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) | 25 views

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Generally, a noun phrase with a number but without 这 or 那 is considered indefinite. However, note that such a noun phrase, when in context, can actually be definite.

桌上有两本书;一本是我的,一本是他的。

zhuō shàng yǒu liǎng běn shū ;yī běn shì wǒ de ,yī běn shì tā de 。

There are two books on the table; one (of them) is mine; one (of them) is his.

(两本书 is indefinite. In this context, 一本 is definite and, therefore, can serve as the subject of the sentence 一本是我的.)

[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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