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Compound complements of direction


aeitodd
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Hello! I'm studying compound complements of direction (站起来/跑出去 etc) and I'm having trouble understanding sentence order with locations and objects - any help would be appreciated

 

I understand that with a location, the location should go before 去/来 - e.g. 他走进教室来. But could I also say 他走教室进来 (i.e. the location goes before the whole compound complement 进来)?

 

With objects, I since the object can go before or after 去/来 - would these 3 sentences all be correct?买东西回来,买回东西来,买回来东西

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I'm not really great at Chinese grammar, so please take this with a grain of salt, but isn't 进来 a separable verb here so 他走进教室来 looks better and I'd expect 他走教室进来 to be wrong. To me the second one doesn't seem to properly convey what kind of relationship 教室 has to what's going on. "He walks the class room and comes in" ... to where? I think you could say something like 他往教室走 if you want to put the verb after the location, but the meaning and usage is completely different from what you're trying to say.

 

Of the three (买东西回来,买回东西来,买回来东西), I think only the first one is right. The second seems like going back is an action you somehow do to the stuff you have. Better to explain the going back with where you are going back to: 回家来. The last one doesn't really make sense to me.. "To buy going back stuff"?

 

Here's a jab at combining these two.

他买了很多东西回进教室来。

Looking forward to someone with a firmer grasp of grammar to comment on this! 😅

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I am likely to get myself in trouble here, but I spent a bit of time recently trying to make sense of the disparate rules as best I could.  Below is a decision tree with notes that you might or might not be able to discern.  (v.o. are verb-object verbs.)

 

Hopefully somebody better qualified than me will respond.  There could well be errors in what I did.  If there is a better / shorter answer, I'll be happy to see it. 

 

  • Simple complements of direction (COD)

    • Yes obj., no 了: The object can either go after the verb (and before the COD) or after the COD.  (你搬去这把椅子吧。 or 你搬这把椅子去吧。 → Bring over this chair.)  (拿 几 个 碗 来 → Bring a few more bowls.)  If the object indicates place, it must go after the v. (and before the COD).  (我 在 楼上 →  I'm on the upper floor.) 

    • No obj., yes 了: If the sentence has no object, you can put the completed action 了 either after the main verb or at the end of the sentence.  (他跑了出去 or 他跑出去了  → He ran out.)  (他搬 进去 了。 → He moved in.)

    • Yes location obj., yes 了: The location obj. must go after the v. and before the COD. Put the completed action 了 either after the main verb or after the COD.  (我 妹妹 到 上海 来 了。 → My sister arrived in Shanghai.)  [I expect 了 can go at the end of the sentence but haven't seen it.]
    • Yes obj., yes 了: The object can go either after the main verb (and before the COD) or after the COD.  Place 了 either right after the COD or at the very end of the sentence.   ((你带汉语书来了?  你带汉语书了吗? Did you bring the Chinese book over?) (他拿来 了两 张 机票。 → He brought two plane tickets.)  (我 带 来 了 一 些 水果。 → I brought some fruit.) [I don't believe 了 can go after the main verb.]
  • Compound complements of direction (COD)

    • Yes obj., no 了: If a non-location object is specified, it goes either in the middle of the compound COD or after the COD.    (她 从 墙 上取 下来一 副 画。 → She took off a painting from the wall.)  If an object that specifies a location is used, the location must go in the middle of the compound COD. 

    • No obj., yes 了: 了 can either go after the main verb (that is, before the compound COD), or after the compound COD.  (我看出来了 →  I saw / discerned. [extended meaning ex.] (听到这个笑话他笑了起来 → Ting1 dao4 zhe4 ge xiao4 hua, ta1 xiao4 le qi3 lai2 → Having heard this joke she started laughing. [extended meaning ex.]

    • Yes location obj., yes 了: The location-object must go in the middle of the compound COD and 了 afterwards.  (e.g. 他们都爬上山去了 → They all climbed the mountain.)  (e.g. 我看见他走进图书馆去了 I saw him go into the library.)  [Everything I've read has been consistent, but I still wonder if 了 can't go in the middle of the compound COD.  We see this with extended results with regular objects; also, with a simple COD, 了 can go after the verb.]

    • Yes obj., yes 了: 了 goes after the COD followed by the object.  (我给朋友寄回去了一本介绍中国的书.  → I sent a book about China.)  Either the obj. itself or 了 + obj. can also go in the middle of the COD, though this set of rules might only be true for extended meanings.  (e.g. 他说出了他的秘密 → She told her secret out. 来 is optional.)  (吃完晚饭我们聊起天来了 → Chi1 wan2 wan3 fan4 wo3 men liao2 qi3 tian1 lai2 le → After dinner, we started chatting.)  My logic follows:

    • [Side comment: Most rules say 了 + obj. follows the COD, but that is not true with extended meanings and might not be true generally.  1) Often the last part of the compound COD is optional--as Yoyo points out--and dropping that would reduce to having the obj. after the COD (potentially with 了 at the end of the sentence, which is ok).  2) Moreover,  "extended meanings" allow 了 + obj. to go either in the middle of the compound COD.  If there is 了, it can either go before the object or after the compound COD.  (魔术师变出了一只兔子来 → mo2 shu4 shi1 bian4 chu1 le yi4 zhi1 tu4 zi lai2 → The magician conjured up a rabbit.)]

  • Extended meanings: Some of these seem to be compl. of result (e.g.关上 → to close something) and in fact the Grammar Wiki does make some distinctions as to the type of complement.  However, I treat the complex ones as compound CODs.  Anyway, the rules for extended meanings seem to be identical for compound CODs with one exception--and that raises the question of whether this is an exception or whether the rule above is too limiting.  I chose the latter and basically "merged" the exception below into the compound COD rule above.

    • For extended COD there is a rule that the object can also go in the middle of the COD. It doesn't need to.  If there is 了, it can either go before the object or after the compound COD.  (魔术师变出了一只兔子来 → mo2 shu4 shi1 bian4 chu1 le yi4 zhi1 tu4 zi lai2 → The magician conjured up a rabbit.)

 

  • With v.o. verbs, the obj. needs to go in the middle of the compound COD.  (他看起书来就忘了时间。 → tā kàn qǐ shū lái jiù wàng le shí jiān.  → He, when it comes to reading, forgets about time.)  Greg (from Yoyo) noted: "Basically, 起来 is attached to single-syllable verbs, but when that verb has an object, the object is placed in between 起 and 来." 
  • In general, simple objects go after the verb or in the middle of the compound COD while long involved objects go after.
    • A simple object, such as a noun without a number word and measure word; a noun without a descriptive clause; and in particular an object which is a place word e.g., 家, 学院... should be placed in the middle of a combined complement. 
    • Normally a complex object such as  a noun with a number, measure word or a descriptive clause can be placed after the combined complement

 

 

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