{Verb + 得/不 + ...} --> {能 + Verb + ...}

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Senior Member

In an exercise I have to transform sentences of the {V + 得/不 + ...} type into sentences with modal verbs.
Could you,please,just tick off the wrong ones:

1.万人大礼堂坐得下一万个人 --> a) 万人大礼堂能坐一万个人 or b) 万人大礼堂能坐下一万个人
2.箱子太小了,这么多书放得下吗? --> a) ...,这么多书能放吗? or b) ...,这么多书能放下吗?

My own guess is that 'a' is right in both cases, but I`m not really sure I understand why.

Thanks so much!.
  • ElGarcia

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Mandarin
    1.万人大礼堂坐得下一万个人 --> a) 万人大礼堂能坐一万个人:tick: or b) 万人大礼堂能坐下一万个人:tick:
    You may want to choose (b) as that's the exact transformation of the original sentence, but (a) is totally fine.

    2.箱子太小了,这么多书放得下吗? --> a) ...,这么多书能放吗?:cross: or b) ...,这么多书能放下吗?:tick:
    能放吗 sounds ambiguous. We might say "这水果能放吗?" "新鲜荔枝不能放。" to refer to something that won't last/go bad quickly. So for books it doesn't make sense.


    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    I agree with above.
    In addition, if the second one is changed to "a)能放这么多书吗 b)能放下这么多书吗", then both a) and b) are correct, too. However if 这么多书 is placed before 能, only b) is correct.
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