verb+不+verb

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by gvergara, May 2, 2014.

  1. gvergara

    gvergara Senior Member

    Santiago, Chile
    Español
    Hi, my previous teacher insisted on the fact that in everyday Chinese when you want to ask a (动词)不(动词) question, and the verb has two syllables, you just repeat the first syllable, putting the in between (for example: 喜欢茶?). However, in general, the books I've used do not do this (the full verb is repeated). I've just come across the following example

    她漂亮不漂亮?

    I know that 漂亮 is not a verb, but it is an adjectival predicate, so I guess the rule should apply in this case anyway. Please correct me if I am wrong, thanks in advance,

    G.
     
  2. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    I don't think our grammar books have a standard answer for this. To me, both ways are natural.
    The omission would usually make you sound more "native and casual", sometimes even "too native" to make the sentence sounds a bit funny. I know there're some examples but I can't recall for now.
     
  3. gvergara

    gvergara Senior Member

    Santiago, Chile
    Español
    Thanks. Does that mean that 漂亮? would be correct too?
     
  4. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    Can't judge whether it's "correct" or not, but it's quite idiomatic.
     
  5. gvergara

    gvergara Senior Member

    Santiago, Chile
    Español
    That's what I needed, thank you ;)
     
  6. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin 國語
    I prefer 漂漂亮 over 漂亮, 好不好吃 over 好吃不好吃, 有錢 over 有錢...
    Reasons:
    1. Economical: using less words to covey the same.
    2. Rhythmic: Chinese idioms usually contain four words. Phrases like 漂漂亮, 好不好吃, and 有有錢 follow the four-syllable rhythm.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2014
  7. YangMuye

    YangMuye Senior Member

    It's not the first time I'm thinking about this question. Even for inseparable verbs such as 墨迹, you still split it in the v不v structure. 不 operates on purely syllable level rather than lexical level. It makes me think if it is a kind of inflection.
     
  8. Ghabi

    Ghabi Moderator

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese
    Sometimes in Hong Kong Cantonese people use English verbs, say dap1pi4kei4 (<--"duplicate"), and one can say dap1m4dap1pi4kei4 (m4 being the equivalent of Mandarin bu4), so it seems you just need to reduplicate the first syllable before adding the infix, regardless of the number of syllable the verb contains (whether it's two or three or more).
     
  9. YangMuye

    YangMuye Senior Member

    Adjectives and nouns too.
    卡不卡哇伊 (I prefer 卡哇伊不卡哇伊)
    沙不沙发
    You can put these words in
    But “W不WTO” is a wired one
     
  10. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin 國語
    Strangely, when it comes to a noun phrase, I prefer not to separate it. For instance,
    管他什么不什么的 > 管他什不什么的
    没有老板不老板的区别 > 没有老不老板的区别
    Gerunds are exceptions: 没有说不说话的自由 > 没有说话不说话的自由
     
  11. YangMuye

    YangMuye Senior Member

    Me, too.
    If it's a verb or adjective phrase, I prefer to separate it.
    If it's a noun, I prefer to keep it.
     
  12. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin 國語
    We are on the same page.
     

Share This Page