City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Aug 12 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Mickey (7,400 points) | 13 views

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1. shì (是) firstly can be used to join two noun phrases to indicate an equational relationship between them, in this case, the two noun phrases can be interchanged without changing the meaning of the expression.

這本書的作者是三毛。

zhè běn shū de zuò zhě shì sān máo.

三毛是这本书的作者。

sān máo shì zhè běn shū de zuò zhě.

The author of the book is San Mao.

2. When functioning as a emphasizing marker, the verb shì (是) is placed right in front of the constituent to be emphasized, but actually the information conveyed by the latter clause is the communicative focus.

 他昨天是去了學校focus [但是沒能見到張老師]。

 tā zuó tiān shì qù liǎo xué xiào , dàn shì méi néng jiàn dào zhāng lǎo shī.

 He did go to the school yesterday,but didn’t see Mr.Zhang.

3. The structure shì…de (是…的) is a pseudo-cleft construction, which is a type of construction in which the focus between the verb s (是) and de (的) appears in the form of a relative clause. The construction has the effect of emphasizing the certain part of the sentence motivated by communication needs in a given discourses.

我是focus[來找你]的,不是來看電影的。

wǒ shì lái zhǎo nǐ de , bú shì lái kàn diàn yǐng de.

I'm here to look for you, not to see a movie.

answered Aug 12 by Mickey (7,400 points)

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993 questions
1,285 answers
13 comments
7,389 users