像是 / 像

sqlines

Senior Member
Dutch
Hi,

I was wondering whether there is a rule which determines when to use '像是' and when to use '像' for 'such as', or is it something that only native speakers can know when to use either of them?

Thanks.
 
  • sqlines

    Senior Member
    Dutch
    Hi Fourbits,

    Someone told me that they have the same meaning, but was not able to explain why in some cases one of them is the better choice.
    I was looking for examples where the distinction between them is clearly made.
     

    liria0504

    New Member
    Traditional Chinese, Taiwanese-Taiwan
    Hi,

    I was wondering whether there is a rule which determines when to use '像是' and when to use '像' for 'such as', or is it something that only native speakers can know when to use either of them?

    Thanks.

    Hi,
    To use "as/like" in a colloquial way, we say "就像是" or "就像".
    For example: (when describing things)
    青春就像是一朵盛開的花朵。(Youth is like a blossoming flower.)
    Literally, it is meant "in the flower of sb's youth".


    We use 就像是 quite often in an informal conversation.


    For "such as" to translate into Chinese, you can use either 像、像是 或(or) 比如. "比如" is formal, you see this adjetive in text books very often, and some people use it in conversations but not as common as 就像是 或 就像.

    It really depending on your content, for this example of 像是「冬天的故事」等(etc)… You are preferably to use 像是、就像是、比如

    As I mentioned before,if you want to say 像一朵花,you can also say 像是一朵花. The "是" is emphasised on the object that you're describing.

    Hope this will help.:)
     

    sqlines

    Senior Member
    Dutch
    I am confused now.
    Someone told me with respect to 'until' (一直到 or 直到)that it is important to form a 'balanced sentence'.
    So when there is only 1 character coming after 'until' then it is better to use 一直到 instead of 直到. For example, 一直到老。

    With respect to the following :
    "As I mentioned before,if you want to say 像一朵花,you can also say 像是一朵花."

    像一朵花 forms a balanced sentence.
    像是一朵花 on the other hand is out of balance.
    Therefore, according to the 'rule of balance' 像一朵花 should be preferred.
     

    BODYholic

    Senior Member
    Chinese Cantonese
    I am confused now.
    Someone told me with respect to 'until' (一直到 or 直到)that it is important to form a 'balanced sentence'.
    So when there is only 1 character coming after 'until' then it is better to use 一直到 instead of 直到. For example, 一直到老。

    There is a slight difference in the emphasis between 一直到 and 直到. Rest assured that it has little to do with balancing a sentence.

    像一朵花 forms a balanced sentence.
    像是一朵花 on the other hand is out of balance.

    You need a context or situation to appreciate the differences between the two.
    a. A pair of twin standing next to each other in front of you. Both of them are clearly visible to you. You say, "A 像 B" or "B 像 A".

    b. On a raining day, you saw a man across the road who looks like your father. You say hesitatingly, "对街的人像是我老爸."
     

    Geysere

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    a. A pair of twin standing next to each other in front of you. Both of them are clearly visible to you. You say, "A 像 B" or "B 像 A".

    b. On a raining day, you saw a man across the road who looks like your father. You say hesitatingly, "对街的人像是我老爸."
    Those are very good examples. And as I see it, "像" merely points out the resemblance between two things, while "像是" implies that (in the above example)the man so resembles your father that you are not sure and almost take him as your father.
    Or in literature when you want to compare something to another, we usually say "A就像是B", as liria0504 suggested. However, we say "像...一样" but rarely"像是...一样"
     

    sqlines

    Senior Member
    Dutch
    Thanks for all the responses. I appreciate it.
    Somehow I have the feeling that we are talking about different things.
    The examples given pertain to the fact that something/ someone looks like something else/ someone else.

