Chinese-English parallel texts

Differences in grammar between English and Chinese

English and Chinese belong to different language families and have distinct grammatical structures. Here are some key differences in grammar between the two languages:

Word Order: English follows a subject-verb-object (SVO) word order, where the typical sentence structure is "Subject + Verb + Object." In contrast, Chinese generally follows a subject-object-verb (SOV) word order, where the verb typically comes at the end of the sentence. However, it's important to note that Chinese word order is more flexible compared to English.

Tenses: English has a complex system of tenses to indicate time, including past, present, and future. Chinese, on the other hand, has a relatively simpler tense system. Chinese verbs do not inflect for tense, and the context or additional words are used to indicate the timeframe.

Articles: English has definite and indefinite articles (i.e., "the" and "a/an") that are used to specify or generalize nouns. Chinese does not have articles, so nouns are generally used without articles.

Plural Forms: English has plural forms for nouns, usually created by adding "-s" or "-es" to the noun. Chinese nouns generally do not have plural forms and remain the same regardless of singular or plural context.

Verb Conjugation: English verbs have various forms to indicate tense, person, and number. These include adding "-s" for third-person singular present tense and using past tense forms like "-ed" or irregular forms. Chinese verbs do not conjugate based on tense, person, or number. The same verb form is typically used regardless of these factors.

Gender and Pronouns: English has gender-specific pronouns like "he," "she," and "it." Chinese does not have gender-specific pronouns, and a single pronoun "ta" can be used to refer to "he," "she," or "it." Context helps determine the intended referent.

Sentence Particles: Chinese uses sentence-final particles to convey additional meanings or attitudes, such as indicating a question, expressing emphasis, or indicating doubt. English does not have a comparable system of sentence particles.

These are just a few examples of grammatical differences between English and Chinese. Both languages have unique characteristics, and understanding these distinctions can help learners navigate their grammar and sentence structures more effectively.

English and Chinese are two very different languages, and there are many differences in their grammar. Here are a few of the most notable differences:

Word order

English has a relatively fixed word order, with the subject of the sentence coming first, followed by the verb and then the object. Chinese, on the other hand, has a more flexible word order. The subject of the sentence typically comes first, but the verb and object can come in different orders.


English has a complex system of tenses, which is used to indicate the time of an action. Chinese, on the other hand, does not have tenses. Instead, Chinese uses aspect markers to indicate whether an action is completed, ongoing, or habitual.


English has two articles: "a" and "the". Chinese does not have articles.


English nouns have number (singular or plural) and case (nominative, accusative, genitive, or dative). Chinese nouns do not have number or case.


English verbs have tense, aspect, voice, and mood. Chinese verbs do not have tense, aspect, or voice. However, Chinese verbs do have mood.


English adjectives can come before or after the noun they modify. Chinese adjectives typically come before the noun they modify.


English adverbs typically come after the verb they modify. Chinese adverbs can come before or after the verb they modify.


English negation is typically formed using the word "not". Chinese negation is formed using the word "不" (bù).


English questions are typically formed by inverting the subject and verb. Chinese questions are formed using question particles.

These are just a few of the many differences in grammar between English and Chinese. Learning the grammatical differences between the two languages can be challenging, but it is essential for fluent communication.

Here is an example of a sentence in English and Chinese, with the grammatical differences highlighted:

English: The cat sat on the mat. Chinese: 猫坐在垫子上。 (Māo zuòzài diànzi shàng.)

  • Word order: The subject ("the cat") comes first in both languages, followed by the verb ("sat") and then the object ("the mat").
  • Tenses: English uses the past tense ("sat") to indicate that the action happened in the past. Chinese does not use tenses, so there is no equivalent to the past tense in the Chinese sentence.
  • Articles: English uses the definite article "the" to indicate that the cat is a specific cat. Chinese does not use articles, so there is no equivalent to the definite article in the Chinese sentence.
  • Nouns: The English noun "cat" is singular, while the Chinese noun "猫" (māo) can be singular or plural.
  • Verbs: The English verb "sat" is past tense, indicative mood, and active voice. The Chinese verb "坐" (zuò) is non-tensed, indicative mood, and intransitive.
  • Adjectives: The English adjective "the" comes before the noun it modifies ("mat"). The Chinese adjective "垫子" (diànzi) comes after the noun it modifies ("猫").
  • Adverbs: There are no adverbs in either sentence.
  • Negation: There is no negation in either sentence.
  • Questions: There is no question in either sentence.

