This grammar section is divided into a few sub-sections, and will be described through
a few week activities:
SP3 : Prepositional Phrases
- Prepositions (介词) are words that come before nouns and pronouns to expressing time, place, direction, objective, reason, means, dependence, passivity, comparison, etc.
- The preposition plus its noun phrase forms a prepositional phrase
Prepositional Phrase = Preposition + Noun Phrase
在家里 at home
跟我们 with us
给他 to him
- Common prepositions include:
- In normal situation, prepositional phrases (prepositional + noun phrase) always occur right before the verb and its objects.
Subject + Prepositional Phrase + Verb + Direct Object
1. I am reading at the library. wǒ zài tú shū guǎn kàn shū 。 我 在 图 书 馆 看 书 。 Subject Prepositional
Verb Object I at the library reading 2. I bought him a bag. wǒ gěi tā mǎi le yī gè shū bāo 。 我 给 他 买 了 一 个 书 包 。 Subject Prepositional Phrase Verb Particle Object I for him buy a bag
- Many prepositions also function as verbs.
1. I am at home. (as verb) wǒ zài jiā 。 我 在 家 。 2. I eat at home. (as preposition) wǒ zài jiā chī fàn 。 我 在 家 吃 饭 。
- Chinese uses postpositions in many constructions rather than prepositions (compared to English).
1. on the table zhuō zi shàng 桌 子 上 Noun Preposition the table on 2. inside the house. fáng zi lǐ miàn 房 子 里 面 Noun Preposition the house inside
- There are some differences while using the prepositions in Chinese compared to English. The sentence patterns are not the same for both languages.
- This is an interesting article about Chinese Parts of Speech.
I do agree with what Brian said:
“My whole experience with learning Chinese is that it has a lot to do with just accepting things and learning conventions, rather than the “big picture” of the language, especially in terms of grammar. In my experience it is generally more useful to learn example sentences than dissect the grammatical nature of each character in a sentence.
This is in contrast to a language like German, which I have also studied. Its relatively predictable grammar and modular verb and noun stem forms make it easy to intuitively put together new compound words and structures.”
So I will try to give you an overview of Chinese grammar (sentence pattern) instead of going into very details and dissect the grammatical nature of each character in a sentence.