dog's fang

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España, español y catalán
Hello. Would someone kindly tell me if there are any difference between the possessives used to say dog's fang (狗牙 and 狗之牙)? Is someone more "polite" or "literary" than the other or are totally equall? I'm also wondering if these Mandarin gramatical orthers serves in the same way in the case of Cantonese and Classical Chinese languages.

Thank you so much
  • vinceyeung

    New Member
    狗牙 is better for general speaking and writing. 狗之牙 has the same meaning but it looks like more "literary" and old. (I don't know how I should express its feeling properly to you, it sounds like a old chinese shop's name) Grammatically it's the same for Mandarin and Cantonese (and other chinese langauages as well i think?)


    Senior Member
    In the old Chinese text, we use 之 instead of 的. Now in the litterature and in the oral chinese, we would not use 之。You sayed 狗之牙, it sounds very strange for me, because in old chinese we say 犬 not 狗。


    New Member
    We simply use 犬牙 to describe the guy who help bad people do some evil things. 狗 is a curse word in china . another idiom 狗娘养的, mean " Son of bitch" .
    犬牙 is also have the meaning of "uneven" , 犬牙交错.
    Hope this can help you .


    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    in old chinese we say 犬 not 狗。
    說文解字: 狗之有縣蹏者也象形, 孔子曰視犬之字如畫狗也凡犬之屬皆從犬
    狗 gou, from Middle Chinese *kʌ́w, from Old Chinese *kṓ 'dog' (Late Zhou), from Proto-Sino-Tibetan *qōH 'dog, to bark'.
    犬 sounds more archaic not because 狗 didn't exist in Old Chinese, but because 犬 is more common in ancient time and seldom seen in modern daily uses.
    Occasionally, 狗之牙 shows up in modern literature (e.g., 它们是虎之伥、鹰之爪、狗之牙 Unless one has mastered the Chinese language, I agree with others that such expressions should be avoided.
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