City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Dec 7, 2020 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (17,790 points) | 31 views

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The second action explains the purpose of the first action. The verb expressing the first action is usually either 来 lái ‘come’ or 去 qù ‘go’ (as in the first example under A):

朋友们来我家看望我。

Péng yǒu men lái wǒ jiā kàn wàng wǒ 。

My friends came to my house to visit me.

(The second action, 看望 kàn wàng ‘visit’, explains the purpose of the first action: 来我家 lái wǒ jiā ‘came to my place’.)

我们全家去海边度假。

Wǒ men quán jiā qù hǎi biān dù jià。

The whole family went to the seaside on holiday/to take a holiday.

More colloquially, 来 lái ‘come’ and 去 qù ‘go’ may be placed at the end of

the sentence:

他上街去买菜了。

Tā shàng jiē qù mǎi cài le。

他上街买菜去了。

Tā shàng jiē mǎi cài qù le。

He has gone out to buy some food.

她到图书馆去还书了。

Tā dào tú shū guǎn qù hái shū le。

她到图书馆还书去了。

Tā dào tú shū guǎn hái shū qù le 。

She has gone to the library to return her books.

工人来修理水龙头了。

Gōng rén lái xiū lǐ shuǐ lóng tóu le 。

工人修理水龙头来了。

Gōng rén xiū lǐ shuǐ lóng tóu lái le 。

The plumber has come to mend the tap.

[1] Yip, P. C., Rimmington, D., Xiaoming, Z., & Henson, R. (2009). Basic Chinese: a grammar and workbook. Taylor & Francis.
answered Dec 7, 2020 by Ariel (17,790 points)

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1,162 questions
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7,418 users