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) | 34 views

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A noun phrase is indefi nite when neither of the interlocutors knows its identity or when only the speaker knows about its existence. Such a noun phrase is either ‘unnamed’ or can be thought of as ‘(a) certain + noun’ in English.

我认识很多中国人。

wǒ rèn shí hěn duō zhōng guó rén 。

I know many Chinese people. (很多中国人 is ‘unnamed’.)

我认识一个姓白的中国人。

wǒ rèn shí yī gè xìng bái de zhōng guó rén 。

I know a (certain) Chinese person whose last name is Bai.

[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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