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About the I Have a Question category

  • Do you have a Chinese language question you need answering?
  • Is there a grammar point you just don’t understand?
  • Are there some some similar Chinese words that you just can’t tell apart?

Ask your question and the community will give you some good advice. We’re all here to help each other!

Any really interesting topics will get turned into a Qing Wen Video episode and we’ll mention your question on the show :smile:

i was wondering if you all could do a qingwen on using “instead of.” its something thats not clear in chinese like how to say “why would you use this word instead of that word” or “instead of going to the movies lets go to ktv” i think 反而can be used but im not entirely clear about how. 提前谢谢你们。

I suggest 代替 - ① to replace ② to take the place of

One things that confuses me is the literary equivalent characters. They trip me up whenever I am reading something formal eg 之,將 and I think also 為, 以.

A summary of those would be really useful

This is an old post and there may be a Qing Wen on it but yes “instead of” is a very very tricky thing to do in Chinese. 代替 替代 反而 and just 而 make it quite a challenge. An episode on this would be very welcome. I fell like I can express this idea clearly sometimes but it is a serious brain twister to be able to seamlessly execute sentences like:

“why are we riding bikes in the rain, let’s just take the bus instead.” I am not sure you would even use any of the above mentioned for the best translation of this sentence. You would probably be best just tagging 更好 on the end of it.

“instead, why don’t we just look it up on the internet.”

“instead of driving there, let’s fly.”

“I would rather eat spaghetti instead.”

All of those stand the chance of being completely different. A Qing Wen on this would be very welcome.

YES, please! I second that motion. Point me to an “instead of” Qing Wen, or make us one!

Is there a lesson on the usage of "什么“ as a statement (not as a question word)? If not, I would find it helpful to have one. I am studying at the Pre-Intermediate, almost intermediate level.