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Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by Yuca007, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. Yuca007 Senior Member

    Hi folks!

    Clarification question: A mother speaks about how she doesn't want her yonger daughter to move out. She says to her older daughter: 我留她和我作伴
    Does she mean: "Only she is left to keep me company", "I only have her left to keep me company", something like that? Or is it rather "I'm left with her and me keeping (each other) company"? I'm wondering about the 和 structure in there.

  2. stellari Senior Member

    Mandarin Chinese
    留 actually means 'make ... stay (at an original/previous position) '. The whole sentence means 'I made her stay to keep me company'.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  3. SuperXW Senior Member

    I see your confusion. The usages of 留:
    1. Stay. e.g. 我留下。 "I stay". 她留下。 "She stays."
    2. Leave somebody to stay (away from me). e.g. 我留下她。 "I leave her here (while I'm away)."
    3. Keep somebody to stay (on my side). e.g. 我留下她。 "I keep her with me (while others are away)."

    You may find usage 2 and 3 contradictory. Yes. You have to judge the meaning according to the context.

    和 is used in the phrase of 和...作伴, "keep...company". The structure is not 我留|她和我|作伴, but 我留她|和我做伴.

    Understanding 和我作伴 is "keep me company", you should know 我留她 means "I'll keep her with me" (usage 3).
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  4. Yuca007 Senior Member

    Thank you, that really helped to understand. 留 sure had me confused before, but I think now it won't be problematic anymore. :)
    What, by the way, would be the proper way to say "All I have left is her to keep my company" or "She's the only one left to keep me company"? Is there a way to construct that with 留 as well?
  5. SuperXW Senior Member

    "All I have left is her to keep my company"
    You can say 只有她留下陪我做伴。
    Or 只剩下她陪我做伴。

    "All I have left is her."
    You can say 我只有她了。/ 我只剩下她了。
    You cannot say 我只留她了。 Because 留 is an intentional action. 我只留她了 means "I only make her to stay."

    "She's the only one left to keep me company"
    You can still say 只有留下陪我做伴。
    Or simply 只有她陪我做伴。
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013

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