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Having a hard time with predicate adjectives


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I've recently learned the function of chinese adjectives as predicates.

We've been taught not to use 是 verb before a predicate adjective, and instead use 很. Yet, I'm very much confused with the use of "<subject> 是 <adjective> 的" sentence alongside.

When trying to say "he is tall" I can say both "他很高" and "他是高的". It seems 是 is being used after all.

Please help me figure it out...


By the way, if talking about adjectives, I'm also confused with adjectices that function as subjects or objects, for example, in the following sentence: "他喜欢安静". Aren't they just converted into nouns? Why do we still refer to them as adjectives?


Thanks a lot!

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your second question requires a very detailed answer, lots of literature to read, but simply put, many do not refer to them as adjectives, but as stative verbs. The grammatical concepts of verbs and adjectives are largely western constructs, and while Chinese grammar can and is being rewritten in this style, it is traditionally considered more fluid, where words and concepts can serve different purposes in different contexts. so in answer to your question, yes 安静 could be understood as a 'noun' in your sentence, but elsewhere may be a verb or adjective

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not that I'm aware of in particular, although more than likely there is someone here that will be able to recommend you something. Reading some of Pulleyblanks discussions on Chinese grammar was certainly useful for me, but he mainly writes about about traditional literary Chinese and not modern Mandarin so it might not be too helpful for answering your immediate questions

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