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atitarev

Transitive verbs and 被

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atitarev

Transitive verbs and 被:

Hi, our lǎoshī mentioned that not all verbs can use 被 to form passive because not all verbs are transitive and can take objects. That's understandable but he used 喜欢 as an example of an intransitive verb. In my opinion 喜欢 is transitive, e.g. 我喜欢她 where 她 is an object, so is the English equivalent where ""to like" can be used in passive.

Please explain why "被喜欢" is no good and what's the rule here.

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semantic nuance
Please explain why "被喜欢" is no good and what's the rule here.

我想這是跟習慣用法有關. 就像英文一樣, 即使兩個句型都是對的也合乎文法, 但大部分的人在這種狀況, 會使用主動式, 而不用被動式, 我想原因應該是用被動式非常的怪異.

Ex: I like her.

She is liked by me.

Even though in English both active and passive patterns are grammatically correct, the active one will be used. It will be pretty odd to use passive in this case because it sounds so unnatural.

Hope it helps!

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atitarev

Semantic nuance, thank you for your reply. I should have mentioned that I mean "grammatically correct", not necessarily good sounding.

"She is liked by me" is grammatically correct, so it could be used in some rare cases. My question is, is the 她被我喜欢 grammatically correct or is just wrong? Forget if it's a good sounding sentence or not for a moment :)

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skylee
Please explain why "被喜欢" is no good and what's the rule here.

And have you asked your teacher?

Perhaps being transitive / intranstive is not the overriding factor of whether the passive form should be used. Perhaps your teacher made a mistake.

I've found this on the internet which might be useful -> 主动句与被动句的修辞功能及其选择

PS - I think this is also helpful -> 余光中〈怎樣改進英式中文?──論中文的常態與變態〉

被動詞語氣:

另一端是採用被動詞語氣。凡是及物動詞,莫不發於施者而及於受者。所以用及物動詞敘述一件事,不出下列三種方式:

(一) 哥倫布發現了新大陸。 (二) 新大陸被哥倫布發現了。 (三) 新大陸被發現了。

第一句施者做主詞,乃主動語氣。第二句受者做主詞,乃被動語氣。第三句仍是受者做主詞,仍是被動,卻不見施者。這三種句子在英文裏都很普遍,但在中文裏卻以第一種最常見,第二、第三種就少得多。第三種在中文裏常變成主動語氣,例如「糖都吃光了」,「戲看完了」,「稿寫了一半」,「錢已經用了」。

目前西化的趨勢,是在原來可以用主動語氣的場合改用被動語氣。請看下列的例句:

(一) 我不會被你這句話嚇倒。 (二) 他被懷疑偷東西。 (三) 他這意見不被人們接受。 (四) 他被升為營長。 (五) 他不被准許入學。

這些話都失之生硬,違反了中文的生態。其實,我們儘可還原為主動語氣如下:

(一) 你這句話嚇不倒我。 (二) 他有偷東西的嫌疑。 (三) 他這意見大家都不接受。 (四) 他升為營長。 (五) 他未獲准入學。

同樣,「他被選為議長」不如「他當選為議長」。「他被指出許多錯誤」也不如「有人指出他許多錯誤」。「他常被詢及該案的真相」也不如「常有人問起他該案的真相」。

目前中文的被動語氣有兩個毛病。一個是用生硬的被動語氣來取代自然的主動語氣。另一個是千篇一律只會用「被」字,似乎因為它發音近於英文的 by,卻不解從「受難」到「遇害」,從「挨打」到「遭殃」,從「輕人指點」到「為世所重」,可用的字還有許多,不必套一個公式。

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atitarev

Thanks, Skylee. I'll try to translate what you posted, my Chinese is not that good yet.

And have you asked your teacher?

Well, it seemed like another embarrassing moment for a Chinese teacher. I am sorry but I think some Chinese teachers are too worried about losing face and try to switch to a different topic when they are not so sure about the answer.

All transitive verbs can be used in passive.

喜欢is not a transitive verb, you can't say "被喜欢", the same as English "to like"

Some students said, in English to say "be liked" is grammatically correct, although not used often.

I said that 喜欢 is transitive (it can take an object) and asked why it can't still be used in passive.

The teacher says - it just sounds weird and changed the subject.

I thought I still wish to know the answer without embarrassing the teacher, hence this post. :)

It seems the gist is in the first sentences of your post, so I should be able to understand.

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muyongshi

What I have found so many times (from teachers who don't get embarassed and if they don't know say they don't and will look it up) is that Chinese is less about grammar and more about the "feel" of the language. I know, such a definitive definition. I will say many things and they will think for a sec and say, "语法上没问题,但是我不会这样说." So it's a less about rules. I know that doesn't answer the direct question of if it is or not correct but maybe it will help.

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kudra

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought 被 carried a negative context, so the example of 喜欢 is problematic.

For example, (I copied and pasted those characters, and don't have an ime on this computer, so forgive the pinyin.)

ta bei da si le. (He was killed, or beaten to death)

*sounds wrong to me* tade bing bei yisheng zhi hao le. (His sickness was cured by the doctor.)

since killing is bad, this works, but curing is good so the 2nd example sounds weird. This aspect may be separate from the considerations of the verb being transitive/intransitive.

