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) | 58 views

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In English, the phrase ‘in/at/on + location’ should sometimes be thought of as a 的 phrase in Chinese when such a phrase is used to modify a noun or noun phrase. To translate such an English phrase into a prepositional phrase with 在 (zài) is a common mistake made by learners whose native language is English.

English: Students at Beijing University are all good students.

Chinese: 北京大学的学生都是好学生。

běi jīng dà xué de xué shēng dōu shì hǎo xué shēng 。

(Incorrect: 学生在北京大学都是好学生。)

English: Wow! The scenery here is really beautiful!

Chinese: 哇!这里的风景真美啊!

wa !zhè lǐ de fēng jǐng zhēn měi ā !

(Incorrect: 哇!风景在这里真美啊!)

[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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