I hope this helps!



[Overview of English Grammar]


Here's a question for you:


What is the hardest part of learning English?


Pronunciation,grammar,or vocabulary?


Let's see:




as long as you don‘t make obvious mistakes,


having an accent is no big deal.


As for vocabulary,


you could acquire a reasonably large vocabulary thorough reading or verbal communication,


or you could simply go thorough "word lists".


But grammar...


Ah,it's whole different story.


You see plenty of people with good pronunciation and vocabulary still making grammar mistakes in every other sentence.


A regional accent might be a part of your

identity that you can be proud of,


but can you also be proud of grammar mistakes?


Perhaps not.


Also,should you ever try to memorize grammar rules 

the same way you memorize new words?


It's not like you have time to recall a rule before you speak,right?


The fact is,grammar can be tough.


And the whole English grammar system just seems like a big mess,doesn’t it?


I'm here to help.



1. 英语重结构,汉语重语义



  Children will play with dolls equipped with personality chips, computers with inbuilt personalities will be regarded as workmates rather than tools, relaxation will be in front of smell television, and digital age will have arrived。


       这句英语是由四个独立句构成的并列句,前三个句子都用简单将来时,最后一个句子用的是将来完成时,句子之间的关系通过时态、逗号和并列连词and表 示得一清二楚。而汉语译文明显就是简单的叙述,至于句子之间的关系完全通过句子的语义表现出来:前三个句子可以看成是并列关系,最后一个句子则表示结果。

  2. 英语多长句,汉语多短句

  由于英语是"法治"的语言,只要结构上没有出现错误,许多意思往往可以放在一个长句中表达;汉语则正好相反,由于是"人治",语义通过字词直接表 达,不同的意思往往通过不同的短句表达出来。正是由于这个原因,考研(论坛) 英译汉试题几乎百分之百都是长而复杂的句子,而翻译成中文经常就成了许多短小的句子。


  Interest in historical methods had arisen less through external challenge to the validity of history as an intellectual discipline and more from internal quarrels among historians themselves.


  英文原句是个典型的长句,由27个词组成,中间没有使用任何标点符号,完全靠语法结构使整个句子的意思化零为整:less through...and more from构成一个复杂的状语修饰动词arisen。在中文翻译中,"产生兴趣"这一重要内容通过一个独立的句子表达,两个不同的原因则分别由不同的句子表 达,整个句子被化整为零。

  3. 英语多从句,汉语多分句

  英语句子不仅可以在简单句中使用很长的修饰语使句子变长,同时也可以用从句使句子变复杂,而这些从句往往通过从句引导词与主句或其它从句连接,整个 句子尽管表面上看错综复杂却是一个整体。汉语本来就喜欢用短句,加上表达结构相对松散,英语句子中的从句翻成汉语时往往成了一些分句。


  On the whole such a conclusion can be drawn with a certain degree of confidence but only if the child can be assumed to have had the same attitude towards the test as the other with whom he is compared, and only if he was not punished by lack of relevant information which they possessed.


  原文中两个only if引导的从句显然使整个句子变得很复杂,可是由于有并列连词but和and,整句话的逻辑关系十分清楚:…能够得出结论…但是只要…而且只要…。从上面 的译文我们可以看出,为了使中文表达更加清楚,but only if...and only if...首先提纲挈领:但是必须具备两个条件……,这种做法给我们的感觉是译文中没有从句,有的只是一些不同的分句。

  4. 主语、宾语等名词成分“英语多代词,汉语多名词”


  英语不仅有we、you、he、they等人称代词,而且还有that、which之类的关系代词,在长而复杂的句子,为了使句子结构正确、语义清 楚,同时避免表达上的重复,英语往往使用很多代词。汉语虽然也有代词,但由于结构相对松散、句子相对较短,汉语里不能使用太多的代词,使用名词往往使语义 更加清楚。请看下面的例句:

  There will be television chat shows hosted by robots, and cars with pollution monitors that will disable them when they offend.


  5. 英语多被动,汉语多主动


  It must be pointed out that...必须指出……

  It must be admitted that...必须承认……

  It is imagined that...人们认为……

  It can not be denied that...不可否认……

  It will be seen from this that...由此可知……

  It should be realized that...必须认识到……

  It is (always) stressed that...人们(总是)强调……

  It may be said without fear of exaggeration that...可以毫不夸张地说……


  And it is imagined by many that the operations of the common mind can by no means be compared with these processes, and that they have to be required by a sort of special training.


  原文中有三个被动语态is imagined, be compared和be required,译成汉语都变成了主动表达:认为、相比和掌握。



  New sources of energy must be found, and this will take time, but it is not likely to result in any situation that will ever restore that sense of cheap and plentiful energy we have had in the past time.


  6. 英语多变化,汉语多重复

  熟悉英语的人都知道,英语表达相同的意思时往往变换表达方式。第一次说"我认为"可以用"I think",第二次再用"I think"显然就很乏味,应该换成"I believe"或"I imagine"之类的表达。相比之下,汉语对变换表达方式的要求没有英语那么高,很多英语中的变化表达译成重复表达就行了。请看下面的例子:

  The monkey's most extraordinary accomplishment was learning to operate a tractor. By the age of nine, the monkey had learned to solo on the vehicle.


  7. 英语多抽象,汉语多具体



  disintegration 土崩瓦解

  ardent loyalty 赤胆忠心

  total exhaustion 筋疲力尽

  far-sightedness 远见卓识

  careful consideration 深思熟虑

  perfect harmony 水乳交融

  feed on fancies 画饼充饥

  with great eagerness 如饥似渴

  lack of perseverance 三天打鱼,两天晒网

  make a little contribution (捐款;捐助)添砖加瓦

  on the verge of destruction 危在旦夕


  Until such time as mankind has the sense to lower its population to the points whereas the planet can provide a comfortable support for all, people will have to accept more "unnatural food."


  原文中有三个抽象的名词:sense, point和support和两个抽象的形容词comfortable和unnatural。根据大纲中词汇表提供的解释,sense可指“感觉”、“判 断力”,point的意思是“点”,support的意思是“支撑(物)”、“支持(物)”,comfortable是“舒适的”,unnatural是 “非自然的”,都是意思十分抽象的词,如果不进行具体化处理,译文就可能是这样:除非人类有这样的感觉,把人口减少到这样的,使地球能为大家提供舒适的支 持,否则人们将不得不接受更多的"非自然的食物"。

  8. 英语多引申,汉语多推理

  英语有两句俗话:一是You know a word by the company it keeps.(要知义如何,关键看词伙),二是Words do not have meaning, but people have meaning for them.(词本无义,义随人生)。这说明词典对词的定义和解释是死的,而实际运用中的语言是活的。从原文角度来说,这种活用是词义和用法的引申,翻译的 时候要准确理解这种引申,译者就需要进行推理。


  While there are almost as many definitions of history as there are historians, modern practice most closely conforms to one that sees history as the attempt to recreate and explain the significant events of the past.


  "recreate"根据构词法和一般词典上解释都是“重新创造”,而考研英语大纲词汇表中只有名词"recreation",所给词义为"娱乐、 消遣",在这种情况下,考生很容易把recreate译成“重新创造”或者“娱乐”。仔细观察recreate不难发现它带有宾语the significant events of the part,从逻辑上来讲,"过去的重大历史事件"是不能"重新创造"的,作者显然对recreate一词的词义进行了引申。做翻译的人经常会有这样一种感 受:某个词明明认识,可就是不知道该怎样表达。这其实就是词的引申和推理在起作用。

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