This grammar section is divided into a few sub-sections, and will be described through a few week activities:
SP5 : Adverbs
- Adverbs in Chinese typically occur at the beginning of the predicate （before an adjective, a verb phrase or a prepositional phrase）.
Subject + Adverbs + Predicate (Adjective / Verb / Prepositional Phrase)
1. He only knows (recognizes) five characters. tā cái rèn shí wǔ gè zì 。 他 才 认 识 五 个 字 。 Subject Adverbs Predicate He only knows five characters 2. They can all speak Japanese. tā men dōu huì shuō rì yǔ 。 他 们 都 会 说 日 语 。 Subject Adverbs Predicate They all can speak Japanese
- Adverbs are used to show logical functions, degree, extent, negation, time, probability, etc.
- Logical Functions
Some of the adverbs: 也， 都， 还， 只， 就， 才， 又， 再， 更， 在
1. I only have one dollar. wǒ zhī yǒu yī kuài qián 。 我 只 有 一 快 钱 。 Subject Adverbs Predicate I only have one dollar 2. He neither smokes nor drinks. tā bú chōu yān ， yě bú hē jiǔ 。 他 不 抽 烟 ， 也 不 喝 酒 。 Subject Predicate Adverbs Predicate He not smoking also not drinking wine
- Intensifier (Degree)
Some of the adverbs: 很， 太， 夠， 非常
1. I’m extremely grateful to you. wǒ fēi cháng gǎn xiè nín 。 我 非 常 感 谢 您 。 Subject Adverbs Predicate I extremely grateful to you 2. I’m very glad to meet you. jiàn dào nǐ hěn gāo xìng 。 见 到 你 很 高 兴 。 Adverbs Adjective meeting you very happy / glad
Extent is represented by all and only.
Some of the adverbs: 只有 （而已）， 统统
1. She only has one brother. tā zhī yǒu yī gè gē ge 。 她 只 有 一 个 哥 哥 。 Subject Adverbs Predicate She only have one brother
- Affirmative and Negative
Negation is represented by not and no, while positive is represented by two adverbs surely and sure. Most adverbs must precede negation, but some adverbs may occur before or after negation.
Some of the adverbs: 不， 肯定， 一定
1. I am definitely going. wǒ yī dìng qù 。 我 一 定 去 。 Subject Adverbs Predicate I definitely go
Adverbs usually occur after the ‘time when’ phrase.
Subject + Time Phrase + Adverbs + Predicate
Some of the adverbs: 了， 已经， 经常， 将要， 最后， 当初
1. I’ve had enough. wǒ yǐ jīng chī bǎo le 。 我 已 经 吃 饱 了 。 Subject Adverbs Predicate I already full (eat one’s fill) 2. This kind of problem frequently crops up zhè lèi wèn tí jīng cháng fā shēng 。 这 类 问 题 经 常 发 生 。 Subject Adverbs Predicate This kind of problem always happen 3. This batch of goods was sent out yesterday. zhè bō huò zuó tiān yǐ jīng fā chū le 。 这 拨 货 昨 天 已 经 发 出 了 。 Subject Time Phrase Adverbs Predicate This kind of problem yesterday already sent out
- Certainty or Possibility
Adverbs of tone expressing an air of estimation (like 大概) can come before the subject (when emphasizing the subject), and can also come after the subject (when emphasizing the predicate).
Some of the adverbs: 可能， 大概， 或许， 几乎， 差一点
1. She might be able to come. tā huò xǔ néng lái 。 她 或 许 能 来 。 Subject Adverbs Predicate She maybe can come