City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Mar 8 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,470 points) | 30 views

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A noun or noun phrase is defi nite when the interlocutors both know about its existence/

identity or it has been mentioned in their exchanges. A proper noun such as 王先生 (wáng xiān shēng : ‘Mr Wang’), 天安门 (Tiān’ ān mén) or 上海 (shàng hǎi ); a pronoun such as 他 (tA: ‘he’), 我们 (wǒ men : ‘we’) or 你 (nǐ: ‘you’); a noun phrase with 这 or 那, such as 这些 (zhè xiē : ‘these’), 那个 (nà gè : ‘that’) or 那三个 (nà sān gè :‘those three’); as well as what follows the possessive case of the above three forms, such as 王先生的家 (wáng xiān shēng de jiā : ‘Mr Wang’s home’), 上海的居民 (shàng hǎi de jū mín :‘residents of Shanghai’), 你的书 (nǐ de shū : ‘your book’) and 那个人的车 (nà gè rén de chē :‘that person’s car’), are considered ‘definite’.

[1] Yip, P. C., Rimmington, D., Xiaoming, Z., & Henson, R. (2009). Basic Chinese: a grammar and workbook. Taylor & Francis.
answered Mar 8 by Ariel (34,470 points)

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