I often use 覺得 when I want to express an opinion (I’m not sure if that’s right). I am wondering if I can use it to say that I ‘think about [覺得] X’, or ‘think of [覺得] X’. For example, if I want to tell my wife ‘I think of you always’, can I use 覺得 for ‘think of’, and 總是 for ‘always’? I have the idea that 總是 could be very useful. I typically use 每天 or 永遠 when I want to say ‘always’, but sometimes it seems that these aren’t strictly appropriate to the context given that 每天 really means ‘every day’ and 永遠 has the sense ‘forever’ (as in 因為國度、權柄、榮耀,全是你的,直到永遠, which is helpfully repeated as the end of the Lord’s Prayer in church every Sunday, where I am learning a surprising amount of Chinese).
That’s fine, e.g. 我覺得她很美
No, those are wrong. Use xiang3 想 for thinking about something (e.g. 我在想某某事), and in the case of your lovely wife, it also means ‘miss’ 我(每天 or 一直 or better yet 常常)(很)想妳.
Your reading and writing are really coming along, eh? Nice job, mate!
Thanks! At work I do my best to send a few emails a week in Chinese, though this sometimes results in avalanches of characters in response from gratefullly enthusiastic colleagues. The songs at church are all in Chinese, projected onto a screen, and since I’m singing them every week I get a lot of exposure to written Chinese. Bible quotes are also projected, and this is helpful because it’s a literary corpus with which I am very familiar in English so when I see a Bible verse in Chinese it’s not too difficult to decipher even if I don’t know some of the characters, and what this does is help me to learn more characters because I can see what the other words must mean. Praying in Chinese also helps my English-Chinese translation skill, and listening to others talk in Chinese improves my listening.
Listening to people carefully also helps me learn grammar and vocabulary. For example, I heard someone say 我吃完了. I knew what this meant, but more usefully it helped me understand which part of 完成 has the semantic value ‘end’ (if you know what I mean). I tentatively tried out my theory in subsequent conversations, and found to my delight that I had understood correctly, I could now say 我寫完了, 我看完了, 我聼完了. So a single phrase helped me decipher a single grammatical point which I could then apply in many different situations.
I made the same kind of discovery with 關掉. As a result of my previous experience with 完成 , I tried using 關 with other words (開關, 關閉), and sure enough it works. A little thoughtful consideration led me to the conclusion that I had actually learned something fundamental about the two character structure of many Chinese verbs, and I am continuing to explore this.
so how does one distinguish between I’m thinking of you and I’m missing you when using the words wo xiang ni. seems like there’s quite a few words with this dilemma and when I ask about it, people tell me “oh, it’s context” but when I dig deeper, they are just guessing.
The whole thing with the characters seems to be that one character has a basic semantic meaning, and you add another character to clarify its contextual semantic meaning. So for ‘I miss you’, I use 我想念你, where 念 qualifies the specific kind of 想 that I’m doing.
Well, you can certainly change 想 xiang3 to 想念 xiang3nian4 to clarify that you’re indeed missing someone, but it is often context. If you say 我想妳 wo3 xiang3 ni3 directly to someone or 我想白小姐 wo3 xiang3 Miss Bai, it’s likely to be interpreted as xiang3nian4, to miss. But if your spouse sees you deep in thought and asks 你在想什麼? ni3 zai4 xiang3 shen2me? and you reply 白先生 ‘Mr. Bai’, you’re probably just thinking about him rather than missing him. Or you might add some other aspect of him rather than him per se, e.g. ‘Mr. Bai’s plight’ to avoid the meaning of ‘missing’.
我正在想妳 = I’m thinking of you right now.
我在想著妳 = I’m thinking of you at the moment.
我正在想著妳 = I’m thinking of you right at the moment.
We use most of times 大哥 for older males to show respect. Few times we would use 大哥 for younger males purposely to show they are childish in a teasing way. We use 哥哥 most of times for biological elder brothers, or sometimes when females calling any grown-up males in a naive way with a naive voice. But also few times we would also use 哥哥 for younger males purposely to show they are childish in a teasing way.
I understand (from a reliable native-speaking source) that you can use 想到 to clarify that the action is “thinking” rather than “missing”.
我常常想到妳: I often think about you.
I think another good and very specific way to say that you are thinking of a particular thing/person in some cases is to add “到” to the 想. So for example, if you some says - What you just said made me think of ___ - you could say 你剛才講的讓我想到… 到 means to arrive so you could think of it as ‘to come to the thought’ of something.
Ah crap, Chris beat me to it.
Yes, good points in all the above posts too (on 想到 and 大哥).
We use most of times 大哥 for older males to show respect. Few times we would use 大哥 for younger males purposely to show they are childish in a teasing way. We use 哥哥 most of times for biological elder brothers, or sometimes when females calling any grown-up males in a naive way with a naive voice. But also few times we would also use 哥哥 for younger males purposely to show they are childish in a teasing way.[/quote]
Thanks for the clarification.