City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Dec 15, 2020 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (16,050 points) | 14 views

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The subject in a subject-predicate sentence in Chinese is naturally of definite reference:

火车到达终点站。

Huǒ chē dào dá zhōng diǎn zhàn。

The train arrived at the terminal station.

孩子今天过生日。

Hái zǐ jīn tiān guò shēng rì。

It is the child’s birthday today. (lit. The child today has/passes birthday.)

One cannot normally say:

*一辆火车到达终点站。

*Yī liàng huǒ chē dào dá zhōng diǎn zhàn。

(lit. A train arrived at the terminal station.)

[1] Yip, P. C., Rimmington, D., Xiaoming, Z., & Henson, R. (2009). Basic Chinese: a grammar and workbook. Taylor & Francis.
answered Dec 15, 2020 by Ariel (16,050 points)

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1,133 questions
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7,389 users