verb+了+amount of time

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by lujuninho, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. lujuninho Member


    This structure in chinese: V。 + (le) + time-measure word + (de)N。


    are the above examples correct?

    if so how can I put these verbs 睡觉 聊天 学习 into the same structure ( V。 + (le) + time-measure word + (de)N。)?

  2. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    Your examples are all correct.
    Many Chinese words or verb-phrases follow a "verb+noun structure" inside themselves, such as 唱歌, 走路, 睡觉.
    You can put 了 inbetween the two characters.
    睡觉 follow the structure.
    So it's totally correct to say 睡了一个小时的觉。
    Or simply 睡了一个小时。

    Some other words are a little bit special.
    聊天: Although 天 can be the noun for "聊", it has a more common meaning "the sky". So 聊了...天 is not as natural as 唱了...歌, 走了...路, but it's still ok.
    i.e. 我们聊了一个小时的天。
    or 我们聊了一个小时。 Better.
    学习: The structure is "verb+verb". 学(learn)+习(practice). So it's wrong to say 学了习.
    You should say: 学习了一个小时。
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012
  3. lujuninho Member

  4. Ghabi

    Ghabi Moderator

    Hong Kong
    Hi! As SuperX hints at above, this question can be very tricky. It has a lot to do with whether a native speaker feels that a polysyllabic verb can be broken or not. For verbs like 学习, with both morphemes being verbal elements with similar meanings, one instinctively feels that one can't insert things between the two syllables.

    However, this is not absolute. For examples, you may say, 都圣诞节了,人人都去玩了,你还什么! You see here we do break the verb, although we don't say *学了一个小时的习.

    It also doesn't necessarily has to do with the morphology of the verb. For example, when we play chess we say 将军 for "checkmate!"; now this is a single word that should not be chopped into two (literally "General"; "Commander"), but then we do say 将你的军! (imagine one saying *"check your mate!" in English, which sounds funny).

    So, well, not really good tidings that befit this festive occasion, but, as far as I'm aware, there's really no way to generalize and all things just boil down to idiomatic usage. Do enjoy your holidays, though!:)

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