The complement of state

What is complement of state? Basically it is used to describe, or evaluate the result, degree and state of an act. Phrase such as“He runs fast”, the adjective “fast” is the complement to describe how he runs. There are many kinds of complements in English, but in Chinese this type of complement is mostly used for specific situations, like describing day to day activities, most frequently we use it to evaluate skills.

For the structure, we would add normally an adjective after a verb, but connect them with a particle “得de”,  which is usually the indicator of the complement of state, like “的de” is for connecting attributes and nouns.

And also a heads up, sometimes people confuse “地de” with “得de”, and what are the chances they sound the same too(probably they all function as structural particles, if we also include “的de”) The difference is that we use particle“地de” when we describe an action, sentence such as“He walked quietly into the room.” The translation would be“他悄悄地走进房间。Tā qiāoqiāo de zǒu jìn fángjiān.” Here “地de” together with an adjective is similar to adverbs of manner. So you can see it is important to know when to use which structure, now let’s go back to “得de”, the structure is,


他 跑 得 很 快。
Tā pǎo de hěn kuài.
Her runs very fast.

她 长 得 真 好看。
Tā zhǎng de zhēn hǎokàn
She is such a pretty girl.

In the case of only adding adjectives, the adverb such as “很hěn”,“真zhēn”,“挺tǐng” should be present, don’t forget that!

How good if things just stop right here …well…in this case no. Remember there are a lot of separable verbs, and it can be detached and reorganized? Here is one of the situation that rule applies. Use one of the separable verbs as an example,  跳舞tiàowǔ,the part “跳tiào” is a verb, the part“舞wǔ” is a noun, the complete structure should be,

complete verb(跳舞)+verb part(跳)+得+adjective

她 跳舞 跳 得 很 不错。
Tā tiàowǔ tiào dé hěn búcuò.
She dances really well.

Is it a bit crazy or does it actually makes some sense? I would say the particle“得”has to directly follow the verb, so that is why the part“跳” is repeated. A simple version would be when the first verb is skipped, and the sentence turns into a subject-predicate relation.

她 舞 跳 得 很 不错。
Tā wǔ tiào de hěn búcuò

And the question form and the answer would be,

她 舞 跳 得 好 吗?
Tā wǔ tiào de hǎo ma ?
Does she dance well?

她 跳 得 很 不错。
Tā tiào dé hěn búcuò.
She dances really well.

她 舞 跳 得 不 好。
Tā wǔ tiào dé bù hǎo
She doesn’t dance very well.

The question and answer mostly change on the part of complement, o let’s say after the “得”,since it is the main focus of the sentence.

Remember the complement can be a phrase too, here are more examples,

他 汉字 写 得 比 我 好看。
Tā hànzì xiě de bǐ wǒ hǎokàn

他们 累 得 不 想 走 了。
Tāmen lèi dé bù xiǎng zǒu le

她 听 了 这 个 消息,高兴 得 跳 起来。
Tā tīng le zhè gè xiāoxi,gāoxìng dé tiào qǐlái

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.