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Making Sense of Grammar
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What are the functional differences between passive construction with Bèi (被) those without  Bèi (被)?

asked Apr 18, 2018 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by admin (25,520 points)
edited Apr 26, 2018 by admin | 355 views

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 Bèi (被) construction encompasses a strong sense of passiveness and involuntariness. When a non-human object is the subject of Bèi (被) construction, it means that the subject is in an undesirable state.


chē bèi tōu liǎo

The car is stolen.

When the subject of Bèi (被) construction is a human, it means that the subject is involuntarily affected by the action.


tā bèi qī fù liǎo

He was bullied.

On the other hand,  the passive construction without Bèi (被) focuses on the topic and the resultative state of the topic as a result of the action. As a result, a weaker sense of responsibility of the doer is shown in topic-comment construction.


Pingguo chi le

The apple was eaten. 

answered Apr 18, 2018 by admin (25,520 points)
edited Apr 20, 2018 by admin

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