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 (34,480 points) | 37 views

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The first action explains the means (the instrument or vehicle) by which the second action is carried out:

中国人用筷子吃饭。

Zhōng guó rén yòng kuài zǐ chī fàn

Chinese people eat with chopsticks. (instrument)

(The first action, 用筷子yòng kuài zǐ ‘using chopsticks’, indicates the instrument with which the second action, 吃饭 chī fàn ‘eat’, is carried out.)

他坐火车上班。

Tā zuò huǒ chē shàng bān 。

He goes to work by train. (vehicle)

(The first action, 坐火车zuò huǒ chē ‘by train’ (lit. sit on train), indicates the means by which the second action, 上班 shàng bān ‘go to work’, takes place.)

[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 (34,480 points)

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