做<些>什么

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by unworldlythoughts, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. unworldlythoughts New Member

    italian
    Hi everybody again!
    I just stumbled upon this phrase: "你平时喜欢做些什么" and I really don't get what is that 些 for -_- ... Can anybody explain it's use in this phrase? And is there any difference with "你平时喜欢做什么"?
    My guess is that there's no real difference but is just the way a native would say the phrase...
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    As 些 refers to "some, a number of", 做些什么 means you would probably do more than one thing.
    If I ask 你平时喜欢做些什么 instead of 你平时喜欢做什么, I kind of expect more than one hobby that you can tell me.

    By the way, 点 "little, a bit of" is of the same category with 些.
    做点什么 literately means "do a little bit of something". That means the things should not be regular or formal jobs. They are just small, pieces of things.
     
  3. unworldlythoughts New Member

    italian
    Perfect!! thanks a lot!
     
  4. KK_Tse Member

    Chinese - Hong Kong
    As classifier(量词),些 is usually considered as the plural form of 个, 只, 条 ...etc.

    In some situations, however, it has little to do with plurality. For example:
    - 终于看到些希望!
    - 你要喝些什么?
    - 老板,想买些什么呢?(If you go into a shop, you won't probably hear the shopkeeper say “老板,想买什么呢?”)

    If singular classifiers refer to discrete things, 些 refers to non discrete or dense things, which gives the idea of "blur, uncertain, not specific". You may want to compare it with "some" in English in an example like "Well, I do have some idea in mind, but...".

    In practical terms, use ~些什么 when you want to sound "casual, not specific". Can you tell the difference between 1 and 2 below:
    1. 看你折腾了老半天,你找什么?
    2. 先生,您要找些什么呢?
     
  5. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    Compare with 点, 些 still literally indicates the amount is not "little", not "singular", at least.
    Chinese doesn't have plural forms as English does. 看到点希望/看到些希望, 喝点水/喝些水 are different in quantity.
    Just in real life, 喝什么/喝点什么/喝些什么 usually won't matter as the difference is not significant.
    And as you've explained, 些 also refers to non discrete or dense things.

    I think it is not strange to hear 想买什么 in many regions.
    买些什么, as well as calling the customer 老板, might be more like a tradition of Hong Kong Cantonese-speaking stores?
    Cantonese uses 啲 for both 点 and 些. So there's no way to signify their difference in quantity.
     
  6. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin 國語
    终于看到些希望 ==> some (e.g., finally see some hope)
    你要喝些什么 ==> some (e.g., 喝些茶 Would you like some tea?)
    想买些什么呢 ==> some (e.g., 买些菜, 买些牛肉, 买些土豆)
    您要找些什么呢 ==> some (e.g., 找些什么话题, 找些什么事做)
    你平时喜欢做些什么 = 你平时喜欢做一些什么事 ==> some (e.g., What are some of the things you like to do?)
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
  7. unworldlythoughts New Member

    italian
    Thanks everybody now the usage of 些 is so much clear.
    PS sorry for the late answer, I had to write my thesis and completely forgot about the post
     

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