The usage of 的,地 and 得

The 的 phrase


The 的 structure is one in which the structural particles 的 is attached to a notional word or phrase which refers to a person or thing.


  1. 这些画报是哥哥的。----- 的 is suffixed to a noun.

  2. 这些笔记是我的。------ 的 is suffixed to a pronoun.

  3. 红的做衣服。---- 的 is suffixed to an adjective.

  4. 参观的有二百人。---- 的 is suffixed to a verb.

  5. 参加晚会的都来了。---- 的 is suffixed to a VO (verb objective) phrase

  6. 我买的在这儿。---- 的 is suffixed to a SP (subject predicate) phrase

Grammatical features

  1. In a 的 phrase , as a rule, 的 must be suffixed to the other constituent (a word or a phrase).

  2. No other function word is used between 的 and the other constituent.

  3. The 的-phrase functions as a noun in a sentence.


  • As the subject 表演的是有名的演员。

  • As the object 我要买新的。

Usage of 得 (dé)

得 is a marker of complement. It closely follows a verb or an adjective , indicating the element after 得 is the complement to the verb or the adjective.

1. 得 follows a verb or adjective, indicating a kind of degree of state.

  • 她说汉语说得很流利。 He can speaks fluent Chinese.

  • 明明的脸圆得像个苹果。Ming Ming’s face is so round that it looks like an apple.

2. It is used after a verb, indicating potentiality or possibility.

  • 他们说的上海话我都听得懂。I can understand the Shanghai dialect they speak.

  • 这些酒我喝得完。 I can finish the wine.

  • 他虽然年纪大了,但还走得动。 Although he is old, he can still walk.

Usage of 地 (dì)

The 地 is the maker of an adverbial. 地 is used before a verb or verbal phrase though not every adverbial has to take 地.

  1. When 地 is compulsory to use : When an adjectival phrase servers as an adverbial (usually used in a descriptive adverbial)

认真工作 非常认真地工作 √ 非常认真工作 ⅹ

2. Monosyllable onomatopoeias must be followed by 地 when they used as adverbials

墙上的钟“ 滴答滴答”地走着。

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