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atitarev

Thanks, guys - Muyongshi and Kudra.

Muyongshi, I know exactly what you mean I hear this all the time, it's what's common, not what the grammar prescribes.

Kudra's explanation remind of Japanese usage of passive where even intransitive verbs can be used - "I was rained on - furaremashita", I was cried on by a baby - "nakaremashita" it is used mainly for negatives with intransitives.

Skylee, I could use some help in understanding your post :)

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muyongshi
Correct me if I'm wrong

Ok I will...just joking. I had never thought of that before but it does seem that most times it is used in that type of manner (negative). But I know that it is not always

(searching for my textbook....first lesson on 被-- I know it's here somewhere and they used a non-negative form....)

FOUND IT!!!! Wow that took forever....

here you go: "那个被送来的蛋糕。。。。”

So I don't think there is a rule about it but it does seem to be used more in those type of situations...被偷了,被打了,被骗了,等

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Lu

*她被我喜歡 sounds wrong to me, but like your teacher, I can't really put my finger on it. Perhaps it has something to do with action? Delivering a cake, hitting a person etc are all very active things that are short, while liking is more of a state of mind, and takes much longer. If you understand what I mean. Hating, being the opposite of loving and is surely negative, doesn't work with 被 either: *她被我恨 is just as wrong as *她被我喜歡.

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semantic nuance
"She is liked by me" is grammatically correct, so it could be used in some rare cases.

Could you please give us an example of the above sentence that you think is used in some rare cases?

Tre are many grammatically correct English sentences but are not naturally used in spoken english. Prescriptive and descriptive debate again.

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Lu
中文只有语感,没有语法。
Better not go all the way into this discussion, but I do want to say that I completely disagree with this. Maybe you never needed to study the grammar of Mandarin as you learned it speaking, but there is most definitely grammar in Mandarin. 的 and 了 and many others are grammatical particles, and there are clear rules about when and how to use them, to name just one example.

We can continue this discussion elsewhere if you or someone else feels so inclined, better not in this thread.

Semantic nuance: 'The cow is knitting a scarf while sitting on a cloud' is a grammatically correct English sentence, even though chances are it is never ever going to be used. Translate it into Chinese and it is still a sentence that will never be used, but if translated well it is also a grammatically correct sentence.

Like the cow sentence, 'She is liked by me' is correct, regardless of the question if it is actually used. '她被我喜歡' is not a correct sentence. Now the question is, why.

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atitarev

Thanks, Lu.

--

I wonder how often 被, 给, 让 叫 (or perhaps never 挨) are used in positive sentences by native speakers (not in translations)?

I found a related thread:

Passive voice in Chinese?

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muyongshi

I found another positive situation....

我被感动了

I think...

Perhaps it has something to do with action? Delivering a cake, hitting a person etc are all very active things that are short, while liking is more of a state of mind, and takes much longer.

This may be going somewhere. I think the rule that we are looking for is going to have to do with the "time" of the verb. I am still trying to pull the correct wording out of my head for it but I think this is it.

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semantic nuance
'The cow is knitting a scarf while sitting on a cloud' is a grammatically correct English sentence' date=' even though chances are it is never ever going to be used.

[/quote'] Uh uh! Don't assume. Maybe it will appear in children's picture book. You can never tell!:mrgreen:

'她被我喜歡' is not a correct sentence.

'她被我喜歡' alone is not spoken by native speakers, but it doesn't mean it is grammatically incorrect. As I said, it is grammatically correct, but we won't use it in spoken Chinese.

But I do hear people say '她被那無賴喜歡上算她倒楣'.

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kudra

This is discussed in Chapter 10 of David and Helen in China.

Here are the highlights of the 2-page section.

他被他爸爸打了。

他被骂了。

他的帽子被(风)吹跑。

窗子被(孩子)打坏了。

鸡肉被狗吃了。

At this point the text points out, "Note in the above examples that, generally, when the topic is human, 被, formulations are used to express that something unfortunate has happened (or has not happened). However, in recent years, the use of 被 in messages that do not convey adversity has been increasing, probably due to the influence of Indo-European languages, especially English, on modern Chinese. Example:

他被(大家)选作学生代表。

We are also admonished that not all passive sentences in English should be translated using 被.

Examples:

他昨天说的话, 大家都懂。What he said yesterday was understood by everyone.

他受到很多人的喜爱。He is/has been well-liked by many people.

那本书是他写的。The book was written by him.

None of the above sentences is appropriate as a 被 sentence.

a. topic-comment

b. 受 is another passive marker

c. 是...的 marks focus, and also the book does not exist before the writing takes place.

Keep in mind the following:

1. passive party does not have control over the other party.

2. passive party must already exist at the time of the action.

3. Except for future events, the action verb must have an extension or complement, such as an aspect marker, eg 了, 过, a resultative complement, e.g. 吃完, 拿走; or other extensions, eg 打了一下。

No doubt this was covered in the post above using characters.

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atitarev

I like the last 3 posts guys, keep it coming :mrgreen: not sure I can add anything but I read the examples - notes thoroughly.

I've come across 受 in a passive sense but I haven't mastered its usage yet.

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