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Making Sense of Grammar
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How do people refer to a non-human entity aside from using the third person pronoun TA (它)?
asked Jan 24, 2018 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by admin (23,690 points)
edited Mar 26, 2018 by admin

1 Answer

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In fact, it is uncommon to use a third-person pronoun to refer to a non-human entity in Chinese. The default manner in referring to such an entity is either to repeat the noun representing it or to add a Chinese determiner (or demonstrative), such as 那 (n`a/ that) or 這 (zh`e/ this). Thus, 那 (n`a m¯ao貓) refers to “that cat” or 這貓 (zh`e m¯ao) refers to “this cat.”

Reference: Chinese: a linguistic introduction by Chao Fen Sun

answered Jan 24, 2018 by admin (23,690 points)
edited Apr 25, 2018 by admin
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