In today's video lesson we’ll learn how to express Times of Actions in Chinese - to do something for how many times, and Duration of Actions in Chinese - to do something for how long.
We’ve learned a few Measure Words to say how many times an action is done already. For actions in general, we use 次(cì), for watching the full length of games, performances, it’s 场(chǎng) and for having meals, it’s 顿(dùn).
So if we want to say to do something for how many times, we can follow this sentence structure:
However, if the Object is a Pronoun, it it should be put right after the verb.
And the number plus the Measure Word here is the Complement of the Verb. And this type of Complement is called Complement of Frequency, 动量补语, literally, action, amount, complement. It tells us for how many times an action has been done.
To express Duration of Actions in Chinese - to do something for how long, there can be two types of structures depending on whether the Verb Predicate has an Object.
The Time Duration in the following sentences is also the Complement 补语 of the Verb. It’s called Complement of Time-Measurement, or, Complement of Time-Duration, 时量补语, literally, Time, Amount, Complement. A 时量补语 tells us for how long an action has been done.
(1) Without Object
(2) With Object
For negative sentences that needs to have time duration-how long involved, we can use both没/没有 and 不, but the meanings are a little bit different. (See also Comparison between 没 and 不)
Generally, if we use没, the negation is an objective fact. While if we use不, the negation is subjective and suggests people’s will or judgement.
The structure goes like this: