Negation with two verbs

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by Boyar, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. Boyar

    Boyar Senior Member

    A grammar exercise in my Chinese student's book requires me to make this sentence negative: 王先生请你喝茶 and suggests that the correct answer is 王先生不请你喝茶. Would it be correct to put 不 in front of 喝, too ? The meaning of the whole phrase will be different in this case, but would this break any grammar rule or not ?

    I will be grateful for any help you can provide.
  2. Loafaway

    Loafaway Member

    Mt. Jade, Taiwan
    Hi Boyar,
    This question is about請or不請: (NOT tea or coffee?)
    Mr. Wang “would” treat you to a cup of tea. 王先生[請]你喝(一杯)茶。
    Mr. Wang “would not” treat you to a cup of tea. 王先生[不請]你喝(一杯)茶。
    Atom 2013-09-12
  3. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie Senior Member

    English (UK)
    When you move the negator to another position in the sentece, the meaning of the sentence will change. This is a general principle and it can apply in other sentences and also in other languages. Here is an example in English:
    "He did not ask you to go" > < "He asked you not to go"
  4. zhg Senior Member

    The negated sentence sounds awkward, I can't think of a natural context for it to fit in.

    Do you have a context or it's just a stand-alone sentence? If it stands alone, I think there are more than one way to negate it ,using 没 is an option

    B:哦, 你误会了王先生没请我喝茶,我们只不过找个地方坐坐。
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  5. Boyar

    Boyar Senior Member

    Many thanks for your comments. This is a stand-alone exercise from a Chinese-language textbook and there is no more context. Anyway, I like the example zhg suggested and will keep it as a model for future use.

    There is no doubt that the negative phrase 王先生[不請]你喝(一杯)茶 is grammatically possible (even though it sounds really awkward).
    Is it equally possible to write 王先生請你不喝(一杯)茶 ? (I am aware that rewriting the sentence will change its meaning and I will not use either of these sentences as a model; the purpose of asking this question is for me to better understand how the Chinese grammar functions.)
  6. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
    Mr. Wrong implored, "Please don't drink the tea." Mr. Wong asked you not to drink the tea. In this case, we say "王先生請你别喝茶" or "王先生請你不要喝茶".
    别 = 不要
  7. Loafaway

    Loafaway Member

    Mt. Jade, Taiwan
    Hi Boyar,

    Mr. Wang “would” treat you to a cup of tea. 王先生[會請]你喝(一杯)茶。
    Mr. Wang “would not” treat you to a cup of tea. 王先生[不會請]你喝(一杯)茶。

    Adding [會] is more idiomatic.
    Atom (same day)
  8. Boyar

    Boyar Senior Member

    Ok, thanks, I think I have got the right idea about my point now. Negation is possible in both ways, but this requires something more than just moving 不 around within the phrase.
    I really appreciate the example (别 = 不要 ) from Skatinginbc that, I guess, I will study later in the course.
  9. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    I think this is a hard question. My first impression was the sentence was wrong. Second thought, we do say this in some occasions.
    The negative sentence sounds "very negative" to me. It's like: "No way! He WILL NOT treat you!"
    In other cases, we don't say things in this way. Compare:
    王先生不请你喝茶。 (He won't treat you.)
    王先生没有请你喝茶。 (He didn't ask that.)
    王先生没说要请你喝茶。(He didn't say he would... You must have misunderstand.)
    王先生不能请你喝茶了。(He has asked but cannot go now.)
    王先生请你别喝茶了。(Please stop drinking!)

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