Making Sense of Grammar
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What are the features of the passive marker  BEI (被)?
asked Mar 9 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by admin (19,380 points)
edited Mar 26 by admin

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B`ei (被) , a verb meaning “to suffer/to receive” in Old Chinese, has practically lost all of its ability to function as a verb in modern Chinese (Sun 1996). Furthermore, the Chinese passive of one of these markers almost always implies a sense of adversity, or misfortune.

弟弟天天都被媽媽罵 (d`ıdi ti¯an-ti¯an d¯ou b`ei m¯ama m`a/ Little brother is scolded by mother every day.)

妹妹總是被同學欺負 (mèi mèi zǒng shì bèi tóng xué qī fù/ My sister is constantly bullied by her classmates.)

However, under the influence of English, the passive marker B`ei (被) is widely used in sentences with positive meanings nowadays.

妹妹總是被同學讚美 (mèi mèi zǒng shì bèi tóng xué zàn měi/ My sister is always praised by her classmates.)

Reference: Chinese: a linguistic introduction by Chao Fen Sun

answered Mar 12 by admin (19,380 points)
edited Apr 26 by admin
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