings and pronunciation, but I wasn't aware a lot of neutral endings in mainland Chinese, were pronounced normally such as your example 丈夫 zhang4fu1 ( tw ) vs zhang4fu ( ch )




I was reading that this form of 它(tā) is not commonly used. Can anyone elaborate?


它 basically represents animal, so not commonly used. for other things without lives, We don't use 它, we use 这(this)or 那(that)


Apparently it's the "it" for use with animals


他=he 她=she 它=it


它 is generally used for an animal, something that doesn't have a gender or the gender is uncertain. It should be uncommon to use '它' because you don't talk about animals very often. If you are talking about your pet or something else that you know the gender of, you would use '他‘ or '她'.


Would 它是六岁 be correct? Why or why not?


You don't use the verb 是 here. This is confusing when you go from English to Chinese, because we use the "to be" verb for so many things that Chinese doesn't. For example, the question "How old are you?" is 你几岁了 (Nĭ jí sùi le), so you should answer the question by swapping out the question words for the answer bits. 我二十九岁 means "I'm(我) 29 (二十九) years old (岁)."

Always remember that because English and Chinese come from such drastically different roots, that a lot our the language conventions from English will absolutely NOT carry over. Be especially careful with your use of 是.

Hope that helped!


Thank you for ypur help


Thank you. Can you explain why "le" is required at the end of the question? Does it solidify the question's meaning to: how many years of age you have "completed"? Is the question not 100% clear without 了?


is 它六年岁 wrong, because 岁 already contains "years" in it ? then, how to say "he is 6 years and a half old" (not sure this is correct English either, but I hope you will see what I mean)


The 年 is unnecessary. It is implied with 岁 which functions as a verb (though its really a measure word for years!) to be a certain number of years old. Six and a half years old would simply be 它六岁半


Thanks for your help


Swedish now has a gender-neutral word for humans. How about Chinese?


The Mando word for humans is 人间 ren2jian1. It has always been gender-neutral.


Why can't I use the contraction word for "it is?" It's

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