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Today I decided to start writing a blog here on SMC. Actually I'm thinking of doing this for a long time. I've talked to a lot of foreigners before. Some of them are really good at speaking Chinese already, but still make some very common mistakes. Native Chinese speakers probably wouldn’t ask or correct you as long as they understand, but I think you might want to know how to say it in a more Chinese way instead of just being understood.
What I'm going to write might not strictly follow grammar rules, but it is how Chinese speakers say it all the time.
Today let's see how to say "or" in Chinese.
还是 (hái shì) is the most common translation for "or" in your book. But did you know that 还是 is only the translation when you use it in question? If it's a statement, we don't say 还是, we say 或 huò (者 zhě)/或(者)是。 或 is short for 或者。
Do you like Beijing or Shanghai better?
Nǐ bǐjiào xǐhuan běijīng háishì shànghǎi?
He might be leaving today or tomorrow.
Tā kěnéng jīntiān huò shì míngtiān líkāi.
Tā kěnéng jīntiān huòzhě míngtiān líkāi.
Tā kěnéng jīntiān háishì míngtiān líkāi.
Any questions and discussions are welcome!
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(photo credit Akuppa
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