Previous Lesson Next Lesson

18 Responses to “CT_064: I still have a lot more to study”

  1. Bo Hägerås

    Ni Hao!
    And many thanks for your splendid lessons!
    I would very much appreciate if you could explain the use of the two different “de” in the sentence “可是你的中文说得这么好.”keshi nide zhongwen shuode zhenme hao! Especially the last one is a bit of a mystery to me. When to use it, and when to use the combination of the two? A few examples perhaps?


  2. This is a bit of a confusing topic that only comes up in Chinese writing since the pronunciation of the two “de”s is the same. I’m going to quote a consultant of mine here:

    Nǐ Zhōngwén shuōde (的) hěn hǎo — means “The Chinese that you speak is very good”. Here, the de(的) turns Nǐ Zhōngwén shuōde into a noun clause. Hěn hǎo is a verb clause meaning “to be very good”.

    Nǐ Zhōngwén shuōde (得) hěn hǎo — means “You speak Chinese very well”, or literally, “Your Chinese speaks very well”. In this case, Nǐ Zhōngwén is the subject/noun phrase, and “shuōde (得) hěn hǎo ” is a verb phrase meaning “speak very well”, with the 得 being an adverbial particle.

    Here are some other examples:

    Zhèběn shū shì wǒde(的): This book is mine.
    Zhè shì wǒde(的) shū: This is my book.

    Lǎohǔ pǎode(得) kuài: Tigers run fast.
    Zhōngguórén shuōde (得) hěn kuài: Chinese people speak very fast.

    Hope that helps!

  3. This is what I’ve been guessing about those “de” words.

    We already know that 的 is used to show that one thing(person) owns something else. It’s not about doing anything, it’s just showing the possessive relationships between stuff that’s being named. Sometimes it’s also used before the words that describe the thing, but at this stage that use is still a bit of a mystery.

    The other de word is not about things, but about describing actions. It feels like 得 is a linking word that has to sit between the action, and the way that action is performed. So I’m guessing you would have to say: she is laughing de uncontrollably. Is that anything like what’s going on?

  4. Since “Wǒ yào xuéde hái hěnduō” translates as “I still have a lot more to study” how would you say, “I want to study a lot more” ?

    (In English, the difference is that in the first case, you have a lot more to study whether you want to or not. In the second case, you want to study a lot more, regardless of whether there’s any need to.)

  5. Bo Hägerås

    Hi again!
    Just as i thought i had understood it, i came upon the characters of the last sentense:
    Xiexie, wo huide. 谢谢,我会的. :-O! Why 的?
    If it had been 得i would have been according to the discussion above, but now i am lost!!


  6. LuoBot, sorry I missed your comment. If you wanted to say “I want to study a lot more” you could say “Wǒ xiǎng yào xué hěnduō.” You’re right that yào can also mean “want” depending on context, so sometimes you have to be more specific in how you phrase such items if you want a specific meaning to be realized.

  7. Bo Hägerås

    Hello again!
    Back to the “谢谢,我会的.” sentence..
    I´ve been mail-talking to a couple of zhongguo xin pengyou about these two “de”.
    They think of the 的 in this situation as an emphatic adding. Like: Ni hui shuo yingwen ma? Wo hui. Yes. while:Wo hui de. means Yes i do (speak). Can this be applied also to this context?


  8. Hi Bo, I think that’s a good way to look at it. The Chinese language is very musical and all about balance. Sometimes extra words are added just to add balance to a sentence and make it sound better. So Wǒ huì by itself may seem incomplete whereas Wǒ huìde has more balance to it. You will also often hear Shìde (Yes) in response to a question rather than just Shì.

  9. Dear Adam,
    Congratulations for such a great site! You and your team are excellent teachers.

    As a student of mandarin Chinese and as an Applied Linguist I feel delighted to see we have such serious pages like yours. But I have a question to ask you: In the transcript above, the sentence: “Ni shi na Yi guo de ren” should not be written: “Ni shi NA LI guo de ren”? (Na li)?

  10. Thanks Alagen,

    “Ni shi na yi guo de ren” literally translates to “You are which country person?” whereas

    “Ni shi Na li guo de ren”? would translate to “You are where country person?”

    If we didn’t have the “guo” (country) in there, then the second sentence “Ni shi nali de ren” is perfectly acceptable. But since the “guo” is there, the first option (which country) makes more sense than the second (where country).

    Hope that helps!

  11. Alagen

    Dear Adam,
    Thank you for your concise and clear explanation. At first I thought it was just a kind of typo. Later on after your simple and elucidative examples I understood how careful we have to be with apparently “simple” sentences. I appreciated your patience and kindness. You are an excellent teacher. “Zhùhè Ni”.

  12. 大家好,

    我有一個關於對話的問題。我不懂為什麼 Yann 說 “怎麽” 在這個句子裡:“可是你的中文怎麼說得這麼好.”
    I have a question about the dialogue. I don’t understand why Yann says “怎麼“ in this sentence.
    What is the best way to think of how “怎麼” is being used here? (No pun intended)
    Should I think of it as the “quality” of the spoken Chinese, or perhaps the “way” or “manner” in which it speaks?

  13. cdanegallagher

    I have a question about the line: 我要学的还很多. Since the 的 has no noun associated with it, its meaning is not clear. Should I interpret this as: “What I will/must study is still very much”? Where “what” refers to the 的 without a noun?
    Another example of this construction would be: “我要的是茶” = “What I want is tea.” or “That which I want is tea”.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.