UCL Logo
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

You are viewing an old version of this page. View the current version.

Compare with Current View Page History

« Previous Version 3 Next »

'Can' may also be expressed by a potential complement

The form is:
affirmative: Verb 的 de [Potential Complement]
negative: Verb 不 bu [Potential Complement]

Which potential complement to use depends on the verb.

It is easier to understand by looking at examples:

那个箱子重得拿不动。 Nà ge xiāngzi zhòng de nábudòng.
‘That suitcase is too heavy to carry.’

So 拿 ná 'carry' takes the potential complement 动 dòng to produce 'can carry'.

得 de after an adjective:

听到这个好消息,我兴奋得睡不着觉。 Tīngdào zhè ge hǎo xiāoxi, wǒ xīngfèn de shuì bu zháo jiào.
‘After hearing this good news, I was too excited to go to sleep.’

See also

Unknown macro: {link-window}

Potential Verb Complement

from Centre for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, University of Oxford.

  • No labels