Chinese Notes
Chinese Notes

shì

  1. shì verb is / are / am / to be
    Domain: Modern Chinese 现代汉语 , Subdomain: Function Words 虚词
    Notes: 是 is used in this sense as a copular verb used between two nouns or noun phrases to indicate equality (Ho, 2002, '是' 1; NCCED '是' 2). Use in this form is not common in literary Chinese but was used as early as the Han, (Norman 1988, p. 125) notably in translation of Buddhist texts (Kroll '是' 4). 是 is the fourth most frequently used word in the Beijing Language Institute's 1985 frequency wordlist (Ho, 2002, '是').
  2. shì verb is exactly
    Domain: Modern Chinese 现代汉语 , Subdomain: Function Words 虚词
    Notes: To connect two words with identical meaning
  3. shì verb is suitable / is in contrast / used for emphasis
    Domain: Modern Chinese 现代汉语 , Subdomain: Function Words 虚词
    Notes: 是 is used in this sense in front of a noun to emphasize its suitability or contrast (NCCED '是' 4).
  4. shì pronoun this / that / those
    Domain: Classical Chinese 古文
    Notes: In literary Chinese 是 most often functions as an anaphoric (referring to something previously mentioned) demonstrative pronoun (Pulleyblank 1995, p. 85; NCCED '是' 1; Kroll '是' 1). 是 is also used as an indefinite demonstrative pronoun in literary Chinese (Kroll '是' 2).
  5. shì adverb really / certainly
    Domain: Modern Chinese 现代汉语 , Subdomain: Function Words 虚词
    Notes: In this sense, 是 is used in front of a verb or adjective to emphasize it (NCCED '是' 6). For example, 特别是在大家面前 'especially in front of everybody.'(Lao She, 2003, p. 176)
  6. shì adjective correct / affirmative
    Domain: Modern Chinese 现代汉语 , Subdomain: Function Words 虚词
    Notes: In this sense, 是 is used as an alternative in a question or as the affirmative answer to a question. 是 is used in this sense in both modern and literary Chinese (NCCED '是' 8; Kroll '是' 3).
  7. shì verb to exist
    Domain: Modern Chinese 现代汉语 , Subdomain: Function Words 虚词
    Notes: 是 is used in this sense rather than 有 in some cases for a specific condition (Ho, 2002, '是' 2).
  8. shì verb used between repetitions of a word
    Domain: Modern Chinese 现代汉语 , Subdomain: Function Words 虚词
    Notes: 是 is used in this form to indicate a distinction of some kind (NCCED '是' 3). For example, 从此她是她,我是我,再也不吵嘴 'From now on, she will be who she is and I will be who I am but we will not quarrel again.' (Lao She, 2003, p. 205)

Contained in

但是还是还是实事求是是否可是乃是就是尤其是不是如是于是要是总是不是吗倒是老是有的是只是不是_而是_不是_就是_凡是就是说就是_也_可不是是的是非算是要不是真是或是似是而非真是的头头是道自以为是而是为的是应是若是两个凡是那空叻差是玛十如是是故正是是不是观受是苦如是我闻以是既是是以金刚经如是解

Texts that the word is most frequently mentioned in

Collection Document Title Occurrences
Book of Wei 《魏書》 卷105之三 天象志一之三 Volume 105c Treatise 1: Celestial Phenomena 3 221
Book of Wei 《魏書》 卷105之四 天象志一之四 Volume 105d Treatise 1: Celestial Phenomena 4 179
The Commentary of Zuo on the Spring and Autumn Annals 《春秋左氏傳》 昭公 Lord Zhao 137
Bamboo Annals 《竹書紀年》 魏紀 Records of the Wei 123
Book of Jin 《晉書》 卷二十九 志第十九 五行下 Volume 29 Treatises 19: Five Elements Part Three 121
Wenxuan 《文選》 卷六十 Scroll 60 104
Wenxuan 《文選》 卷六 Scroll 6 103
The Commentary of Zuo on the Spring and Autumn Annals 《春秋左氏傳》 襄公 Lord Xiang 98
Wenxuan 《文選》 卷五 Scroll 5 97
Book of Jin 《晉書》 卷十三 志第三 天文下 Volume 13 Treatises 3: Astronomy Part Three 96