Non-predicate adjectives 非谓语形容词

Non-predicate adjectives 非谓语形容词

In mandarin Chinese, the majority of the adjectives can act as attributes and predicates. This is to say, the majority of Chinese adjectives can modify nouns and serve as predicates. Those who are not of the majority are the adjectives that can only modify nouns. These adjectives are called 非谓语形容词 non-predicate adjectives.

As the name indicates, non-predicate adjectives can’t act as predicates directly. They are the minority of in the family of Chinese adjectives.

Common non-predicate adjectives

正 zhèng, principal, chief, major: e.g. 正团长 the chief leader of a delegation
副 fù, secondary, deputy, vice, e.g. 副部长 deputy minister
男, nán, man, male, e.g. 男运动员, male athletes
女 nǚ, woman, female, e.g. 女选手, female athlete
雌 cí, female, e.g. 雌黄蜂, female wasps
雄 xióng, male, e.g. 雄鹿, buck
单 dān, odd, e.g. 单数, odd number
大型 dà xíng, large, large-scale, e.g. 大型企业 large enterprise                        初级 chū ji, primary, e.g. 初级小学 primary school
多项 duō xiàng, multiple, e.g. 多项选择题 multiple-choice question

巨额 jù ér, a huge sum; a big amounte.g.  巨额赤字 huge financial deficits,巨额利润 enormous profits
慢性 màn xìng, chronic, e.g. 慢性气管炎 chronic bronchitis
新式 xīn shì, modern, latest, new-style, etc.  e.g. 新式服装, new-style dresses, 新式武器, modern weapons




主要 zhǔ yào, principal, major, main, e.g. principal contradiction
高速 gāo sù, high-speed, e.g. 高速列车 high-speed train
名牌 míng pái, of famous brand,e.g. 名牌衣服 brand clothes
高频 gāo pín, high frequency, e.g. 高频电流 high-frequency current
海洋性 hǎi yáng xìng, oceanic, e.g. 海洋性气候 oceanic climate
流线性 liú xiàn xìng, streamlined/streamline, e.g. 线性结构 streamline structure
单方面 dān fāng miàn, unilateral, e.g. 单方面终止 unilateral termination
喷气式 pēn qì shì, jet-propelled, p.ej.  喷气式飞机 jet aircraft

Non-predicate adjectives can not be modified by “不” or adverbs of degree.

Even though non-predicate adjetives can’t act as predicates directly, they can be used together with “” and “” to act as predicates. Take 雄 for example, we can’t say 这头鹿雄的 but 这头鹿

See also the characteristics of Chinese adjectives

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