Mandarin Chinese Grammar for Pimsleur Students/Adjectival stative verbs
NOUNS - Pronouns - Nouns - Proper nouns
Adjectival stative verbs[edit | edit source]
Adjectives function as verbs. Thus, an adjective like 高, which means "tall/high," needs no copula in the sentence "他高," which means "he is big." One can interpret 高 in this sentence as "to be tall." If one uses the copula 是 before an adjective, it creates a sense of confirmation. Normal prosody makes 是 take phonetic stress in this usage. For example, "他是高" means "he is tall."
Often, the adverb 很 (very) is placed immediately before an adjective. Though 很 means "very," it is not as strong a word as "very" in English, as it is very often used only to improve the flow of a sentence and not actually to stress that the adjective applies to a great extent.
All adjectives can be used as verbs. This page gives some examples of common adjectives.
Examples[edit | edit source]
|多||duō||much, many||我的太太有很多美金 ◦||wŏde tàitai yŏu hěn duō měijīn.||My wife has a lot of dollars.|
|不是很多 ◦||bù shì hěn duō.||It isn’t very much.|
|女儿很多 ◦||nǚér hěn duō .||That’s a lot of daughters.|
|他们的家人很多 ◦||tāmen de jiā rén hěn duō.||They have a big family.|
Syntax[edit | edit source]
Mandarin syntax follows a default SVO (Subject-Verb-Object) word order, as in English. Indirect objects are placed before the object in Mandarin. (This is not true for some other Chinese languages, like Cantonese.) For example, "give me water" is "给我水." Since adjectives function as verbs, they occupy the V role in a sentence.