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How to use “suǒ” in Chinese

Chinese characters, learning Chinese, Chinese grammar

The character 所 (suǒ) has a few different uses. In this article we will look at its use as a structural particle. Don't worry if you don't know what that term means – you can still use 所 correctly without understanding the jargon around it!

汉字"所"有几种用法,本文将说明"所"作为结构助词的用法。不用担心,即使你不明白该字的意思,你还是可以无需听懂相关的行话就能正确使用它。

 

Nominal constructions with 所

 

A nominal construction is something that can be used as a noun. 所 is used to form one kind of nominal construction. The basic structure for this is:

名词性结构可以用作名词,而"所"可用于组成其中的一种名词性结构。基本的结构是:

 

所 [verb] 的

 

As you can see, 所 is placed right before the verb and 的 right after it. This creates a meaning like "that which is [verb]ed". Here are some short examples for this structure:

如你所见,"所"是放于动词之前再跟上"的"字。这形成了一种类似"that which is [verb]ed"的意思。以下是一些这类结构的简短例子:

 

所吃的

suǒ chī de

that which is eaten

 

所知道的

suǒ zhīdào de

that which is known

 

所失去的

suǒ shīqù de

that which is lost

 

With this 所 construction, you can make compound terms that act as nouns in a sentence. We can expand the basic structure to include this:

你可以使用"所"的这一结构确定句子中的复合名词。我们可以扩展这个基本结构,包括:

 

所 [verb] 的 [noun]

 

Here are some examples of these compound nouns:

以下是一些这类结构的复合名词的例子:

 

所吃的菜

suǒ chīde cài

the food that is eaten

 

所知道的事实

suǒ zhīdào de shìshí

the facts that are known

 

所学到的知识

suǒ xuédào de zhīshì

the knowledge that is learned

 

Note how each of these is nominal. That is, they could all function as nouns in a sentence. Now let's expand the structure a little bit more again:

注意每个例句的名词性,也就是说,它们完全可以作为句子里的名词。现在我们再稍微扩展一下这个结构:

 

[noun] 所 [verb] 的 [noun]

 

The first noun is the agent. This means it is doing the action. The second noun is the patient. This means it is receiving the action. Let's have a look at some examples for this structure:

第一个名词是动作的执行者,意思是执行动作的主体。第二个名词是承受者,意思是接受动作。一起看看一些这类结构的例子:

 

我所吃的菜

wǒ suǒ chī de cài

the food I eat

 

他们所知道的事实

tāmen suǒ zhīdào de shìshí

the facts that they know

 

我们所学到的知识

wǒmen suǒ xué dào de zhīshì

the knowledge we have learned

 

Again, each of these makes a 'chunk' that can work as a noun in a sentence. Have a look at some full example sentences:

同样,每个例子都组成可作为句子中的名词的功能块。看看一些完整的例句:

 

我所吃的菜都是自然的。

wǒ suǒ chī de cài dōu shì zìrán de.

The food I eat is all natural.

 

他们所知道的事实只有三分之一是正确的。

tāmen suǒ zhīdào de shìshí zhǐyǒu sān fēn zhī yī shì zhèngquè de.

Of the facts they know, only one third are correct.

 

我们所知道的很少,而我们所不知道的却很多。

wǒmen suǒ zhīdào de hěn shǎo, ér wǒmen suǒ bù zhīdào de què hěnduō.

What we know is very little, and what we don't know is a lot.

 

军人所失去的自由太多了。

jūnrén suǒ shīqù de zìyóu tài duōle.

The freedom that soldiers give up is too great.

 

You might have noticed that in all the examples given here, 所 could be left out and it would still be grammatical. This shows that 所 is actually optional.

或许你注意到了,在这里所有的例子中,"所"字都可以省略,而且符合语法。这表示"所"字其实是可有可无的。

 

Some common compounds with 所

 

Although in theory any verb could be used with 所, there are a few that appear with it more commonly than others. These have almost become fixed vocabulary items. Some of the most common are:

虽然理论上任何动词都可以与"所"搭配使用,不过还是有一些更为常见的搭配词组,这些词组几乎成为了固定的词汇用语。最常见的一些有:

 

所谓

suǒwèi

so-called

 

所得

suǒdé

that which is gained

 

所有

suǒyǒu

"that which exists"

 

所以

suǒyǐ

"that which because of"

 

所想

suǒ xiǎng

"that which is thought"

 

Let's have a look at some example sentences for these 所 compound words:

看看这些"所"的复合词的几个例句:

 

这种所谓的翻译非常不好。

zhè zhǒng suǒwèi de fānyì fēicháng bù hǎo.

This so-called "translation" is terrible.

 

我要合计一下学生们所得的总分数。

wǒ yào héjì yīxià xuéshēngmen suǒdé de zǒng fēnshù.

I'm going to total up the points gained by the students.

 

我所有的衣服都脏了。

wǒ suǒyǒu de yīfú dōu zāngle.

All of my clothes are dirty.

 

这台电脑很旧,所以比较便宜。

zhè tái diànnǎo hěn jiù, suǒyǐ bǐjiào piányi.

This computer is old, so it's cheaper.

 

从长远来看,也许结果比你所想的要好。

cóng chángyuǎn lái kàn, yěxǔ jiéguǒ bǐ nǐ suǒ xiǎng de yào hǎo.

It might turn out better than you think in the long run.

 

As usual, if you have any questions or suggestions, please share them in the comments below!

 

Translated from: chineseboost

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2016-06-21

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