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Grammar 1 – How to use‘de’

In Chinese, there are three  ‘de’s which carry different grammatical functions: 的、得 and 地.  Even many advanced learners might still get confused when using them. Here I summarized the usage of them briefly:

1. 的                  description + 的 + noun

– possession:  我的书 (wǒ de shū, my book) 、爸爸的车 (bàba de chē, Dad’s car)

– description of a noun (的 ‘de’ can be preceded by an adjective or by a sub-clause):

红色的书 (róngsè de shū, red book)、爸爸买的车 (bàba mǎi de chē, the car that Dad bought)

2. 得                 verb + 得 +description

– description of a verb (得 ‘de’ is preceded by a verb and can be followed by a adverb, an adjective or other phrases)

跑得快 (pǎo de kuài, run fast)  、 紧张得睡不着 ( jǐnzhāng de shuì bù zháo, so nervous that can not sleep)

3. 地                adverb + 地 +verb

– description of an action (地  ‘de’ is used between an adverb and a verb)

慢慢地走 (màn man de zǒu, walk slowly) 、大声地笑 (dàshēng de xiào, laugh loudly)

Is it clearer now? And you need more exercises of course.

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