    I am actually referring to the English word 'such as' which in Chinese is the character 如。
    I noticed that 像是 was used to render the meaning of 'such as'.
    Now, in that context I posed the question 'when to use 像 and when to use 像是。
     

    Geysere

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    For "such as", we say "例如" or "比如(说)" or just "如", and less formal is "像". However I've never seen "像是" as "such as". :confused: I noticed your link is from Taiwan, maybe that expression is common in Taiwan?
     

    liria0504

    New Member
    Traditional Chinese, Taiwanese-Taiwan
    For "such as", we say "例如" or "比如(说)" or just "如", and less formal is "像". However I've never seen "像是" as "such as". :confused: I noticed your link is from Taiwan, maybe that expression is common in Taiwan?
    Hi Geysere,
    那個像是,原本是提問的人說的(請看最最先前,第一個帖子),我只是想辦法解釋。
    但是看來,好像我的解釋更困惑他了。
    所以你能幫忙解釋就先跟你說聲謝謝啦~
     

    Geysere

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China

    Hi Geysere,
    那個像是,原本是提問的人說的(請看最最先前,第一個帖子),我只是想辦法解釋。
    但是看來,好像我的解釋更困惑他了。
    所以你能幫忙解釋就先跟你說聲謝謝啦~

    Hi liria, I think the weblink given by sqlines is from Taiwan, although I cannot open it. You are from Taiwan, so maybe you know whether 像是 can mean "such as" in Taiwan?
     

    xiaolijie

    Senior Member
    UK
    English (UK)
    BODYholic said:
    a. A pair of twin standing next to each other in front of you. Both of them are clearly visible to you. You say, "A 像 B" or "B 像 A".

    b. On a raining day, you saw a man across the road who looks like your father. You say hesitatingly, "对街的人像是我老爸."
    (Setting aside 像是 can mean "such as"), I think BODYholic has got very close to the difference between 像 and 像是:

    When you use 像, you use it in the literal sense, referring to an obsevable fact: A is like B, A looks like B in appearance.
    When you use 像是, you tend to compare A and B in the figurative sense, you mean A looks as if B in your view, and that you're only stating an opinion, a judgement.

    You can therefore use 像是 between 2 things which don't look similar at all physically, whereas 像 generally requires that there's some physical similarity between the 2 things being compared. However, as the way language works, you can find exceptions to what I've said but this is basically the difference between 像 and 像是.
     
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    BODYholic

    Senior Member
    Chinese Cantonese
    Thanks for all the responses. I appreciate it.
    Somehow I have the feeling that we are talking about different things.
    The examples given pertain to the fact that something/ someone looks like something else/ someone else.

    I am actually referring to the English word 'such as' which in Chinese is the character 如。
    I noticed that 像是 was used to render the meaning of 'such as'.
    Now, in that context I posed the question 'when to use 像 and when to use 像是。

    像是
    1. Such as, for example & etc.
    2. looks like.
    Example,
    对街的人像是我老爸。:tick: (He looks like my father from where I am observing. But I am not sure. Perhaps he is standing too far away or the light is too dim.)
    对街的人像我老爸。:tick: (In this case, you are certain that the person is not your dad, although he looks like him.)



    1. Near resemblance of 2 subjects.
    Example,
    我长得像我老爸。:tick:
    我长得像是我老爸。:cross: (It's not so much of grammatical error but it sounds illogical/odd.)

    2. Use to construct proposition.
    Examples,
    像我们这种书读得不多的人,很难找到一份优差。:tick:
    像是我们这种书读得不多的人,很难找到一份优差。:cross:

    像他那样好吃懒做,真是社会的寄生虫。:tick:
    像是他那样好吃懒做,真是社会的寄生虫。:cross:


    Hope this clears your doubts.
     

    sqlines

    Senior Member
    Dutch
    Last part of '像我们这种书读得不多的人,很难找到一份优差' I do not understand.
    People like us who have not studied much, it is very difficult to find a ...??

    As to my original question, I can read from someone's response that the use of '像是' in the sense of 'such as' is used in Taiwan but not on the mainland.
    How about in Singapore? Probably not, considering the response so far.

    By the way, it is nice that you make use of idioms in your examples.
    Hopefully you will illustrate your examples with many more constructions such as '说给。。。听' and the likes.
     

    xiaolijie

    Senior Member
    UK
    English (UK)
    Last part of '像我们这种书读得不多的人,很难找到一份优差' I do not understand.
    People like us who have not studied much, it is very difficult to find a ...??
    Like you, I'm waiting for a reply as I couldn't find 优差 in any dictionary.
    (From the context of the sentence, I guess it means "job", but I still need confirmations and need to know how to pronounce it :)).
     

