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 (12,450 points) | 10 views

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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 (12,450 points)

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1,073 questions
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7,389 users