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Q: 那固B是誰? A: 是個C的(B)

English translation: Q: Who is the person doing B? A: He is the one who does C.

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Chinese term or phrase:Q: 那個B是誰? A: 是個C的(B)
English translation:Q: Who is the person doing B? A: He is the one who does C.
Entered by: R. A. Stegemann
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05:43 Apr 4, 2004
Chinese to English translations [Non-PRO]
Other / 中文文法
Chinese term or phrase: Q: 那固B是誰? A: 是個C的(B)
Please consider the following sentence:

那個穿布衣服的人是誰?是個賣布的,可是他賣花布,不賣藍布。

I am concerned about the use of the word 個 in the answer to the question. Is this normal construction? Would it be wrong to write more simply 是賣布的?
R. A. Stegemann
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 14:23
a
Explanation:
You can do with or without 個, which means 'one person' in the sentence, as show in the following group of four sentences.

那個穿布衣服的人是誰?是個賣布的
那穿布衣服的人是誰?是個賣布的
那個穿布衣服的人是誰?是賣布的
那穿布衣服的人是誰?是賣布的

The use of 個 in Chinese often carries a slight shade of meaning of 'just a' in a contemptuous way.
Selected response from:

Edward LIU
Local time: 01:23
Grading comment
I would like to thank both Xian Jun and Aaron for their help. I found Xian Jun's response most helpful, because he taught me that 個 can be used far more flexibly than I have thought up until now.

As my text always writes 個 in conjunction with 那, however, I will be cautious about Xian Jun's interpretation with regard to contempt.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +1a
Edward LIU
4About the 個Jade Lai


  

Answers


13 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
About the 個


Explanation:
You can do without the 個 if you want to in this situation because the person is just explaining that they sell cloth/fabric

Jade Lai
Local time: 23:23

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Edward LIU: It is he, not they
6 hrs
  -> I am not trying to translate the sentence, just explain 個, but if I were to translate I would use 'he' not 'they'.
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30 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
a


Explanation:
You can do with or without 個, which means 'one person' in the sentence, as show in the following group of four sentences.

那個穿布衣服的人是誰?是個賣布的
那穿布衣服的人是誰?是個賣布的
那個穿布衣服的人是誰?是賣布的
那穿布衣服的人是誰?是賣布的

The use of 個 in Chinese often carries a slight shade of meaning of 'just a' in a contemptuous way.


Edward LIU
Local time: 01:23
Native speaker of: Native in ChineseChinese
PRO pts in category: 66
Grading comment
I would like to thank both Xian Jun and Aaron for their help. I found Xian Jun's response most helpful, because he taught me that 個 can be used far more flexibly than I have thought up until now.

As my text always writes 個 in conjunction with 那, however, I will be cautious about Xian Jun's interpretation with regard to contempt.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Beth Dennison
12 hrs
  -> thanks
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