verb+着 / (正)在+verb+呢

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anialuo

Senior Member
Polish
HI,

I'm having difficulties with understanding the difference between the structures: verb+着 and (正)在+verb+呢.

For example, 他在看着报 and 他在看报呢.
Do the two structures mean 'being in the middle of doing something'?What is the difference between them?
 
  • lumiere137

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    "着" emphasized synchronicity, and is used in narrative. For example, 他边看着报纸边听歌。
    在+verb+呢 is more like an answer to the question "what is he diong?"
     

    phoenixne

    New Member
    chinese
    i think 他在看着报 is just give your the information
    他在看报呢. not only give your the information,but also show your the teller's feeling.
     

    anialuo

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Thank you all for the information, but there's still something I'm confused about. In a grammar book I've been revising there were such examples:

    他们正在开会呢 with a note: 动作的进行

    and

    她抱着一个孩子 (动作的持续)

    For me the sentences both mean 'being in the middle of doing sth' like here: They're having a meeting/ She's holding a child.
    What am I missing here? What's the difference between the two structures?
     

    xiaolijie

    Senior Member
    UK
    English (UK)
    What am I missing here? What's the difference between the two structures?
    What you are missing is the context. The difference between the two is very subtle and is best shown in the context these structures occur.
     

    samanthalee

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, English - [Singapore]
    HI,

    I'm having difficulties with understanding the difference between the structures: verb+着 and (正)在+verb+呢.

    For example, 他在看着报 and 他在看报呢.
    Do the two structures mean 'being in the middle of doing something'?What is the difference between them?
    When using (正)在+verb, we are definitely talking about continuous tense.

    verb+着 is the complicated one. Loosely speaking, it refers to the "state of doing (something)".

    Note that we also have (正)在+verb+着, which is "being in the state of doing (something)"
     

    BODYholic

    Senior Member
    Chinese Cantonese
    a. 动作的进行 -> She is cooking / The Sun is rising.
    b. 动作的持续 -> She cooks / The Sun rises (in the east).

    For 'a.' you are looking at a block of continuous actions.

    For 'b.' you are looking at a sampled interval, any interval, during the course of actions. For example, A lady cooks from 10am to 1005am. If a sampling (of her action) is taken at 1002am, she should be doing her cooking during that time. For some reasons, 'sampling' is needed because the speaker may only 'witness' a small interval of a long continuous actions. This is commonly use in factual reporting.

    In short, the perspective is different.

    他们正在开会呢 with a note: 动作的进行

    and

    她抱着一个孩子 (动作的持续)
     
    Last edited:

    snooprun

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    HI,

    I'm having difficulties with understanding the difference between the structures: verb+着 and (正)在+verb+呢.

    For example, 他在看着报 and 他在看报呢.
    Do the two structures mean 'being in the middle of doing something'?What is the difference between them?
    I must correct you that "着" in this sentence"他在看着报" is gramatically redundant with “在". So if you edit out “着” in the first sentence ,you will find that there are no major differences between these two sentences. The seconnd is just a sentence for emphasis.
     

    anialuo

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Hi snooprun, thanks for the correction, but in the grammar book I found a note:
    The continuation and the progression of an action may take place simultaneously, eg.:

    她在织着毛衣呢,
    他们正在谈着话呢.

    please advise.

    Thanks in advance.
     

    snooprun

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    It would be more understandable , if we translate these sentences to English .
    她在织毛衣呢----She is knitting a sweater now.
    他们正在谈话呢.----They are taking to each other now.
    You see, "着" is like the word "now", it is gramatically right to use "now" in both sentences, but as "is doing" have implied the meaning of "now", it is better for us to delete the word "now" .
    So let's look back to those two chinese sentences, as "在" is equivalent to "is doing" , it is better for us to delete "着" for the purpose of concise sentences.
    Now, do you get it?
     

    BODYholic

    Senior Member
    Chinese Cantonese
    The continuation and the progression of an action may take place simultaneously, eg.:

    她在织着毛衣呢,
    他们正在谈着话呢.
    Mostly, the continuation and progression go in tandem. Just to make sure you understand the difference, can you give an example where there is 动作的持续 but no 动作的进行? :)
     
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