华语小贴士

新加坡丰富多彩的历史和语言环境,影响了华语在岛国的使用。虽然新加坡华语可作为一种“身份标记”,语言使用者必须了解标准用法和口语用法之间的 不同,知晓新加坡华语和其他地方所用的普通话的差异。

不是所有在这里列出的例子都应被视为“语言错误”。语言是活的,而且在不断的演变。希望这些例子会促使读者认真思考华语在新加坡的运用及特色。

  1. 请给我两粒苹果。

    One often hears the classifier “粒” used for any spherical object, be it a ball, a mantou or a watermelon. “粒” literally means “grain” or “particle” and should only be used for items the size of a pellet or smaller.

    请给我两个苹果。

  2. 这杯水太烧了。我要的是冷水,不是烧水。

    In standard Mandarin, “烧” is usually used as a verb to mean “burn” or “heat up”. In the above context, one should use “热” and “烫”.

    这杯水太了。我要的是冷水,不是水。

  3. 你懂他昨天没有上班吗?

    The word “懂” means "to understand " and not merely to "know". In this particular example, “知道” would be a more appropriate choice.

    知道他昨天没有上班吗?

  4. 你们吃先,老板要我加班。

    It is not uncommon to hear the word “先” being used behind the subject in a sentence(e.g.”你睡先”,”我走先”). This structure is likely Cantonese in origin and is not considered proper grammar in Mandarin.

    你们先吃,老板要我加班。

  5. 他掉了他的钱包,要借用电话联系他的家人。

    The construction of this sentence seems to be influenced by by English grammar. In proper Mandarin, the subject should come first.

    的钱包掉了,要借用电话联系他的家人。

  6. 他没有还钱就跑了。

    “还钱” literally means to “repay or return money” and should not be used to refer to the act of making a payment.

    他没给钱就跑了,or他没付钱就跑了。

  7. 你放心,海报被挂上去了。

    One often sees “被” being used to indicate that an action has been completed. Such usage is not considered good grammar. The words “已” or “已经” should be used.

    你放心,海报已经挂上去了。

  8. 他不够经验,所以表现不好。

    The placement of the determiner “不够” before the noun “经验” is considered poor grammar and should be avoided.

    经验不够,所以表现不好。

  9. . 我已经上课完了。

    In standard Mandarin, the object should not be placed before the complement.

    我已经上完课了。

  10. . 什么东西都在起价,可是老板却没有给我加薪。

    The word “起价” is often used in Singapore to refer to rising prices, but it could mean “starting price” elsewhere in the Chinese-speaking world. “涨价” is a clearer term that may be used in its place.

    什么东西都涨价,可是老板却没有给我加薪。

  11. . 你别得罪他,小心他对付你!

    In Singapore, the word “对付” carries a connotation of penalty or retribution. In standard Mandarin, the term is neutral and merely means "to deal with".

    你别得罪他,小心他对你不利!

  12. . 你等我,我的班机一点三个字抵达。

    The use of the word “字” as a unit of time stems from Classical Chinese. There are eight “刻” in one”时辰” (equivalent to two hours) and three”字” in each “刻”. These measurement units are now rarely used in Mainland China and Taiwan.

    你等我,我的班机一点十五分抵达。

  13. . 我先把行李放在酒店,才去开会。

    It is not uncommon to hear Singaporeans use”才” in place of ”再” to indicate a future action that follows the completion of an earlier one. In standard Mandarin, “再” should be used.

    我先把行李放在酒店,再去开会。

  14. .那里有间书店,您能到那里看看。

    “能” and “可以” are sometimes interchangeable but they carry slightly different meanings. The word “能” implies the ability to do something while the word “可以” denotes the possibility of an action.

    那里有间书店,您可以到那里看看。

  15. .这本书五块钱才。

    The word “才” should not be used at the end of a sentence. It should come before the object.

    这本书才五块钱。

  16. .你是来新加坡做工的吗?

    In Singapore, “做工” is often used to mean "work". In most parts of the Chinese-speaking world, “做工” denotes physical or manual labour, so “工作” would be a more appropriate term in most contexts.

    你是来新加坡工作的吗?

  17. .我们可以公私这碗面吗?

    The word “公私” is often used colloquially in Singapore to mean “share”. It is seldom used in other parts of the Chinese-speaking world. “分享”,”共享” or ”一起” can be used in its place.

    我们可以一起吃这碗面吗?

  18. .任何参加活动的人都必须先购买门票。

    Due to the influence of the English language, “任何” (any) is increasingly being used in Singapore Mandarin. However, “所有” would be a more appropriate choice in many cases.

    所有参加活动的人都必须先购买门票。

  19. .我们学校只有一位学生符合参赛条件。

    The classifier “一位” is usually used before an individual of a higher standing. Example: “一位老师” or “一位学生家长”。When referring to a student, “一名” would be more appropriate and neutral.

    我们学校只有一名学生符合参赛条件。

  20. .我昨天有看见你上超市。

    In Singapore, one sometimes hears the word “有” used in front of a verb or verb predicate. This likely comes from Hokkien grammar and is not considered proper in standard Mandarin.

    昨天看见你上超市。

  21. .好采我的房间在角头,没那么吵。

    ”好采” and “角头” are part of the local lexicon and mean “fortunately” and “corner” respectively. These words are rarely used in other Chinese-speaking regions or may mean completely different things there.

    幸好我的房间位于角落,没那么吵。

  22. .电梯的人不出,外面的人又怎么 进?。

    Postpositions such as "里" and directional complements such as "去" and "来" are often overlooked in Singapore Mandarin. They are considered indispensable in standard Chinese grammar.

    电梯里的人不出来,外面的人又怎么进去?

  23. .你如果忘了撕固本,有50巴仙的机会会中三万。

    Singapore Mandarin features many words loaned from other languages. This sentence, as an example, would be gibberish to those in the wider Chinese-speaking world.

    How do you think this should be expressed in standard Mandarin?

  24. Tan Dan Feng deals with different aspects of language in his work as a translator, language software developer and publisher. He has taught translation at various levels and is happiest discussing with his students and his two young children how language should be used.


    陈丹枫从事翻译、语言软件开发和出版业务,曾参与不同级别翻译课程的设计与教学工作。 他常和学生们与自己的两个孩子讨论如何正确使用语言,从中获得无穷乐趣。