Types of auxiliary words in Chinese

Types of auxiliary words in Chinese

Chinese auxiliary words, refers to the words that can be attached to the other words, phrases, or sentences, as grammatical components to highlight the structure, perform a particular function, or express certain mood in a sentence. There are the following types of auxiliary words: 

Types of auxiliary words 助词种类

Auxiliary words of tense 时态助词

Auxiliary words of tense, also known as dynamic auxiliary words, usually used after verbs or adjectives to indicate an action or a change of the state such as 着, , 过 and 来着. Auxiliary words of tense can be used with adverbs of time.

Structural auxiliary words 结构助词

Structural auxiliary words are attached before or after words or phrases to express the structural relationship between the different components in a sentence. The most common structural auxiliary words are 所,的,地、得 and 似的.

Auxiliary words of moods 语气助词

As far as the mood system is concerned, there are abundant auxiliary words of mood in Chinese while it is lacking in English or other languages. An auxiliary word of mood is used in the sentence or at the end of the sentence to express the tone of the speech. One mood may be expressed by using multiple consecutive auxiliary words of mood, and one auxiliary word may express more than one mood at the same time. Therefore, an auxiliary word of mood itself has no substantive meaning and can not be used alone. What mood an auxiliary word expresses depends on the context.

Auxiliary words of mood divide into five categories:

1. Interrogative mood 疑问语气助词 such as 吗, 么, 吧 and 呢

2. Imperative mood 祈使语气助词 such as 吧, 罢, 呀, 啊 and 啦

3. Exclamatory mood 感叹语气 such as 啊, 呀, 哇, 哪

4. Affirmative mood 肯定语气 such as 的, 了, 嘛, 呢, 啦, 罢了, 而已

5. Pause 停顿语气 such as 啊, 吧, 呢, 么 etc.

You can say auxiliary words play very important roles grammatically and structurally and semantically.

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