    BorisDtt

    Member
    Cantonese
    Last part of '像我们这种书读得不多的人,很难找到一份优差' I do not understand.
    People like us who have not studied much, it is very difficult to find a ...??

    As to my original question, I can read from someone's response that the use of '像是' in the sense of 'such as' is used in Taiwan but not on the mainland.
    How about in Singapore? Probably not, considering the response so far.

    By the way, it is nice that you make use of idioms in your examples.
    Hopefully you will illustrate your examples with many more constructions such as '说给。。。听' and the likes.

    优差 = a cushy job/ a fat job
     

    WhisperBlade

    New Member
    Mandarin - China
    sqlines:

    This is a Chinese language liaison. They can be used interchangeably and are never wrong. However, one sounds better than the other in most cases. Use discretion.

    Endless examples will not justify the use of one or the other. Only using it in colloquial dialogue will give you mastery of their uses.
     

    BorisDtt

    Member
    Cantonese
    sqlines:

    This is a Chinese language liaison. They can be used interchangeably and are never wrong. However, one sounds better than the other in most cases. Use discretion.

    Endless examples will not justify the use of one or the other. Only using it in colloquial dialogue will give you mastery of their uses.

    I do agree.
     

    BODYholic

    Senior Member
    Chinese Cantonese
    Last part of '像我们这种书读得不多的人,很难找到一份优差' I do not understand.
    People like us who have not studied much, it is very difficult to find a ...??
    Please refer to the definition given by BorisDtt.
    In case you are interested, the opposite of 优差 is 苦差。 差(chai1) is an old word for work/job.

    As to my original question, I can read from someone's response that the use of '像是' in the sense of 'such as' is used in Taiwan but not on the mainland.
    How about in Singapore? Probably not, considering the response so far.
    Both are accepted but they have different meanings.

    Q: What kind of music do you like?
    A1: ... 蓝调,爵士乐或交响乐。 -> ... for examples, blues, jazz and symphony. In this case, I am very certain exactly what I like.

    A2: ... 像是蓝调,爵士乐或交响乐。 -> 类似蓝调,爵士乐或交响乐。I can't really describe exactly the type of music I like, but I know it sounds like blues, jazz or symphony. Maybe.

    By the way, it is nice that you make use of idioms in your examples.
    Hopefully you will illustrate your examples with many more constructions such as '说给。。。听' and the likes.

    Oh! Did I use idioms? Anyway, 你那样孜孜不倦的学习精神,将来必成大器。干八嗲哟! 加油!:thumbsup:
     
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    sqlines

    Senior Member
    Dutch
    Hi BODYholic,

    First of all, thanks for encouraging me to continue to study the language.
    Regarding your examples, A1 is precisely what I mean (i.e. I like to eat fruits such as kiwi,mango,banana,etc).
    In A2,however, where you use 像是, you give a different twist in the translation (the sense is : it sounds like)
    What I mean is 像是 (= such as) like in the sentence below. The sense is not 'it sounds like' but 'such as The Winter's Tale and The Tempest'.
    Those plays were written by Shakespeare. It is a fact, not a maybe, not it sounds like.
    Shakespeare's latest plays were romances, such as The Winter's Tale and The Tempest, which had complex endings and the use of magic and supernatural forces (莎士比亞晚期的劇作多為愛情故事,像是「冬天的故事」、「暴風雨」,有複雜的故事結局,還運用了魔法以及超自然的力量)。
    Now, in this context I asked why 像是 is used and why not .
    Then someone in this forum said "In this case 像是 should be used and not 像' (referring to the Shakespeare's case), but he/she did not explain why.
    So, I wanted to know how to determine for cases like in the above-mentioned sentence, whether I should use 像是 or 像 (referring to a fact).

    As to

    'This is a Chinese language liaison. They can be used interchangeably and are never wrong. However, one sounds better than the other in most cases. Use discretion.
    Endless examples will not justify the use of one or the other. Only using it in colloquial dialogue will give you mastery of their uses.' ,

    I am completely gobsmacked where that is coming from.
     
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