City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
0 like 0 dislike
24 views
asked Dec 8, 2020 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (24,580 points) | 24 views

1 Answer

0 like 0 dislike
Dative constructions generally involve verbs of physical action, like 给 gěi ‘give to’, 递 dì ‘hand to’, 交 jiāo ‘hand to’/‘submit to’, 还 huán ‘return to’, etc. However, verbs like 告诉 gàosu ‘tell’, 通知 tōng zhī ‘inform’/‘notify’, 教 jiāo ‘teach’ and 叫 jiào ‘call’/‘address as’, all of which involve some form of communication, can also form dative sentences:

我朋友告诉我一个秘密。

Wǒ péng yǒu gào sù wǒ yī gè mì mì 。

(秘密 mì mì direct object, 我 wǒ indirect object)

My friend told me a secret.

秘书通知他一件事。

Mì shū tōng zhī tā yī jiàn shì 。

(一件事 yī jiàn shì direct object, 他 tā indirect object)

The secretary notified him about something.

她教她女儿英语。

Tā jiāo tā nǚ ér yīng yǔ 。

(英语 yīng yǔ direct object, 她女儿 tā nǚ ér indirect object)

She taught her daughter English.

大家叫我老王。

Dà jiā jiào wǒ lǎo wáng 。

(老王 lǎo wáng direct object, 我 wǒ indirect object)

Everybody calls me Lao Wang.

[1] Yip, P. C., Rimmington, D., Xiaoming, Z., & Henson, R. (2009). Basic Chinese: a grammar and workbook. Taylor & Francis.
answered Dec 8, 2020 by Ariel (24,580 points)

1,274 questions

1,567 answers

13 comments

7,944 users

1,274 questions
1,567 answers
13 comments
7,944 users