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metlx

有 as a modifier?

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metlx
There are words in dictionary such as:

 

有名 famous

有钱 wealthy

有哏 comical

有意思 interesting

..

But then you see sentences like: 

你觉得生活有压力吗? (Do you live with stress?; Is life stressful for you?)

刚刚他说考试有压力,… (He’s just said he is stressed due to the test.; He has a stressful test [on his mind]),

 

and it makes you think whether phrases such as 有压力 and 有压力 can be viewed as adjectives - 有压力 stressful(?) 有兴趣 interesting(?) (in certain context)

 

(Although I already posed a question about 有兴趣, but the majority already said 有 is not an intensifier which magically changes words into adjective by means of: X -> 有X)

 

Would it be safe to assume that by adding 有 to X (->有X) SOMETIMES/OFTEN changes X into adjective (in order to understand a certain phrase correctly). I mean, even if you look at the english language for example, there isn’t much of a difference between interpreting adjectives in a similar manner:

 

有意思 has/with idea/meaning/interest/.. —> interesting

有兴趣 has/with interest —> interesting

有钱 has/with money —> rich/wealthy

有压力 has/with pressure —> stressful

有效 has/with result —> efficacious

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Shelley

I have found that by preserving the word order and not translating the chinese into "correct" English that I understand more clearly the grammar and sentence structure.

 

I started a topic about it here http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/50055-preserving-word-order/

 

I mention it because I think it would help you if you stop trying to anglicise chinese. I found that when I stopped trying to squeeze the chinese sentence into an English sentence I understood the grammar, word construction as per your examples much more clearly.

 

There is not always an exact 1 - 1 meaning of chinese words/ideas to English words.

 

There are several meanings to 有 as you probably are well aware of but the meaning to have usually fits, have stress, have money and so on, they do translate to stressful and wealthy but unless you are a Chinese - English translator I wouldn't bother going the next step and just read it as have stress, have money.

 

Have a look a the link, I think it explains it better.

 

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陳德聰

有兴趣 still doesn't mean "interesting".

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Shelley

According to Pleco it does mean 1) interested 2) interesting

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roddy

That's CC-CEDICT, and in a fight between CC-CEDICT and 陳德聰, 陳德聰 wins.

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metlx

Thank you Shelley, that’s really useful!

 

I realise there isn’t a 1-on-1 correspondence between english and chinese, often not even between english and other european languages, but it is important for me to chop sentences and try to make the connection nonetheless, to develop a deeper understanding about the structure used in a sentence.

 

The biggest problem is that I can’t fully immerse myself in grammar yet, and just pick up structures on to go without analysing them. I think one first needs to have a formidable vocabulary foundation and be acquainted with tons of phrases before being able to do that.

 

@roddy, so I take it you wouldn’t recommend CC-CEDICT (pleco, mdbg) dictionaries? 

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Shelley

Ah heck if I can't trust Pleco what's left?

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Shelley
The biggest problem is that I can’t fully immerse myself in grammar yet, and just pick up structures on to go without analysing them. I think one first needs to have a formidable vocabulary foundation and be acquainted with tons of phrases before being able to do that.

 

 

I disagree, I think you should study grammar from the start. Nothing too advanced, obviously but some. If you use a text book or some sort of course grammar will be introduced fairly early on.

 

You don't need to immerse yourself just learn some as you go along.

 

The preserving word order method helped me a lot with grammar.

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Vildhjerp

Even my dusty Oxford is telling me that 有[名词]s such as 有钱,有名,and 有意思 are all 形容词,which is true I guess when we translate them into English, but these are special cases. I'm pretty sure this is just a result of 是...的 being dropped due to frequent usage and the inevitability of the language undergoing foreshortening to promote ease and a faster means of communication, which there are a million examples of in Chinese, especially in smaller local dialects. These are highly specialized. For example, one can't say *她很有漂亮, so no, I wouldn't identify 有 as having any special grammatical function because these few words that it works with are the only words it works with.

 

For those of you that have Pleco with both CC-CEDICT and Adso, try searching up both "有关联" and "是有关联的." I'm not sure exactly why the latter is in there, but hey, it is.

 

Also, about 有兴趣. *这辆车太有兴趣了! *"This car is so interesting!" The reason why this is incorrect is because vehicles are (as far as I know) unable to express emotion, and therefore, interest. 兴趣 is a one way street. When somebody is interested in something, that person has the 兴趣, not the object being interested in. To put it biconditionally, I'd say any noun can 有兴趣 if and only if 们 can be attached to that noun.

 

I'd expect something like *可兴趣 to portray the state of being interesting. But I guess not.

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eddyf
Ah heck if I can't trust Pleco what's left?

