She lives on her own

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by Zephie, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Zephie New Member

    English - UK

    I'm looking for help with a phrase I want to put in an assignment I'm writing to perform in a speaking exam. In this part, I'm speaking about my fictional grandma.

    So far I have written “ 我今天跟我姐姐去看望我们奶奶。她住在桂林郊区。” However we have to get a 是。。。的 sentence in and I'm struggling. I'd like to say “ 她是 live alone 的 ” 可是我不知道怎么说!

    Can anyone help me please? The phrase needs to say that she lives alone/on her own.
  2. zhg Senior Member

    You could say 她是一个人住的 or 她是 (独居or空巢)老人,but the latter one is quiet different from your English version I don't know if that's what you need...
    By the way, I suggest you should try emphasizing 我姐姐, it's much easier.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  3. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie Senior Member

    English (UK)
    她是一个人住的 is good but I don't think it's a good idea to use "是。。。的" for the first sentence: "我今天是跟我姐姐一起去看望我们奶奶的" at the beginning of the narration. The reason is that you can't just use "是。。。的" any time you want, but only when there is a good reason for using it, that is, when you want to emphasize some element. An emphatic element usually doesn't come at the beginning of a passage, but usually after some introduction. For example: 我今天去看望我奶奶。 是跟我姐姐一起去的。
  4. Zephie New Member

    English - UK
    谢谢你。我写了你的第一个短语 :) I think it works better with what I want to say.

    I also added your other alterations and they really should have been in there to begin with, I only recently learnt 一起 as well.

    Thanks again!

    Thanks for your input but I think you misunderstood my post. I never intended to use the 是。。。的 sentence at the beginning or in that sentence, I was adding to the information and needed to put a 是。。。的 sentence to describe the grandma the person is visiting.

    I've ended up writing: 我今年跟我姐姐一起去看望我们奶奶的。她住在桂林郊区,是一个人住的。
  5. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie Senior Member

    English (UK)
    Zephie, you misunderstood my post :) It was intended for zhg, because of the suggestion in his/ her post:
  6. Zephie New Member

    English - UK
    Ah right, I assumed it was a reply. Either way I missed out the first 是 in the suggestion as I didn't notice it anyway! Although his/her native language appears to be Chinese so I guess it must be okay to say either way.
  7. Lucia_zwl

    Lucia_zwl Senior Member

  8. Zephie New Member

    English - UK
    Yes it is a plan, the assignment is on 春节 and the person is talking about what they are doing for it this year, hence the “今年。。。” :)
  9. Lucia_zwl

    Lucia_zwl Senior Member

    then I'd say 我今年要跟我姐姐一起去看望我们的奶奶。要 indicates the future, or you can replace it with 打算。

    Good luck with your exam:D
  10. Zephie New Member

    English - UK
    Thank you! Although could I not use 会 if I do put in a future indication? From what I understand 要 indicates intention/possibility and 会 indicates something you are definitely going to do (in this case my character's plans are set in stone).
  11. tarlou Senior Member

    I think the difference between 要 and 会 is more about intention rather than how definite the action is.

    "今年我会去看奶奶" is more like "I will be there to see my grandma (according to rules/conventions, or according to a hard but determined decision I just made)".

    So 要 is better here.

    It cannot be omitted if you use 今年.

    Edit: 要 was my understanding in the first glance. Now I think you can use 会 if you've made the decision. 今年,我会和姐姐一起去看望奶奶.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  12. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    是...的: To describe or to emphasize a thing.
    她是自己住的/她是一个人住的 is good enough... Why did you people bring up so many stuffs... x.x
  13. BODYholic Senior Member

    Chinese Cantonese
    She lives alone = 她(独自)一个人住。

    “ 我今天跟我姐姐去看望我们奶奶。她住在桂林郊区。她是 live alone 的 ” --> 今天, 我和姐姐一起去探望我那独自居住在桂林郊区的老奶奶。
  14. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    I do not like this answer, although it's a well-constructed sentence. :(
    1. There's nothing wrong with his/her original sentences. Why did you totally change it...
    2. The learner was trying to use shorter spoken sentences, which is good. You made a long written one...
    3. They have to use 是...的. That's the only thing he/she asked...
  15. shily

    shily Member

    For my part, maybe the following is better.今天我和姐姐一起去看望奶奶,她住在桂林郊区,是一位“空巢”老人,很孤单。I am a teacher, teaching Chinese in a middle school in China.
  16. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    "Alone" not "lonely"... x.x
  17. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Bắc Kinh
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    When teaching Chinese to foreigners, forget to be a middle school teacher. Do as if you were a primary school teacher.
    And I agree with SuperXW: "alone" (独自,一个人)is different than "lonely"(孤单).

    我今年要跟我姐姐一起去看望我们的奶奶。 她是自己住的/她是一个人住的。

    (Just merging Lucia and SuperXW's sentences)
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  18. Zephie New Member

    English - UK
    I know it's a little late but thank you everyone for your input :) I wasn't expecting so many replies but they were all helpful and helped me to construct what I hope was a grammatically correct sentence for the speaking exam.


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