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Level 3 Lesson 10.2 – 我又找不到钥匙了。

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GRAMMAR: 1. V得~/V不~ (I); 2.V得~/V不~(II); 3. 可能补语 Potential Complements in Yes-no Questions

In this HSK 3 video lesson we'll learn about 可能补语 (Kěnéng Bǔyǔ ▸ Potential Complements). We'll learn how to use the structures V得~ and V不~ and how to ask Yes-no Questions with them.

  • 可能补语 V得~ / V不~: V 得 + 结果补语 / V 不 + 结果补语
  • 可能补语 V得~ / V不~: V 得 + 趋向补语 / V 不 + 趋向补语
  • 可能补语 Potential Complements in Yes-no Questions and Affirmative-Negative Questions.

GRAMMAR


Summary. 补语

Bǔyǔ ▸ Complements

补语 (Bǔyǔ ▸ Complements) is a type of 句子成分 (Jùzi Chéngfèn ▸ Sentence Element) in Chinese. It is very common in Chinese, however, it is rarely found in other languages.

A 补语 can be one word or a group of words. It usually goes after the verb, or sometimes after an adjective as well. Usually a 补语 is there to help suggest the result, direction, possibility or state of an action.

We have learned many different types of 补语 before (characters marked in red are 补语):

结果补语 (Jiéguǒ Bǔyǔ ▸ Complements of Result)

  • chūlai

    exit-come
    to come out
  • jìnqu

    enter-go
    to go in

 

趋向补语 (Qūxiàng Bǔyǔ ▸ Complements of Direction)

  • názǒu

    take-go
    to take (with the result of) taking away
  • kǎoshàng

    take-test-“shang”
    to take test (with the result of) getting in

 

情态补语 (Qíngtài Bǔyǔ ▸ Complements of State)

  • shuì de hěnhǎo
    得很好
    sleep -de- very good
    to sleep very well
  • shēnghuó de búcuò
    生活得不错
    live -de- not bad
    to live not badly

 

动量补语 (Dòngliàng Bǔyǔ ▸ Complements of Frequency) (I), (II) and (III)

  • liànxí yíxià
    练习一下
    practice “yixia”
    to practice “really quick” / to practice “for a little bit”
  • huàn le liǎng cì
    换了两次
    change -le two “ci”
    to change (for) two times

 

时量补语 (Shíliàng Bǔyǔ ▸ Complements Time-Duration) (I) and (II)

  • xīnkǔ sān ge yuè
    辛苦三个月
    work hard 3 “ge” month
    to work hard (for) 3 “ge” (of) months
  • zhǎo le yí ge xiǎoshí
    找了一个小时
    seek -le one “ge” hour
    to seek (for) one “ge” (of) hour

 

Grammar 1. 可能补语: V得~/V不~ (I)

Kěnéng Bǔyǔ V de ~ / V bu~▸ Potential Complements V得~/V不~

 

(1) Structure

可能补语 is structured base on 结果补语:

To have potential/ability: V + 可能补语 = V + 得 + 结果补语

To not have potential/ability: V + 可能补语 = V + 不 + 结果补语

Examples are shown in the chart below:

Jiéguǒ Bǔyǔ 结果补语
Complements of Result
[ Verb - Complement of Result ]
chī wán

to eat (with the result of) finishing
 
shuì zháo

to sleep (with the result of) (being) asleep
Kěnéng Bǔyǔ 可能补语
Potential Complements
[ Verb - Potential Complement ]
chī de wán
得完
to eat and have the potential/ability to finish
shuì de zháo
睡得
to sleep and have the potential/ability of falling asleep
chī bu wán
不完
to eat and not have the potential/ability to finish
shuì bu zháo
不着
to sleep and not have the potential/ability of falling asleep

 

(2) More examples of Potential Complement [V得~/V不~]

 

WITH the potential/ability

WITHOUT the potential/ability

zhǎng de pàng
长得胖
to grow with the potential/ability of being fat
zhǎng bu pàng
长不胖
to grow without the potential/ability of being fat
 chī de bǎo
吃得饱
to eat with the potential/ability of being full
chī bu bǎo
吃不饱
to eat without the potential/ability of being full
kàn de qīngchu
看得清楚
to look with the potential/ability to see clear
kàn bu qīngchu
看不清楚
to look without the potential/ability to see clear
chī de xíguàn
吃得习惯
to eat with the potential/ability to get used to (the flavor, texture, etc.)
chī bu xíguàn
吃不习惯
to eat with the potential/ability to get used to (the flavor, texture, etc.)
zhǎo de dào
找得到
to seek with the potential/ability to find
zhǎo bu dào
找不到
to seek without the potential/ability to find
tīng de dǒng
听得懂
to listen with the potential/ability to understand
tīng bu dǒng
听不懂
to listen without the potential/ability to understand
xué de huì
学得会
to learn with the potential/ability to know how to (do it)
xué bu huì
学不会
to learn without the potential/ability to know how to (do it)
zuò de hǎo
做得好
to do with the potential/ability to do well
zuò bu hǎo
做不好
to do without the potential/ability to do well
xiě de hǎo
写得好
to write with the potential/ability to write well
xiě bu hǎo
写不好
to take test without the potential/ability to write well

 

(3) Example sentences

In a sentence, the word order goes like this,

Subject + [(Verb + Potential Complement) / (V得~/V不~)] + Object

For example,

  • Yuèliàng chūlai le, nǐ kàn de dào ma?
    月亮出来了,你看得到吗?
    (The) moon came now (already), are you able to see (it)?
  • Tiān shang yǒu yún, kàn bu dào tàiyáng.
    天上有云,看不到太阳。
    There are clouds on (the) sky, (so we) are not able see (the) sun.
  • Wǒmen tīng de dào wàimiàn huǒchē de shēngyīn.
    我们听得到外面火车的声音。
    We are able to hear (the) sound (of) train(s) outside.
  • Hē le nàme duo kāfēi, wǒ jīnwǎn yīnggāi shuì bu zháo le.
    喝了那么多咖啡,我今晚应该睡不着了。
    (I) drank that much coffee, I tonight probably (will) not be able to fall asleep.

