City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
0 like 0 dislike
14 views
asked Aug 10 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Mickey (4,280 points) | 14 views

1 Answer

0 like 0 dislike
These three words are known as scope adverbs in Chinese which are used as the constraint of the predicate element that follows, encompassing a sense of exclusiveness in meaning. All of them could be interpreted as “only”.

The use of Jìng (净) signifies that the speaker nurses a grievance against the situation, to be precise, Jìng (净) translates to “nothing but”.
他的书架上净是漫画。
tā de shū jià shàng jìng shì màn huà。
There’s nothing but comic books on his bookshelf.
他净说些没用的话。
tā jìng shuō xiē méi yòng de huà。
He said nothing but useless words.

The two adverbs zhǐ (只) and jǐn (仅) cloud be used interchangeably in most cases, nevertheless, jǐn (仅) is used more in formal contexts.
我仅/只用了一个小时就写完了作业。
wǒ jǐn /zhǐ yòng le yí gè xiǎo shí jiù xiě wán le zuò yè.
   It took me only one hour to finish the homework.
It is noteworthy that jǐn (仅) is often employed in its reduplicated form jǐn jǐn (仅仅), but unlike jǐn (仅), zhǐ (只) can’t be reduplicated as zhǐ zhǐ (只只) to serve as an adverb.
这本书我仅仅看了一小部分。
zhè běn shū wǒ jǐn jǐn kàn le yī xiǎo bù fèn
   I only read a small part of this book.

Moreover, what directly follows jǐn (仅) could be a numeral- classifier construction, but a verb is necessary between the zhǐ (只) and the numeral- classifier construction in a sentence.
这座大桥仅半年就完工了。
zhè zuò dà qiáo jǐn bàn nián jiù wán gōng le.
The bridge was completed in only half a year.
这座大桥只用了半年就完工了。
zhè zuò dà qiáo zhī yòng le bàn nián jiù wán gōng le
It only took half a year to complete the bridge.
   
Reference:
 Su X , He T . Chinese Lexical Semantics: 15th Workshop, CLSW 2014, Macao, China, June 9-12, 2014, Revised Selected Papers[J]. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2014.
answered Aug 10 by Mickey (4,280 points)

913 questions

1,181 answers

10 comments

5,513 users

913 questions
1,181 answers
10 comments
5,513 users