Translation:My older brother plays basketball pretty well.
Could someone please explain the syntax? Why is 打 repeated here? Thanks a lot!
You can interpret the phrase in this way: 打篮球 (且) 打得不错 — play basketball, (and) play it pretty well.
It is wrong to say 他 打篮球 得不错, because we need the previously mentioned verb 打 right before “得 + performance”.
ps. 且 (qiě) and 而且 (ér qiě) equals the conjunction “and”, but they are not used for conjunction of the nominal (persons, objects, noun phrases, etc.).
Thanks, I understand the use of 得 now. However, this use appears to be getting obsoleted.
This seems to be explained in Chinese Grammar Wiki's Degree Complements article: https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Degree_complement#Degree_Complements_with_Objects.
Based on the article, this is a "degree complement with [an] object" where "得不錯" is the degree complement and "籃球" is the object. Since both must be adjacent to the verb ("打"), one must copy the verb to get what is literally, "My older brother plays basketball, plays well.
It also looks like "打" is a special verb that "verbifies" a noun, so "打籃球" (to play basketball) is literally "to basketball" while "打電話" (to call) is literally "to telephone".
Then it would be "my older brother plays basketball not bad" which isn't proper English
I think "My older brother isn't bad at (playing) basketball" would be perfectly fine tho
“not bad” is an informal way to say “pretty good”. It is very much like how we say 不错 “not wrong (not bad)”.
Actually in many of the earlier lessons "not bad" is frequently accepted and even supplied as an answer to several questions for 不错
Well but 'My older brother plays basketball pretty good' is also not accepted
Is "My brother isn't bad/half bad at basketball" a wrong literal translation? I wrote it that way and got it wrong.
不错 (literally “not bad”) is positive, not negative. It means his skill is okay and even above average.
Learned it today. My mind must be tangled then, because actually 不错 is literally “not wrong”. 错 only means “bad” with this negation.
不错 is literally "not bad", as in "not terrible, but not great"--just "ok". "Pretty well" is equivalent because it means "not great, but not bad" --also just ""ok". However, "very well" is more intense/more highly skilled.
What about "alright" as a colloquial synonym of "well"? Isn't "alright" close in meaning to "bu cuo"?
In regard to skills, I think 不错 means “okay”, 还不错 (hái bú cuò) means “passably okay”. So 还不错 is closer to “alright” in my opinion, although both of them could be flexibly transtated as “not bad” or “pretty good”.
"My older brother plays basketball very well" 也应该可以了. 你们的答案数据库请调整了. You're going to have a lot of mistakes to fix. Perhaps you need to cancel this course, go back and take more time to fix everything.