City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Apr 17 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,470 points) | 21 views

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Given the various functions of 的de, it is not unusual to find several 的de in one sentence. In this case, one can omit some of them to make the speech flow more smoothly. Some general rules for this type of omission are:

(i) 的de in a relative clause should not be omitted,

(ii) 的de after a disyllabic adjective should not be omitted,

(iii) 的 indicating possession can be omitted if necessary, and

(iv) when more than one 的 is used to connect a series of nouns, the one that is closest to the beginning of the sentence is generally omitted first.

我(的)iii那个漂亮的ii同屋是我(的)iv男朋友(的)iv弟弟的女朋友。

Wǒ (de ) nà gè piāo liàng de tóng wū shì wǒ (de) nán péng yǒu (de ) dì dì de nǚ péng yǒu 。

That pretty roommate of mine is the girlfriend of my boyfriend’s younger brother.

现在在跟王先生跳舞的i那个漂亮的ii女孩是李老师(的)iv妹妹的同屋。

Xiàn zài zài gēn wáng xiān shēng tiào wǔ de nà gè piāo liàng de nǚ hái shì lǐ lǎo shī (de ) mèi mèi de tóng wū 。

The pretty girl (who is) dancing with Mr Wang is the roommate of Teacher Li’s younger sister.

[1] Yip, P. C., Rimmington, D., Xiaoming, Z., & Henson, R. (2009). Basic Chinese: a grammar and workbook. Taylor & Francis.
answered Apr 17 by Ariel (34,470 points)

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