If you are new to studying Chinese, you may think Chinese grammar is tough. You are not alone!
To make learning Chinese just a little less intimidating, here we explain three ways of how to use 的.
The simplest use of 的 indicates possession. For example:
Wǒ de shū
I + 的 + book
Mǎdīng de shǒujī
Martin + 的 + cell phone
Martin’s cell phone
02. Modifying Nouns: Adjectives
This particle can also be used to describe an attribute of an object. For example:
Dà de píngguǒ
Big + 的 + apple
In these types of sentences, 的 is used to connect the adjective (“big”) with the object (“apple”).
Wǒ xǐhuān píngguǒ, dà de hào chī.
I + like + apples, big + 的 + delicious
I like apples; the big ones are delicious.
03. Modifying Nouns: Verbal Phrases
Another common use of the particle is to link an object with a verbal phrase.
Grammar point: a verbal is a verb that acts like an adjective. A verbal phrase is a verb + a few other words that act like an adjective.For example:
Wǒ rènshì de zì hěn shǎo.
I + know + 的+ characters + very + few
The characters I know are very few.
(I know very few characters.)
Above, the verbal phrase “I know” describes the object “the characters”.
Jīntiān lái de rén hěn gāo.
Today + come + 的+ person + very + tall
The person coming today is very tall.
And in this sentence, the verbal phrase “coming today” works to describe the object “the person”.
In both cases, 的 is used to connect the verbal phrase and the object.
的 is a useful, flexible character and will appear in many constructions and forms of use. We hope this helps you understand some of this character's most common usages!
Let's tackle Chinese together, one grammar point at a time!
Sign up for Chinese classes by scanning the QR code below
or sending us an email at email@example.com
Want more Chinese culture or Culture Yard news?
Scan the QR code below to follow our official WeChat account!