word order: time, frequency, place and company

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by bwuw, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. bwuw

    bwuw Senior Member

    Spanish (Spain) and Catalan
    I was wondering about the most common order of complements in the chinese sentence. When time, frequency, place and company appear together, which is the correct order? I know that the c.time can be placed before the subject also, but I'm not sure about the complement of company and place. I know that chinese can also vary the order of complements to emphasize something. So which of these two options sounds more neutral to you?:

    1) subjetc + c.time + c.frequency + c.company + c.place + verb : 我常常跟我同事一起在办公室吃午饭。我星期二平时跟我哥哥(一起)在家里吃早饭。
    2)subjetc + c.time +c.frequency + c.place + c.company + verb :我常常在办公室跟我同事一起吃午饭。我星期二平时在家里跟我哥哥一起吃早饭。

  2. zhg Senior Member

    They all look the same to me. You can emphasize any part of the sentence you like by placing the stress on it, usually there is a pause before the stressed part.
  3. davidjin96

    davidjin96 Member

    "我平时星期二……" es mejor que "我星期二平时……", y otras partes de todas las oraciones son correctas.
  4. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
    Indeed, the word order can vary due to emphasis, and thus what sounds natural to me largely depends on the context. For instance,
    Contrast between 午饭 and 早饭 ==> 午饭我常跟同事在办公室吃, 早饭我常跟哥哥在家里吃
    In English, "have our lunch together" 一起吃午饭 is unmarked whereas "My colleagues and I together" 我常跟同事一起 is somewhat marked (i.e., with an emphasis or focus). This subtle difference holds true in Mandarin as well. Assuming you are asking for an "unmarked" or neutral sentence (i.e., no emphasis on a particular element), I would say 我常跟同事在办公室一起吃午饭 "My colleagues and I often have our lunch together in the office". This reflects only my opinion, not to be taken as "the rule".

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