Characteristics of Chinese adjectives

characteristics of chinese adjectives

Chinese adjectives have very unique features. Here are the distinguished characteristics of Chinese adjectives:

Qualifying adjectives 性质形容词 can normally be modified by 不 or adverbs of degree such as 很, 太, 非常, 实在, etc.

Examples:

他很高 He is very tall.

她不高 She is not tall.

他真好 He is really good.

他的儿子太可爱了 His son is so lovely.

A few of stative adjectives 状态形容词 can not be modified by 不 or adverbs of degree.

You can’t say 雪白, 很雪白, 非常雪白, etc because 雪 already contains the meaning of “very white”.

Neither can you say 不初级, 很初级…

Non-predicative adjective 非谓形容词 such as 正,副,男,雌,etc can not act directly as a predicate 

Never can you say: 他很男, 她很雌, 你很副…

Chinese adjectives can act as attributes to modify nouns.




小明度过了伤心的一天 (伤心 act as attribute)

她有一个快乐的女儿 (快乐 act as attribute)

Chinese adjectives can act as predicates

Examples:

她很快乐 (快乐 act as predicate)

小明的妈妈非常伤心 (伤心 act as predicate)

Some Chinese adjectives can duplicate

Examples: 慢慢, 高高, 甜甜, 红彤彤, 泪汪汪, 慢腾腾, 大大方方, 开开心心, 陆陆续续, 鲜红鲜红, 喷香喷香 etc.

Chinese adjectives can be used in the question form “adjective 不 adjective”

Examples: 好不好? 贵不贵? 清楚不清楚? 高兴不高兴? etc.

Some Chinese adjectives can be used in the formula of 死了

Examples: 累死了, 热死了, 烦死了, etc.

Some Chinese adjectives can be used in the formula of 不得了

Examples: 累得不得了, 开心得不得了, 伤心得不得了, etc

Some Chinese adjectives can be used in the formula of 得很

Examples: 坏得很, 早得很, 便宜得很, 忙得很, etc.

Pay attention:

The last three characteristics of the adjectives are mostly reflected in oral or informal Chinese.

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