 

Pleco the app has many dictionaries. CC-CEDICT is one of them. The Pleco dictionary is another one. All dictionaries have errata and some have more errata than others. CC-CEDICT in particular is a public-domain collaborative effort, with volunteers providing entries and corrections. It is probably not a good idea to consider it authoritative.

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eddyf

I think it doesn't hurt to see 有 as a modifier that can turn nouns into adjectives, although that's not necessarily the way I would choose to look at it. But it's helpful to realize that "有" phrases do behave the same as adjectives in a lot of situations (maybe all situations? That would essentially make them adjectives in practice). I've also heard it said that Mandarin doesn't have adjectives at all but rather it has "stative verbs", i.e. verbs that indicate a state and not an action. In that case, "有" is a stative verb that can take an object.

 

I'd expect something like *可兴趣 to portray the state of being interesting. But I guess not.

 

I wouldn't expect it to, since that makes it sound like 兴趣 is a transitive verb, when in fact it's a noun.

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陳德聰

Lol can't tell if Roddy is mocking me or not T_T

Here's your main problem: sometimes it is part of a word, and sometimes it is its own word. Think about English's adjectival suffix -ful. It is similar in meaning to the prefix 有 that you're describing. A major difference is that -ful is a bound morpheme that can't be by itself, so you will never encounter the type of ambiguity with it in English as you are in Chinese right now with 有.

That being said, you can't just put -ful onto the end of any noun and turn it into the adjective that would mean "full of noun". For example, you can't say "interestful", but there is a word "interesting" already that means the thing is of interest, or "interested" meaning the person is full of interest for something. The confounding part is that 有 is free to be its own word whenever it likes, so in a string like 有壓力 it really is two words, "have" and "pressure", because there is no word "pressureful". Maybe it's too semantics heavy of an explanation but the argument or entity that is referred to by 有壓力 is always going to be the person experiencing pressure, not the thing causing the pressure. If I say 我工作有壓力, it's me that has pressure, not my job. The same goes for 有興趣.

I was going to try to give some advice on how to parse whether you're looking at an adjective or not, but I think it's simply opaque. There might be some syllable-based analysis but I don't know what it is.

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Shelley

Yes, I understand. 有 stands on its own. I think of it has "has interest" I was surprised to see it "attached" to 興趣.

 

And I don't think roddy is mocking you :)

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metlx

I’m aware there may be other uses of 有 and mostly ascribed to human feelings, but when all else fails to explain a structure and this fits, why not interpret it as such?

 

Well, 有 would encompass all kind of adjectival affixes, which would put "-ful", "-ed" and "-ing" (where they acts as adjective) suffixes in the same basket.

 

Yes, there is no word "pressureful". I didn’t elaborate on connection between pressure and stress, so I will now: In both languages 压力 / pressure is connected to stress, especially when you add 有 or -ed.

 

有压力 

pressured  - i.e. "to force or try to force, as by influence or persuasion", which yields the result "under stress", thus "stressful". There is even a song called "Under Pressure" by Queen, so I believe the connection between pressure and stress in English is obvious, even though English (to my knowledge) is more refined in that aspect as "pressure" usually precedes "stress". One first needs to apply pressure (process) for another one to become stressful (result).

 

I’m not trying to come up with some universal rule for 有 when it comes to "adjectives", but a loose guideline for interpreting some of the sentences with 有. For something more serious, one would have to spend weeks to go through countless sentence examples involving 有 where it seems to act as an adjective attribute. It was just a thought, and I am aware that it may not always work.

 

Thanks all for your thoughts. :)

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陳德聰

I think perhaps it's because I didn't articulate it as clearly as I had hoped. What I mean is it's the same idea as in English, you simply can't say pressureful, but there is a word stressful which means exactly the same thing. You can't say interestful, but there is a word interesting and another word interested which would cover that meaning. This is what I was trying to allude to while also trying to hit the part where if you do follow this rule, it will lead you to incorrect interpretations like the one you have for 有興趣 and 有壓力, as these are not interesting and stressful respectively, but interested and stressed.

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roddy

ME? Mock a member. Wouldn't dare. 

 

No, I was serious. The open source dictionaries are useful, but I don't think they're the best. I'd also strongly recommend against mixing 'Pleco' up with 'the dictionaries you have' - people considering a purchase see that and think oh, maybe Pleco's not that good, when it really is all dependent on what dictionaries you have. It's also worth noting that of the dictionaries I have on there (Guifan, ABC, Pleco's own, CC) only one of them treats 有兴趣 as a headword.

 

If you don't want paid dictionaries, I'll happily recommend Pleco's own. I do wish they'd given it a different name though, so we can distinguish the dictionary engine from the dictionary. But then what do you expect from a man who names his software dictionary business after a fish, eh Mike?

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