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Usage of 着


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I cannot seem to understand what 着( zhe and zhao )means... I feel so dumb , i just can't get it.

I don't know when to use it and i don't know it's meaning.

For Example , the teacher said: 他睡着了 - he fell asleep

But i still don't get it, can someone please help me out with this?



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I just learned this in class =)

It basically is used after a verb to show whether the action has been completed or not.

他睡着了 - he has already fallen asleep

他睡不着 - he couldn't fall asleep

Does that help? =\

Maybe I can try to explain through the example in the book:

那本书你找着了没有? [Were you able to find this book?]

那本书我没找着。 [i wasn't able to find that book]

你还找得着吗? [Will you still be able to find that book?]

我看, 我着不着了。 [it seems I won't be able to find it.]

(I hope I got that right =p)

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“着”in chinese,there's 3 kind of pronunciation,(zhe zhao zhuo)actually has 4 kind of pronunciation,the last one is nearly not used.

chinese characters,you shouldn't cut a phrase(chinese means 词组)into single word,

1.着(zhe)usually use behind verb words,means some action is running(something like add ing after verb)such as 走着(walking),吃着(eating),看着(looking)

2.着(zhao)also can use behind verb words,have the same meaning something is running ,and also means some action has done,睡着了(fall alseep,has slept)着also can use as a verb,such as 着火(be on fire,the fire is burning)

3.着(zhuo)means wear,such as 着装(wear clothes)

in the end,着,ususlly means v-ing,have you got it ,hope to help you.

practice make perfect,my english teacher told me ,also for all the languages.

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Duncan Leung gave good examples.

Yes, 着 (zhao2) is a charactor which needs to be used with other verbs, like 睡着了,吃着了。

着(zhe), is similar in the meaning but the way used differently. For example, 他正吃着呢,他正看着电视呢,我好着呢,小孩睡着呢. All these examples pronounce zhe, not zhao, although the meaning is no big difference.

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I have not encountered these usages before, what exactly do they mean?

As for the difference between 着 and 好, I think that the former stresses successful completion and the latter stresses appropriate completion. I don't think that both can always be used with a given verb. I also think that 到 also belongs here, but differs in suggesting completion after difficulty or effort. Again, I don't think it can necessarily always be used in the same structures as the other complements.

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It's important to keep different uses of 着 separate. It's kind of similar to 了 in this sense, but even more complex. 着 can mean a lot of things.

When pronounced "zhe", it indicates an ongoing action, or an ongoing state. You can think of it a bit like the "-ing" ending in English. It's often used when an action is taking place at the same time as something else is happening. 看着他 = looking at him, 跟着他走 = walk while following him. Or the previous example: 小孩睡着呢 = the kid is sleeping (right now).

When pronounced "zháo", it is a complement which indicates that an action was successfully completed. 我睡着了 = I fell asleep, 我睡不着 = I can't fall asleep. There are many verbs in Chinese that are used this way, like Altair mentioned. Like pointed out, 好, 到, 上, 下 and many others can be used as complement.

Most of the complements are tied to certain verbs, but 着 and 了 are quite universal and can be used with almost anything. Here are some examples with 吃, since it seems quite popular:

吃饱 = I'm full. The eating resulted in being full (饱)

吃好 = I'm full/finished eating. 好 indicates that an action had a good ending.

吃不下 = can't eat, food is probably so terrible. The verb 下 refers to swallowing

吃不了 = can't eat, probably because some circumstances are preventing it. N.B. 了 = liao3 here.

吃着 = manage to eat. Like Jane said, it was not certain whether he'd be able to eat or not (there wasn't enough food) N.B. 着 = zhao2 here.

All of these would likely be used with the aspect particle 了 (le), but I dropped it in order to avoid the le/liao confusion.

There are also other pronunciations for 着, such as zhuó and zhāo, with further meanings, but these are less common and often tied in words, such as 穿着 or 着重.

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I have to say I've never heard 吃着了 used in putonghua. Interestingly enough, i'm told that 看着了,吃着了 are used in yunnan dialect. This reminds me of 吃不来, something often used in yunnan dialect, but when used in putonghua, while (i think) not technically incorrect, seems a little strange.

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