和 / comma (and)

spandy_

New Member
Swedish
Hello everyone :)
I've recently started trying to teach myself Mandarin Chinese but there's one thing that confuses me. In sentences where I would write "和" to say "and", a lot of Chinese texts seem to just skip the word and add a comma instead.

Like this for example:
你矮很和苗条。
你娇小、苗条。

How do I know where to write 和 and where to write a comma instead?
 
Last edited:
  • maghanish2

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    From my understanding, 和 is only used to connect two nouns. If you are connecting verbs or adjectives (which in Mandarin act as verbs in a way), you simply use a comma. For example:

    他去了圖書館.
    BUT
    我想吃飯, 睡覺. (no )

    Hope this helped!
     

    DL9

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    I would say it is similar as in other language, you can use as many as and/et/&/, etc. as you like, but too many of them will make it look funny unless it is on purpose. I do not think there is a clear or strict rule on this one except for the legal documents.
     

    Ghabi

    AL/OL/Ar/Zh mod
    Cantonese
    I see you have used "," as the separator in your above example whereas I would have used "、". Or have I got it wrong ?
    "、" or 頓號 is officially recommended, but in everyday writing it's seldom used (especially on internet where it looks so ... urm ... pedantic?).
     

    viajero_canjeado

    Senior Member
    English - Southeastern USA
    And is a real bugaboo for me as an English speaker.. I don't know much about the transition from Swedish, though.

    "And" is sometimes translated "而且,然後,和,跟,還有.." or like you mentioned it is sometimes left out entirely. To be fair, sometimes English's use of "and" is superfluous.

    I've seen 和 used even like the word "at":
    我多麼想和你見一面.

    In sentences like this "and" is often omitted:
    你很友好很耐心.
    我覺得很無聊很不開心.
     

    Ghabi

    AL/OL/Ar/Zh mod
    Cantonese
    At the risk of stating the obvious, I want to add that we don't need any connector when listing things in Chinese. We say 東南西北, 金木水火土, 柴米油鹽醬醋茶 etc, without using any connector. You can see the structure "A, B 和 C", but that's a Western import.
     

    NitaHK

    New Member
    Cantonese
    Ghabi, your examples in post #8 do not seem applicable here. You simply have 一個哥哥、兩個姊姊和一個妹妹,even if they are the ones who buy 柴米油鹽醬醋茶 for the house。

    >"、" or 頓號 is officially recommended, but in everyday writing it's seldom used (especially on internet where it looks so ... urm ... pedantic?).

    I think people are not using it just because they don't know how to type it. And our internet does show how our teenagers don't know their punctuation. Outside of the internet forums, I rarely see 頓號 not properly used. Myself, I type my 頓號s and I dot my I's.
     

    Ghabi

    AL/OL/Ar/Zh mod
    Cantonese
    Ghabi, your examples in post #8 do not seem applicable here. You simply have 一個哥哥、兩個姊姊和一個妹妹,even if they are the ones who buy 柴米油鹽醬醋茶 for the house。
    I'm sorry for not being clear. What I mean is that the "A, B and C" structure was not a norm in pre-modern Chinese, although that's possible (for emphasis or for better rhythm etc), but it's become so common nowadays due to Western influence. I think they even teach this "A, B and C" as the way to go in the Chinese classes in primary school.

    I think people are not using it just because they don't know how to type it. And our internet does show how our teenagers don't know their punctuation. Outside of the internet forums, I rarely see 頓號 not properly used. Myself, I type my 頓號s and I dot my I's.
    I remember that when I first began to read books printed in Mainland China when I was a teenager (soooo many years ago), one of the first things that I noticed was that they didn't use 頓號. Perhaps things have changed these days.
     
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