05 February 2011

Differentiating “的”, “地” and “得”

Many children are confused about the use of  ”, “” and “” in a sentence.  They are three of the common mistakes I have to correct when I was teaching last time.  These 3 are high frequency words and they are all read as “de”.  So when children want to pen down the word, they are not sure which to use. 

Here’s some tips on how to use these 3 important words:

1. is used in front of a noun (ie. A word used to name a person, animal, place, thing, and abstract idea).  Words in front of “” usually describe or restrict the noun behind.
Sentence structure: Descriptive/ restrictive word + + noun
Eg.  我的妈妈;公园的景物美极了;有趣的情节;  轻轻的河水
妈妈,景物,情节 and 河水 are nouns, so we should use “” in front of them.  and 公园 restrict the noun behind; it’s not her mother but mine, it’s not the school’s scenery but the park’s.  有趣 and 轻轻 describe the noun behind.

2. is used in front of a verb (ie. An action word). Words in front of “” usually describe the verb behind.
Sentence structure: Descriptive word + + verb
Eg. 他大声地回答问题; 愉快地唱歌;用力地踢球;开心地笑
回答,唱歌,踢球 and are verbs, so we should use “” in front of them. Word in front of “” describes the actions after it; it usually tells you the “how” of the action, eg. how did he answer the question (他怎样回答问题?他大声地回答问题)

3. is used after a verb. Words that come after “” further elaborate the verb in front. The emphasis is on the verb in front.
Sentence structure: Verb + + words that elaborate the verb
Eg. 打扫得很干净;笑得流出了眼泪;走得很快;跳得很高
打扫,笑,走 and are verbs.  If “”and“”are used in a sentence, “” will usually precede these words.
Eg. 高,时间过快,收音机开大声了

However, there are exceptions to the general rules above, depending on what’s the emphasis of the sentence.
Eg. 他高兴得跳了起来 (He is so happy that he jumps into the air)
高兴is a descriptive word and is a verb. The emphasis here is his happiness, not his jumping action. So we need to use “” before the verb in this case.

Another example:
A) 看了这场电影,她感动哭了。
B) 看了这场电影,她感动哭了。
In these 2 sentences, the only difference is “” and “” but it makes a lot of difference in the meaning. Sentence A emphasizes on “感动”, “哭了” elaborates on her emotion (ie. How is she emotionally touched?).  On the other hand, sentence B emphasizes on “哭了”, “感动” is added to describe how she cried.

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Welcome to Happy Cottage!

I started 开心屋 - Happy Cottage because I have 凯 and 欣 in the house. Together they are the 开心 (sounds like) team.

Mommy loves Chinese language and is a big fan of Chinese story books. Thus the kids often receive interesting children Chinese story books from mommy. Many of the children Chinese story books are so beautifully drawn and well written that I like to read them myself.

Learning and loving the language is not an easy task in Singapore as our environment is not condusive enough for such learning. Thus I believe I have to create such an environment at home. Through daily communication in Mandarin and regular reading of the Chinese materials, I hope to cultivate their likings for the language. You can find many of the books in the Book Store.

Besides introducing children Chinese story books to you, I would also like to share some learning resources and tips on the usage of the language here. I've met some parents, in their best attempt to communicate with their kids in Mandarin, misread some words or used an incorrect sentence structure. You can find the information in the tabs above.

So, why is this blog written in English? I know of many parents who have kinda lost touch with the language. If I were to share in Chinese, then it may not be as effective.

Do come back often for more updates.