Types of verbs in Chinese

Types of verbs in Chinese

A verb is a word that describes an action, experience, state, existence, or change of a person or thing. There are several different types of verbs in Chinese. 

According to the semantic features, Chinese verbs divide into:

  • Action verbs 动作动词: indicate actions or behaviors, e.g. 看,跑,说,听,买,做,学习,旅游,锻炼,etc
  • Existential verbs 存现动词: indicate the existence, change, or disappearance of something, e.g. 有,存在,具有,出现,发生,变化,消失,etc.
  • Relational verbs 关系动词: 像,属于,成为,仿佛
  • Judgement verbs 判断动词:是,为,乃
  • Modal verbs 能愿动词/情态动词, also called auxiliary verbs 助动词:会, 能, 可以, 能够, 要, 肯, 必须, 应该
  • Directional verbs 趋向动词:上,下,进,出,回,上来,下来,进来,出来,回来
  • Psychological verbs 心理动词:爱,恨,想,喜欢,希望,思考,打算,害怕

According to whether an object must be used or not, Chinese verbs divide into:

  • Transitive verbs 及物动词: verbs having objects

1. verbs having predicate objects of other verbs or adjectives, e.g. 开始,进行

2. verbs having objects of nouns, e.g. 吃,送,给,借,学习,

  • Intransitive verbs 不及物动词: verbs can’t have any objects, e.g. 躺下,来,去,小便,出发,休息

A verb can be stative or dynamic:

Stative verbs 静态动词, e.g. 是,有,姓,etc.

Dynamic verbs 动态动词:

  • Continuous verbs 持续动词, e.g. 看,做,打,听,etc.
  • Instantaneous verbs 瞬间动词, e.g. 死, 塌, 灭, 醒, 垮, 炸, 倒
  • Terminating verbs 终结动词, e.g. 变, 成, 成为, 变成, 化作, etc.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ A stative verb describes a state rather than an action or event, and is not used in progressive forms and past tense. So, stative verbs can’t be used with 正, 在, 着 or 了, while dynamic verbs can be used with 正, 在, 着 or 了.




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