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    #11

    re: The Chinese Rural Environment

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    1. Use passive voice if the subject is unknown;e.g., The universe was created [by?].

    2. Right. It's usually singular. Sorry. Let's change it: the standard of living in rural areas ...

    __________________
    I eat white steamed buns every day.
    That's because you have lived in China for some time and know something about Chinese culture. And really they are white. Then you neglect the awkwardness in "white steamed buns." Geoge W. Bush, when asked by European school children about what the White House was like, answered, "It's white."

  1. Soup's Avatar
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    #12

    re: The Chinese Rural Environment

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmyrichard View Post
    Then you neglect the awkwardness in "white steamed buns."
    The only real difference, actually, is the omitted comma:
    white, steamed buns
    steamed, white buns
    Food for thought: Aren't white buns always steamed?

    _________________________
    I fail to see the connection between the White House and white, steamed buns.

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    #13

    re: The Chinese Rural Environment

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    The only real difference, actually, is the omitted comma:
    white, steamed buns
    steamed, white buns
    Food for thought: Aren't white buns always steamed?

    _________________________
    I fail to see the connection between the White House and white, steamed buns.
    I meant that there is no need to emphasize that they are white. Bush's answer has been taken as a joke. The translator just translated the Chinese word literally, and we Chinese know there's another type of steamed bun which is made of corn instead of flour and is not white and not as nice to eat. We do not need to quarrel here. I would invite you to comment on my revision and comments. Thanks.

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    #14

    re: The Chinese Rural Environment

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmyrichard View Post
    I meant that there is no need to emphasize that they are white.
    And yet, there are corn/yellowish steamed buns, which makes 'white' necessary, no? (No quarrel here. I prefer the white, steamed buns, too.)

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmyrichard
    ]Bush's answer has been taken as a joke. The translator just translated the Chinese word literally
    Oh, and you see, that little bit of information would have been helpful, wouldn't you agree? The way you worded it sounded as if the President was the one who had erred.

    ________________
    I'm curious, why did you choose the name 'ohmyrichard'?

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    #15

    re: The Chinese Rural Environment

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmyrichard View Post
    In my opinion, we usually use "compared to / with" rather than "comparing with" unless the subject of the sentence is the doer of the action of comparing. And "white steamed buns" may confuse native speakers and it is a literal translation of the Chinese words. As for "improve", I think either the passive or the active will do. I see no big difference between the two.And I'm afraid "living standards" is a mistake. Besides, we don't need to capitalize the word after the semi-colon.
    Hi ohmyrichard,

    Thank you for your comment. I'll bear them in my mind.

    As to the usage of "improve", I'd like to discuss a bit further because I am still in the dark. I'll post my question in next post.

    China pays for all these gains at a dear price.
    The phrase of "at a price" is an idiom , please read the definition as the following. I am wondering whether it is necessary to add "dear" or not. Would you or other forumites respond to this question?

    at a price1. if you can get something at a price, you have to pay a lot of money for it. Forged passports are available, at a price.
    2. if you can get something at a price, you have to accept something unpleasant in order to get it. Progress has been achieved, but at a price. Many who worked on farms and in factories are now without jobs.
    Thanks a lot.

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    #16

    re: The Chinese Rural Environment

    1. Use passive voice if the subject is unknown;e.g., The universe was created [by?].

    I think I understood the usage of passive voice basically. But I am in the dark about "improve" and "voice".

    2. Right. It's usually singular. Sorry. Let's change it: the standard of living in rural areas ...

    Thanks for your clarification.

    __________________
    I eat white steamed buns every day.

    Is it also easily available in Canada too?
    Well, I'd like to stick to "improve". It is usually passive voice for "improve" in Mandarin if the subject is not a person. Do you think both active and passive voices are correct as "ohmyrichard" suggests above?

    For example, we need to improve the air quality so we had to close polluted factories. Now air quality has (been) improved (by us.)

    I think air quality can not improve by itself if without our efforts. So I use passive voice. Any other way to let me understand yours? Or I am afraid I have to remember it by rote.
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 14-Jun-2008 at 16:35.

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    #17

    re: The Chinese Rural Environment

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Well, I'd like to stick to "improve". It is usually passive voice for "improve" in Mandarin if the subject is not a person. Do you think both "active" and "passive" voices are correct as "ohmyrichard" suggests above?
    Improve and standard of living collate--go together.

    As for passive vs active, keep it active, the standard of living has (since then) improved, unless, that is, you have a good reason to use passive voice--omit the doer/the subject.

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    #18

    re: The Chinese Rural Environment

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Improve and standard of living collate--go together.

    As for passive vs active, keep it active, the standard of living has (since then) improved, unless, that is, you have a good reason to use passive voice--omit the doer/the subject.
    Thank you for your reply. Don't really understand. Should the following sentences with "improve" be in active voice?

    #1 Working condition in the factory has improved.
    #2 His health has improved
    #3 Air quality of the city has improved
    #4 His financial condition has improved.

    Is there any other application of "improve" which is in passive voice? If yes, could you please give me an example? Thank you.

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    #19

    Thumbs up re: The Chinese Rural Environment

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    And yet, there are corn/yellowish steamed buns, which makes 'white' necessary, no? (No quarrel here. I prefer the white, steamed buns, too.)

    Oh, and you see, that little bit of information would have been helpful, wouldn't you agree? The way you worded it sounded as if the President was the one who had erred.

    ________________
    I'm curious, why did you choose the name 'ohmyrichard'?
    It is not that I worded it in a particular way. I read it in the news. Perhaps it was because he gave an answer which made no sense that he was laughed at. You know he is famous for slips. But actually in this case his answer was not senseless. You can describe the White House as white and the Yellow River as yellow and nowadays even yellower due to loess erosion and sand storms.
    Before China adopted the open and reform policy, the then Chinese villagers lived a poor life that you probably can never imagine and couldn't afford to make steamed buns with wheat flour, which was then much more expensive than corn. And even in coastal areas and central China which produced rice people could not afford eat rice all year around. But the then city dwellers and workers in state-run enterprises and some big township collective enterprises(When the reform began, the name was changed to state-owned ) were privileged; being a city dweller or a worker in those enterprises meant low-price grain or food, public housing, free health care and a lot of other benefits. But the country folks enjoyed none of these. And this is why white steamed buns were so white in the eyes of poor villagers of that era. And now we think of that period of time when we enjoy anything on the kitchen table now and especially when our children are so picky about food and complain that this or that food is not so tasty. Now everything has changed in our country. Often when I am on the way home after work, I see people waiting in a long line to buy corn steamed buns which are not white and in my opinion not so tasty either.I tried very hard but I don't know if I have explained everything explicitly.
    When I was trying to register at 163.com, I first choose Richard as my username but was told someone had used that for his username.And then I tried myrichard without thinking about any of its potential implications and was refused. In the end I used ohmyrichard and I have been using ohmyrichard to register at any website if I am required to register to enjoy privileges. Actually my English name is Richard.
    Incidentally, what do you think of my revision of that translation?

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    #20

    re: The Chinese Rural Environment

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Should the following sentences with "improve" be in active voice?
    #1 Working conditions in the factory have improved.
    #2 His health has improved.
    #3 Air quality of the city has improved.
    #4 His financial condition has improved.
    Last edited by RonBee; 16-Jun-2008 at 02:02. Reason: fix link

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