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How to use “de” in Chinese

Chinese words, learning Chinese, Chinese grammar

This grammar structure is one of the most basic and important part of Chinese grammar:

这个语法结构是中文语法里最基础和重要组成部分之一:

 

modifier + 的 + noun

 

This comes up all the time in all sorts of sentences in Chinese. It follows the general rule that what precedes modifies what follows – first the modifier, then (de) to link them, and then the noun.

在各类中文语句中这个结构总会出现。它的一般规则就是,前者修饰后者。先是修饰语,再用"的"连接它们,然后跟上名词。

 

Noun + 的 + noun

 

This may be the most basic grammar structure with 的. By placing 的 between two nouns, you can indicate possession. That is, the second noun belongs to the first. Some examples:

或许这是"的"字最基本的语法结构了。将"的"放于两个名词之间,你可以表达归属的意思。也就是说,第二个名词归属于第一个。一些例子:

 

你的衣服

nǐ de yīfú

your clothes

 

他们的钱

tāmen de qián

their money

 

You can think of 的 as being similar to "s" in English. It marks possession in the same way and appears between the two nouns. More examples:

你可以把"的"字想成类似英语里的"s",它在两个名词之间也是同样地指出归属物。看看更多的例子:

 

小王的房子

xiǎo wáng de fángzi

Xiao Wang's house

 

赵先生的自行车

zhào xiānshēng de zìxíngchē

Mr Zhao's bike

 

老张的猫

lǎo zhāng de māo

Old Zhang's cat

 

Adjective + 的 + noun

 

的 is also used to modify things more generally. What it actually does is attach attributes to things.

"的"也可以用于更普遍地修饰事物,经常出现的就是赋予事物属性。

 

One way 的 can attach attributes to things is by appearing between an adjective and a noun. Some examples:

一种"的"字赋予事物属性的方式是出现在形容词和名词之间。一些例子:

 

红色的衣服

hóngsè de yīfu

red clothes

 

好吃的菜

hǎochī de cài

tasty food

 

漂亮的花

piàoliang de huā

beautiful flowers

 

Some full example sentences for this adjective + 的 + noun structure:

一些"形容词+的+名词"结构的完整例句:

 

我喜欢很辣的菜。

wǒ xǐhuan hěn là de cài.

I like spicy food.

 

她是个很无聊的人。

tā shì ge hěn wúliáo de rén.

She is a very boring person.

 

这是一种很浓的咖啡。

zhè shì yìzhǒng hěn nóng de kāfēi.

This is a very strong kind of coffee.

 

By now you can see that 的 is a very versatile linking word in Chinese.

到现在为止,你可以看到"的"字在中文里是个通用的连接词。

 

clause + 的 + noun

 

Finally, Let's have a look at a slightly more complicated 的 grammar structure. Because 的 can be used to attach pretty much anything to anything else, you can use it to link entire phrases to others. The phrase then becomes a description or quality.

最后,一起看看"的"较为复杂的语法结构。由于"的"能用于赋予其他任何事物任何属性,所以你可以用它连接完整短语和其他,这个短语就变成了一种描述或特征。

 

This sounds complicated but it will probably become clearer with some examples:

这听上去很复杂,但看看一些例子或许会比较清楚:

 

我买的茶

wǒ mǎi de chá

the tea I bought

 

他喜欢的那个女孩

tā xǐhuan de nàge nǚhái

that girl he likes

 

In each example, rather than a noun or an adjective, it has a phrase. The phrase is linked to a noun using 的, and becomes a description or attribute of the noun.

每个例子里都是短语而不是名词或形容词,而短语与带"的"字的名词连接,转变成一种描述或名词的属性。

 

Some more examples:

更多的一些例子:

 

我们第一次见到彼此的地方

wǒmen dì yī cì jiàn dào bǐcǐ dì dìfāng

the place where we first met

 

昨天跟我一块儿吃饭的那个人

zuótiān gēn wǒ yīkuàir chīfàn dì nàge rén

the person with whom I ate yesterday

 

Have a look at some full example sentences for this structure:

看看一些这个结构的完整例句:

 

他们买的自行车很便宜。

tāmen mǎi de zìxíngchē hěn piányi.

The bike they bought is very cheap.

 

这是我看过最好看的书。

zhè shì wǒ kànguò zuì hǎo kàn de shū.

This is the best book I've ever read.

 

Translated from: chineseboost

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2016-06-22

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