Preposition 把 Sentence Structure – Part I

  • We have learnt what Function Words (虚词) are, and 3 of the particles : 了, 的 and 得.
  • Today we are going to learn a preposition (which is also part of function words) and its sentence structure – 把 ( bǎ )
  • We have learnt how to write the character ” 把 ” here. Now we are going to look into the grammar aspect of the character.
  • ” 把 ” is used to shift the object to before the verb, which must be accompanied by some other word or expression. The sentence structure indicates that an action is applied to
    somebody or something with the emphasis that the action will bring about a result or influence.
  • In term of word order, there is no equivalent in English.
  • Sentence pattern:
    Subject Adverbial Modifier Predicate
    Doer of the action Preposition “把” Receiver Action (verb) Result caused by the action
    在桌子上了。
    好。
    麦克 作业 完了。
    我们 衣服 收拾 一下吧。
  • Here are more examples based on the various kinds of complements:

 

1. Result complement.

There are either adjectives or verbs, which indicate the outcome of an action.

Subject Prep. Receiver Action Result Sound
把-Sentence 头发 短了。
English She cut her hair short.
Normal Form 她剪短了头发。
Subject Prep. Receiver Action Result Sound
把-Sentence 杯子 破了。
English He broke the cup.
Normal Form 她打破了杯子。

 

2. Location complements using 在 phrases

Prep. Receiver Action Result Sound
把-Sentence 杯子 在桌上。
English Set the cup on the table, please.

 

3. Direction indicators as complements

Subject Prep. Receiver Action Result Sound
把-Sentence 衣服 放回 衣柜里去了。
English I put the clothes back into the wardrobe.

 

4. Duration and frequency complements.

Subject Prep. Receiver Action Result Sound
把-Sentence 课文 复习了 两遍。
English He revised the text twice.

 

5. 成 / 作 ‘treat … as’, ‘regard … as’ as complements.

Subject Prep. Receiver Action Result Sound
把-Sentence 当成了 他的哥哥。
English He took me for his brother.

 

6. 给 ‘give to’ as complement.

Subject Prep. Receiver Action Result Sound
把-Sentence 转交给 玛丽了。
English She passed the letter to Mary.

 

7. The manner/resultant state 得 phrase/clause as a complement.

Subject Prep. Receiver Action Result Sound
把-Sentence 头发 剪得 很短。
English He got his hair clipped close.
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4 thoughts on “Preposition 把 Sentence Structure – Part I”

  1. This is great. Good job and thank you from a student who has been tormented with the 把 sentences. By the way, tomorrow I have a Chinese test. 谢谢

  2. Wow, I’m writing my thesis on Chinese education, and had several of the things mentionned on your website in mind. I’m quite happy to see someone else digesting those 《Alien》 structures (from an English point of view) in such a palpable fashion!

    Kudos!

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