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Making Sense of Grammar
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What does the sentence "雞吃了" mean?

asked Jan 31, 2018 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by admin (25,240 points)
edited Jan 31, 2018 by admin | 174 views

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The sentence 雞吃了 (jī chī le) has a topic-comment structure and allows a different reading depending on context. If the noun 雞 (/ chicken) is viewed as the agent, the sentence means "The chicken has eaten." On the other hand, when 雞 (/ chicken) takes up the role of patient in the sentence, the sentence should be translated as "The chicken was eaten."

Reference: Chinese: a linguistic introduction by Chao Fen Sun

answered Jan 31, 2018 by admin (25,240 points)
edited Apr 25, 2018 by admin

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