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Namehaver

More compliment of degree questions.

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Namehaver

I was looking through a text book a bit, and I came to a page on this. I had breifly covered this before, but only in simple sentences like 她做菜做得很好,or 他筷子用得很慢。 As i was looking around though, I saw some examples of this I han not seen before.

For example:

他吃饭吃得很多。

我们学习汉语学习得很少。

工人今天来得很少。

So in this type of sentence, it is showing the result of the action that happened right? So literally, " He eats, the result being he ate a lot", and "workers came today, but the result of their coming is that very few came." How flexible is this type of sentence? Is there a time when it is better or worse to use it? Also, it seems all of these sentences could be replaced with a simple SVO sentence, without all of the 得s and things. It seems there are many ways to say the same thing, and I would like to understand at least a little why one way is chosen over another.

And I bet someone will link me to this: http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/3114-grammar-3-%e7%9a%84%e5%be%97%e5%9c%b0 , the 得的地 thread, which I read, but was helpful, but not entirely specific to my question.

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HashiriKata

From you explanation, it seems you've mixed up between complements of degree and complements of result.

Complements of degree involve gradable words, such as (extremely/very/a little) 好/慢/多/少, etc (all of the examples you gave involve complements of degree).

Complements of result involve words that indicate the result of the action verb preceding them, such as 错/见/完/到 in the following examples:

我说错了

看见了

做完了

找到了

Also, it seems all of these sentences could be replaced with a simple SVO sentence, without all of the 得s and things.
Not strictly so, otherwise they would have no reasons to exist.

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Namehaver

Okay, I see what you mean. But all names and defenitions aside, what is the reason for those sentences I was asking about, and wy couldn't you replace them?

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kudra
For example:

他吃饭吃得很多。

我们学习汉语学习得很少。

工人今天来得很少。

So in this type of sentence, it is showing the result of the action that happened right? So literally, " He eats, the result being he ate a lot", and "workers came today, but the result of their coming is that very few came." How flexible is this type of sentence? Is there a time when it is better or worse to use it? Also, it seems all of these sentences could be replaced with a simple SVO sentence, without all of the 得s and things. It seems there are many ways to say the same thing, and I would like to understand at least a little why one way is chosen over another.

I'm not a native speaker, but let me take a crack at it.

You were proposing for example replacing 他吃饭吃得很多 with a simpler sentence, say something like 他吃了很多饭。 Then the question is what is the difference?

I think of it not so much of Subject, Verb, Object, but as topic-comment. What is the topic of 他吃饭吃得很多? Answer: 他吃饭, the rest is comment on his eating, 吃得很多. I don't know if you want to get bogged down in "exact" translations, but this might be "As for his eating, he ate a lot, " or something like that.

This has a different flavor than 他吃了很多饭, where I suppose the context would tell what was the topic and what was the comment.

Don't get suckered into thinking, "but we never say 'as for his eating, he ate a lot' in English." Although this may be a clunky, and fairly rare construction in English, that doesn't mean it's rare or clunky in Mandarin.

Native speakers please correct me if I'm wrong -- on second thought, don't don't tell me, since I would have to unlearn everything I think I know. No, I take it back, go ahead and tell me.

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studentyoung

It seems that Namehaver is confused by “得” and “了”.

他吃饭吃得很多。

(He eats / ate a lot.) In the Chinese original sentence, it stresses that he can / could eat a lot. (Whether it is a pass tense or present tense is according to the contexts.)

他吃了很多饭。

(He ate a lot.) In the Chinese original sentence, it stresses that the verb (eat) is finished.

But if there is some words in the sentence has pointed out some given time, “得” and “了” can be almost the same.

他平常吃得很少,但今天却吃了/ 得很多。

He often eats a little, but he ate a lot today.

Thanks!

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Namehaver

Thanks, that clears it up a bit.

So then a sentence like 他吃饭吃得很多。has more emphasis on the action of eating, while 他吃很多饭 is still talking about how "he eats a lot", but withoiut the emphasis on the action. Is that closer?

When is the time the action should be emphasized? Maybe if people are talking about eating for some reason, like

我:哦!你还在吃饭马。你今天吃饭吃得比我很多。

他:不对。你吃得很快,所以你吃完了,可是吃得比我很多。

In that last example though, this:

他平常吃得很少,但今天却吃了/ 得很多。, it could also be今天却吃很多?

Why could 了 be used here? Not to be rude, but you confused me more about 了/ 得 than before!

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studentyoung
我:哦!你还在吃饭马。你今天吃饭吃得比我很多。

I: Hoo! Are you still having your meal? You have much more than me today!

In the Chinese sentence, it still stresses on “more 多”.

他:不对。你吃得很快,所以你吃完了,可是吃得比我很多。

He: No. You just finished the meal quicker than me, so you finished it first. However, you had more than me.

In that last example though, this:

他平常吃得很少,但今天却吃了/ 得很多。, it could also be今天却吃了很多?

Yes, it could also be 今天吃了很多.

Why could 了 be used here? Not to be rude, but you confused me more about 了/ 得 than before!

Because the verb “eat” is finished, so “了”can be used.

Not to be rude, but you confused me more about 了/ 得 than before!

I am sorry, Namehaver! OK, I must try to explain in another way.

But if there is some words in the sentence has pointed out some given time, “得” and “了” can be almost the same.

他平常吃得很少,但今天却吃了/ 得很多。

I mean in the sentence, no matter you use “得” or “了”, its basic meaning is still “you ate a lot today.”, i.e. the basic meaning is almost the same. But the subtles in the two sentences are that “今天吃了很多” means “I did eat a lot today”, while “今天吃得很多” means “It is a lot that I ate today.”

Thanks!

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Namehaver

Ahhh, that makes more sense now. I knew that already, but my brain for some reason was so confusd with other things i overlooked the obvious.

But another thing, if in the little thing i tried to do the empahasis was not on eating, how do you do it, emphasizing the action that is.

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