 

Grammar 2. 可能补语: V得~/V不~ (II)

Kěnéng Bǔyǔ V de ~ / V bu~▸ Potential Complements V得~/V不~

 

(1) Structure

可能补语 can be structured base on 趋向补语:

To have potential/ability: V + 可能补语 = V + 得 + 趋向补语

To not have potential/ability: V + 可能补语 = V + 不 + 趋向补语

Examples are shown in the chart below:

Qūxiàng Bǔyǔ
趋向补语
Complements of Direction
[ Verb - Complement of Result ]
chū qu

exit-go
to go out
jìn lai

enter-come
to come in
Kěnéng Bǔyǔ
可能补语
Potential Complements
[ Verb - Potential Complement ]
chū de qu
得去
exit-de-go
to go and have the potential of exiting
jìn de lai
得来
enter-de-come
to come and have the potential of entering
chū bu qu
不去
exit-not-go
to go and not have the potential of exiting
jìn bu lai
不来
enter-not-lai
to come and not have the potential of entering

 

(2) Example sentences

In a sentence, the word order also go like this,

Subject + [(Verb + Potential Complement) / (V得~/V不~)] + Object

For example,

  • Tā jīntiān wǎnshang bādiǎn yǐhòu chū de lái, wǒmen děng tā yíxià.
    他今天晚上八点以后出得来,我们等他一下。
    He (will) be able to come out after 8 pm, (let) us wait (for) him “for a little bit”.
  • Yàoshi xiàwǔ sāndiǎn yǐqián ná de lái ma?
    钥匙下午三点以前拿得来吗?
    Is the key able to (be) brought-(with the result of)-coming-(here) before 3 pm?
  • Dōu yí ge xiǎoshí le, wǒ diǎn de wàimài hái sòng de lái ma?
    都一个小时了,我点的外卖还送得来吗?
    (It has been) already one “ge” (of) hour, is (the) delivery-food (that) I ordered still be able to sent-(with the result of)-coming-(here)?
  • Bàngōngshì mén guān zhe ne, wǒ méi yàoshi, jìn bu qù.
    办公室门关着呢,我没钥匙,进不去。
    (The) office door (is) closed, I (do) not (have) (the) key, (I) am not able to go in.

 

Grammar 3. 是非/正反疑问句里的可能补语

Shìfēi Yíwènjù li de Kěnéng Bǔyǔ▸ Potential Complements in Yes-no Questions and Affirmative-Negative Questions

There are three ways to use Potential Complements in Yes-no Questions and Affirmative-Negative Questions. And they are interchangeable:

  • V得~吗?
  • V不V得~?
  • V得~V不~?

For example,

Nǐ tīng de dào wǒ de shēngyīn ma?
Nǐ tīng bu tīng de dào wǒ de shēngyīn?
Nǐ tīng de dào tīng bu dào wǒ de shēngyīn?
你听得到我的声音吗?
你听不听得到我的声音?
你听得到听不到我的声音?
Are you able to listen and hear my voice?

 

Diànyǐng yǐjīng kāishǐ le, wǒmen hái jìn de qù ma?
Diànyǐng yǐjīng kāishǐ le, wǒmen hái jìn bu jìn de qù?
Diànyǐng yǐjīng kāishǐ le, wǒmen hái jìn de qù jìn bu qù?
电影已经开始了,我们还进得去吗?
电影已经开始了,我们还进不进得去?
电影已经开始了,我们还进得去进不去?
(The) movie (has) already started, are we still able to go in?

 

Nǐ méi dài yǎnjìng, kàn de qīngchu ma?
Nǐ méi dài yǎnjìng, kàn bu kàn de qīngchu?
Nǐ méi dài yǎnjìng, kàn de qīngchu kàn bu qīngchu?
你没戴眼镜,看得清楚吗?
你没戴眼镜,看不看得清楚?
你没戴眼镜,看得清楚看不清楚?
You (did) not put on glasses, are (you) able to see clear?

 

Zhèxiē tí nàme nán, wǒ zuò de duì ma?
Zhèxiē tí nàme nán, wǒ zuò bu zuò de duì?
Zhèxiē tí nàme nán, wǒ zuò de duì zuò bu duì?
这些题那么难,我做得对吗?
这些题那么难,我做不做得对?
这些题那么难,我做得对做不对?
These questions (are) that difficult, am I able to do (them) correctly?

 

Nín zài zhèr zhù de guàn ma?
Nín zài zhèr zhù bu zhù de guàn?
Nín zài zhèr zhù de guàn zhù bu guàn?
您在这儿住得惯吗?
您在这儿住不住得惯?
您在这儿住得惯住不惯?
Are you able to(,) being in here(,) live and get used to (it)?

 

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