City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Feb 2 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,480 points) | 30 views

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A complete sentence can serve as the subject without any particular marker. It should be noted that a comma can be used after a sentential subject, especially when the subject is long.

在中国,丈夫做家务,是一件很平常的事。

Zài zhōng guó,zhàng fū zuò jiā wù,shì yī jiàn hěn píng cháng de shì。

In China, husbands doing housework is a very common thing.

 (丈夫做家务 is the subject.)

Expletive ‘it’ in English has no counterpart in Chinese. This means that a sentence with a sentential subject may have different word orders in English and Chinese.

儿子不听她的话,让她很难过。

ér zǐ bú tīng tā de huà,ràng tā hěn nán guò。

It saddens her (= makes her sad) that her son does not listen to her.

In English, a sentential subject is frequently introduced by the phrase ‘(the fact) that . . .’. Note that such a phrase is not used in Chinese. The phrase ‘the fact that’ does not have a counterpart in Chinese.

王先生喜欢李小姐不表示李小姐也喜欢王先生。

Wáng xiān shēng xǐ huān lǐ xiǎo jiě bú biǎo shì lǐ xiǎo jiě yě xǐ huān wáng xiān shēng 。

The fact that Mr Wang likes Miss Li does not mean that Miss Li likes Mr Wang, too.

[1] Yip, P. C., Rimmington, D., Xiaoming, Z., & Henson, R. (2009). Basic Chinese: a grammar and workbook. Taylor & Francis.

[2] Teng, W. H. (2016). Yufa! A practical guide to Mandarin Chinese grammar. Taylor & Francis.

answered Feb 2 by Ariel (34,480 points)

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