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Demonstrative Adjectives In Chinese Grammar: A Simple Guide

Chinese has a set of three words that can be used as demonstrative adjectives.

We use demostrative adjectives to signal the relative position of a noun, the main demonstrative adjectives in Chinese language are: proximal 这 (this), distal 那 (that), and distance-neutral 是 (this or that), the last word is frequently used as the article "the", however Chinese people don't have specific words for articles.

EnglishChinesePinyin
This/TheseZhè
That/Those

Note: Chinese people also use the numeral 一 (Yī) "one" as a demonstrative adjective and it's located before some verbs to transform them into nouns.

Examples:

He laughed this laugh.

他笑了一笑.

Tā xiào le yīxiào.

She waits that wait.

她等待一個等待.

Tā děngdài yīgè děngdài.

I look this look.

我看一看.

Wǒ kàn yī kàn.

Note: Demonstrative adjectives usually occur at the beginning of sentences, they may often serve as the subject of the sentence.

Examples:

This is my apple.

这是我的蘋果

Zhè shì wǒ de píngguǒ.

That is your pen.

那是你的鋼筆.

Nà shì nǐ de gāngbǐ.

These are her books.

这是她的書.

Zhè shì tā de shū.

Those are his shoes.

那些是他的鞋子.

Nàxiē shì tā de xiézi.

Note: Demonstrative adjectives can be used in both: statements or questions.

Examples:

What is this?

这是什麼呢?

Zhè shì shénme ne?

Where is that?

那在哪兒?.

Nà zài nǎer?

What are these things?

这些東西是什麼?

Zhèxiē dōngxi shì shénme?

Where are those places?

那些地方在哪裡?

Nàxiē dìfāng zài nǎlǐ?


Author: Zoe Mei
"学一门语言,就是多一个观察世界的窗户。"
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