City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Dec 1, 2020 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,480 points) | 125 views

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In imperative BA sentences, however, the particle LE may sometimes be used with result complements simply to soften the tone. For example,

请把东西放好!

qǐng bǎ dōng xī fàng hǎo !

Please put your things in order.

Whereas

请把东西放好了!

qǐng bǎ dōng xī fàng hǎo le !

has a condescending or persuasive tone and might be used by a mother to a child or a teacher to a pupil.

LE is not generally used in imperatives with complements of other types (e.g. direction, location, etc.). One says:

请大家把作业交上来!

qǐng dà jiā bǎ zuò yè jiāo shàng lái !

Please all hand in your homework. / Would you all please hand in your homework.

请大家把证件拿出来!

qǐng dà jiā bǎ zhèng jiàn ná chū lái !

Please take out your personal documents. / Would everyone please get out their personal papers.

请把垃圾倒在这儿!

qǐng bǎ lā jī dǎo zài zhè ér !

Please tip your rubbish/litter here.

But not usually:

*请把垃圾倒在这儿了!

*qǐng bǎ lā jī dǎo zài zhè ér le !

However, LE and D ZHE may sometimes be used as complements themselves in imperatives to indicate completion or continuation of the verb in question:

请把蛋糕吃了。

qǐng bǎ dàn gāo chī le 。

Please finish the cake.

请把我的大衣拿着。

qǐng bǎ wǒ de dà yī ná zhe 。

Please hold my coat.

[1] Yip, P. C., Rimmington, D., Xiaoming, Z., & Henson, R. (2009). Basic Chinese: a grammar and workbook. Taylor & Francis.

answered Dec 1, 2020 by Ariel (34,480 points)

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