City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
0 like 0 dislike
225 views
asked Dec 1, 2020 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,480 points) | 225 views

1 Answer

0 like 0 dislike
Generally speaking, BA constructions indicate ‘intentional manipulation’ as most of the above examples show. Occasionally, however, a BA construction may also indicate ‘unintentional intervention’ or the result of it. To emphasize the accidental nature of the event, GEI may be optionally introduced before the main verb. For example:

妹妹把裙子(给)弄脏了。

mèi mèi bǎ qún zǐ (gěi )nòng zāng le 。

My younger sister dirtied her skirt.

弟弟没(有)把电脑(给)搞坏。

dì dì méi (yǒu )bǎ diàn nǎo (gěi )gǎo huài 。

My younger brother did not break the computer.

搞(GAO) and 弄(NONG), both meaning ‘handle’, are often used in association with complements indicating undesirable results.

We have seen that the object of BA normally has definite reference, but, if the speaker is making a factual or argumentative statement rather than recounting an incident, the object can refer to something generic or categorial, that is, to a category of things rather than the individual thing itself. For example,

她把西红柿看做水果。

tā bǎ xī hóng shì kàn zuò shuǐ guǒ 。

She regards tomatoes as fruit.

别把朋友当成敌人。

bié bǎ péng yǒu dāng chéng dí rén 。

Don’t look upon your friends as enemies.

[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)

1,614 questions

1,882 answers

207 comments

15,645 users

1,614 questions
1,882 answers
207 comments
15,645 users