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Pegasus

Question about 又 [adjective] 又 [adjective]

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Pegasus

Hi everyone, 

 

I have a grammar/usage/convention question about “又 [adjective] 又 [adjective]” that I'm hoping to get your thoughts on. 

 

I was wondering if there was any rule (or maybe just guideline by general usage conventions) that says that the adjectives used in the structure “又 [adjective] 又 [adjective]” ought to be the same number of characters each (like for example both single characters or both double characters), or if that doesn't matter at all. 

 

For example, let's say I have a sentence that goes, “一條又小又餓的毛毛蟲...”. In this example, the adjectives (one adjective after each 又) are both single character adjectives. (By the way, if anyone is curious, this sentence is from one of the many different translations out there on the internet of a popular children's story called The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I have the physical book, but it's the original English language version. I have been wanting to type up and print out a Chinese translation, cut it into parts, and then tape or glue the parts of the Chinese translation into the inside of the book on each page corresponding to the original English sentences.) 

 

Would it sound strange if I added a “好” or a “很” before just the 餓? Like this: 
“一條又小又好餓的毛毛蟲...” 
or
“一條又小又很餓的毛毛蟲...”

 

Would it make it sound strange or would it be totally fine? If I added the 好 or 很, it would no longer be a matching number of adjective characters after both 又s. The first one would be a single character adjective and the second one would be a double character adjective. Is this okay?

 

I tried looking around Chinese learning websites on the internet to see if I could find the answer. Although I did find information on what “又...又...” means, I didn't find the precise answer to the exact question that I'm wondering about.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts. I really appreciate it.

 

Thank you very much! Cheers! 

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Beelzebro

Those sentences definitely feel wrong but I think the problem isn't the number of characters, rather it's using an adverb within the 又...又 pattern.

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Pegasus

@Beelzebro Ah. I guess that is what I've done here (or am trying to do), i.e., I'm trying to insert 好/很 as an adverb to modify 餓 within the 又...又... pattern. I guess this is not okay?

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QAQo.

The Chinese form of “又+[adj]+又+[adj]+[noun]”equals the English form of “[adj]+[adj]+[noun]” in your case.

 

But, “ a little hungry caterpillar” shouldn’t be translated as “ 一條又小又餓的毛毛蟲” but “一條(飢)餓的小毛毛蟲”.

Although both “小” and “餓” modifier “毛毛蟲”, the adjective “小” and “餓” decribe different thing that “小” describes the size of the caterpillar but “餓” describes the situation of the caterpillar. So, it sounds kind of awkward in Chinese, but it’s grammatically correct.

 

If you add an adverb into the form of “又+[adj]+又+[adj]+[noun]”, you could say “ 一條又小又很餓的毛毛蟲”, and it sounds natural. “很” is better than “好” in this case, but they both correct. As an adverb “好” is often used in speaking, and “很” is often used in both of speaking and writing.

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Shelley

I seem to remember a discussion about the order of multiple adverbs describing someone/thing. The order needs to be things that can change like being hungry first and things that don't change such as the size of something - little.

 

So the Very Hungry Little Caterpillar sounds better than the Very little hungry caterpillar.

 

As something can go from little to big, I think its more to do with which is likely to change first, if the very hungry little Caterpillar eats he may be the sated fat caterpillar.

 

I will see if I can find the original discussion, it explains it so much better than my clumsy attempt.

 

Edit:

 

I found the link https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/english-grammar/two-adjectives

 

In the original discussion we felt it also applied to Chinese.

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Beelzebro

Please correct me if I'm mistaken, but I have been under the impression that the 又adj又adj structure should only really be used when the two adjectives complement each other. I don't think 饿 and 小 are complementary and that's why it doesn't really work with these two adjectives. 

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