City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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What is the difference between "看見" and "看得見"?

asked Jan 2, 2018 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by admin (24,470 points)

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Verb–verb compounds can be subdivided into at least four types, restrictive resultative, non-restrictive resultative, directional resultative, and attainment resultative.

The word 看見 (k`an-ji`an/ to see) falls into the category of restrictive resultative compounds, which emphasizes a resultative state of an action. On the other hand, 看得見 (k`an-de-ji`an/ can be seen) is a non-restrictive resultative compounds, in which the infix -de- indicating the potential of the action.

Reference: Chinese: a linguistic introduction by Chao Fen Sun

answered Jan 2, 2018 by admin (24,470 points)
edited Apr 25, 2018 by admin
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