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Namehaver

Chinese as a subject dropping language.

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Namehaver

To what extent can the subject of a sentence be dropped? Are there any specific rules as to when this should be done? I seens that directly after the subject has ben mentioned, you can drop it for a scentence, for example,

你有我的猫马。没有。

In the reply, the subject is left out. And in certain clauses this also seems to be allowed

我看电视以后吃午饭。

他唱歌的时候游泳。

In sentences like that, it seems to be okay to leave out that "I" that in english we would stick in. But, how often can this be done? I am familiar with japanese, which drops or implies the subject nearly in every sentence. You can say "I" once, and not say it again until the subject is changed. Is chinese that flexible with its subject dropping, or do you need to continue to say "I" in every sentence?

Or am I just confused?

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HashiriKata

You're on the whole correct. The subject, object, etc. on the whole can be (and should be) dropped in Chinese, Japanese (and many other), as long as it can be understood in the context of communication.

(There're a very small number of situations where the subject is not dropped, but you shouldn't be too concerned about this for now.)

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gougou

The example you gave technically does not leave out the subject, it just negates the verb (which is the Chinese way of saying "no".)

For the other two sentences, you can leave out the subject if it has been mentioned before (e.g. if you were to say these two sentences right after each other, you might possibly leave out the 我 in the first sentence, but not the 他 in the second one. Unless you wanted to be ambiguous, but that is usually not done in Chinese :twisted: )

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tanhql

chinese is only partially subject dropping. even in cases where the subject is understood, in some cases, dropping the subject can be a little bit wierd.

some examples:

(你)在喝什么?

(你)回家后要做什么?

今天(老师)有给功课吗?

明天(我们)要叫什么功课?

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skylee
他唱歌的时候游泳。

is this possible?

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HashiriKata

他唱歌的时候游泳。

is this possible?
No! It can probably improve with some swapping of the verbs:

他游泳的时候, 喜欢唱歌。

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skylee
他游泳的时候, 喜欢唱歌。

is this possible?

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anonymoose
is this possible?

在死海里游泳的时候,唱歌、看报纸都可以。

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semantic nuance

Yes, it's possible when the swimmer keeps his head out of water all the time. You know, 抬頭蛙的游法.

:)

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HashiriKata

他游泳的时候, 喜欢唱歌。

is this possible?
好的!:

他洗澡的时候, 喜欢唱歌。

Is this possible? :mrgreen:

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