I'm not sure if you've noticed or not, there is a group of verbs in Chinese such as "见面jiànmiàn", "结婚jiéhūn" that are like landmines in speaking and you're rarely sure about using it correctly or not. Sometimes you even have already noticed that it's an awkward verb and need to be careful but still didn't get it right in the end (damn it!)
In today's grammar post, let's take a look into this group of verbs to see how we can use it correctly and say goodbye to the mistakes thoroughly!
First, let's see why these verbs are special.
As you know, all the Chinese words are the combinations of the meaning unit - character.
For example, the word "airplane", in Chinese is "飞机 fēijī". But if you look into the internal structure of the word, each character conveys an independent meaning and the whole word's meaning is built on the combination of the two characters which are also two basic meanings.
飞fēi means "to fly", 机jī means "machine". Literally, "飞机" means "flying machine".
Therefore, to understand the special usage of a verb, we should also look into the internal structure of the verb.
When you learn "见面jiànmiàn", you see the English translation of the word is "to meet". However, "见面" is not as simple as "to meet", the literal translation of "见面" is "to see the face" if you look into the word character by character.
So internally, "面" means "face" is an object of the verb "见 to see". That's why we don't say：
Wǒ jiànmiàn wǒ de péngyou。
As "面" and "我的朋友" can't be put after the verb "见" as two different objects. Instead, we say:
Wǒ gēn wǒ de péngyou jiànmiàn
So to use this type of verbs correctly, do remember not to direct connect them with object or complement. Use like this:
结婚 literally means "to tie a marriage".
Jenny xiàgeyuè gēn Mike jiéhūn。
Jenny will marry Mike next month.
"Jenny下个月结婚Mike" is wrong!
帮忙 literally means "do a favor"
Nǐ kěyǐ bāng wǒ yígemáng ma？
Could you do me a favour?
"你可以帮忙我吗？" is wrong!
睡觉 literally means "to sleepv a sleepn"
Wǒ shuì de hěnhǎo！
I slept quite well!
"我睡觉得很好！" is wrong！
跑步 literally means "to run a jog"
wǒ zuótiān pǎo le wǔ gōnglǐ。
I ran five kilometres yesterday.
"我昨天跑步了五公里。" is wrong!
You got it? Understand all these verbs better and practice them more. You will never step on the landmine next time when you use this type of verbs in Chinese!
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