Expressing HOW Actions Are Done

In Chinese, in order to express how actions are done, adjectives (Stative Verbs) can be used.

  • The “Subject + Verb” stands before the adjective, and 得de is used to connect the two parts.
  • Adverbs precede the adjectives to indicate the degree.
  • 不 comes before the adjectives to indicate a negative meaning.
  • S V Adverb Adjective
    pǎo de hěn màn.

    He runs very slowly.

    shíjiān guò de zhēn kuài.
    时间 快。

    Time really flies.

    tādepǔtōnghuà shuō de bútài biāozhǔn.
    他的普通话 不太 标准。

    His Mandarin is not so standard.

    nàjiànshìqíng wǒ de fēicháng qīngchu.
    那件事情 我 非常 清楚。

    That thing is clearly in my mind.

    If the verb has an Object, we can express the same meaning with an alternative pattern: to state the Subject + Verb + Object first, and then repeat the Verb, followed by 得 + Adjective. The pattern is as follows:

    S Verb Object Verb (Adverb)Adjective
    lǐqiáng lánqiú de hěn búcuò.
    李强 篮球 很 不错。

    Li Qiang is very good at playing basketball.

    shuō hànyǔ shuō de hěn biāozhǔn.
    汉语 很 标准。

    She speaks Chinese very well.

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