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Chinese separable verbs

离合词, Chinese separable verbs


The grammatical term 离合词 (líhécí) in Chinese refers to a group of verbs; they can be used as a single verb or can be separated and used as a verb + object phrase.

汉语中,离合词(líhécí)指的是一组动词,这些动词既可以单独作动词也可以拆分为“动词+宾语”结构。

Take 上课 for example:

以“上课”为例:

 

1. 我每天上午九点上课。(I have class at 9 o'clock every morning.)

2. 我每天上午九点上汉语课。(I have Chinese class at 9 o'clock every morning.)

 

In the first sentence, 上课 is used as a single verb; in the second sentence, 上课 is separated to 上 and 课,and becomes a verb + object phrase. 

在第一个句子中,“上课”是一个单独的动词,在第二个句子中,“上课”中的“上”和“课”被拆开了,构成“动词+宾语”的短语。

Because 上课 resembles the English verb + object phrase "have lesson" or "have class", it's not hard to understand what this separable verb is or how to use it. However, not every separable verb in Chinese has an equivalent verb + object phrase in English, which easily causes some Chinese learners to make mistakes.

由于“上课”和英文中的动宾短语“have lesson”或“have class”类似,因此理解并掌握这个离合词的用法并不难。但是,并不是所有的离合词都有相对应的英文动宾结构,因此有些汉语学习者很容易犯错误。

Then, how shall we master this special Chinese language grammar? 

那么,我们如何才能掌握这一特殊的汉语语法呢?

 

I. Memorize the most common separable verbs

记住最常用的离合词

 

Memorize the most commonly used Chinese separable verbs that don't have equivalent verb + object phrases in English:

请记住以下最常用的离合词,这些词在英文当中都没有相对应的动宾短语。

 

1. 帮忙 (help)

2. 道歉 (apologize)

3. 见面 (meet) 

4. 跑步 (run)

5. 洗澡 (bath)

6. 散步 (walk) 

7. 聊天 (chat) 

8. 跳舞 (dance)

9. 结婚 (marry)

10. 离婚 (divorce)

11. 睡觉 (sleep)

12. 考试 (test)

13. 毕业 (graduate)

14. 吵架 (quarrel)

15. 游泳 (swim)

 

II. Rules of using Chinese separable verbs

离合词使用规则

 

1. Chinese separable verbs can not be followed by objects.

离合词后面不加宾语

 

Chinese separable verbs are all intransitive. Since a separable verb can be separated to a verb and an object, that means it has an object already.

离合词都是不及物动词。因为离合词本身就包含动词和宾语。

  

Examples:

例句:

He's got troubles; I want to help him.

他有困难,我想帮忙他。(incorrect)

他有困难,我想帮忙。(correct)

 

He bathes his dog every day.

他每天洗澡他的狗。(incorrect)

他每天给他的狗洗澡。(correct)

 

I will meet you tomorrow.

我明天见面你。(incorrect)

我明天和你见面。(correct)

 

2. When a separable verb is separated to a verb and an object, auxiliary word such as 了, 过, 着 are only allowed to be placed after the verb, not the object.

离合词分解成动词和宾语之后,“了”、“过”和“着”等助动词只能置于动词之后,而非宾语之后。

 

Examples:

例句:

 

We chatted for a while yesterday evening. 

昨天晚上,我们聊天了一会儿。(incorrect)

昨天晚上,我们聊了一会儿天。(correct)

 

He has been married before.

他以前结婚过。(incorrect)

他以前结过婚。(correct)

 

They are having a lesson.

他们正上课着。(incorrect)

他们正上着课。(correct)

 

3. When a separable verb is separated into a verb and an object, the measure words can only be placed after the verb, not the object.

离合词分解成动词和宾语时,量词应置于动词之后,而非宾语之后。

 

Examples:

例句:

I swim 3 times a week.

我每周游泳三次。(incorrect)

我每周游三次泳。(correct)

 

I sleep for 8 hours every day.

我每天睡觉八个小时。(incorrect)

我每天睡八个小时觉。(correct)

 

4. In Chinese, you can reduplicate verbs such as 看看,学习学习,to imply the brief duration of an action or to give the action a relaxed tone. However, when you reduplicate a separable verb, you only can reduplicate its verb part, not the object part.

在汉语中,动词可以重叠,以表示某个动作持续了一段时间或者使这个动作听起来更轻松。然而,若要重叠离合词,则应该重叠动词部分,而非宾语部分。

Examples:

例句:

  

游泳游泳(incorrect)

游游泳(correct) 

 

睡觉睡觉(incorrect)

睡睡觉(correct)

 

跳舞跳舞(incorrect)

跳跳舞(correct)

  

To intermediate-level learners of Chinese Mandarin, the separable verb is an inevitable grammar point. Mastering its usage doesn't seem difficult, but it takes time to use it naturally. From my point of view, if you can memorize the most commonly used ones and practice them as much as possible, sooner or later, you will be like every native Chinese speaker and won't feel they are "special verbs" any more.

“离合词”是中级水平的中文学习者必须要掌握的语法点。掌握它的用法并不难,但要地道地使用这个语法点,还需要一段时间。依我所见,如果你能记住最常用的离合词并多次练习,迟早你会像中国人一样不会觉得他们是“特殊动词”了。


Translated from: italki.com

2016-06-21

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