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Lesson 7 – Intermediate – The Grammatical Features of the Stative Verb

The verb is a very important type of word in Chinese language, which has great grammar function. Students who learn Chinese in China know that the verb can be classified into different sorts according to different standards. In the following parts, we will discuss the stative verb.

Chinese language learners should know some basic knowledge about the stative verb when they learn Mandarin. The quantity of the stative verb is limited but it has complicated meanings. We should pay more attention to it because it has different grammatical features.

Semantically speaking, the stative verb can be classified into two types. One is the sort expressing desire or the subjective judgment to the reason, logic, the subjective and objective conditions and the value. Another type that learners who study Chinese should know is those indicating the judgment to the possibility of things happen.

In order to give a clearer idea about the stative verb, the following classifications and examples are listed as a help to show how to learn Mandarin. We often use “要”, “想”, “愿意”, “肯” and “敢” to express the desire, “应该”, “应当” and “得” for judging the reason, “能够” and “可以”for judging the subjective and objective conditions, “能”, “可以” and “准许” for permission, “配” and “值得” for evaluation and “可能” and “会” for possibility.

If foreigners want to learn the stative verb better when they learn Mandarin in China, they should know the grammatical features of it. Its grammatical features are very similar to that of the non-motional verb. Let’s explain in details with examples.

Firstly, most stative verbs can act as the predicate alone, which is often appeared in the dialogues. The following two examples are helpful to understand.
① 甲:明天你能去看电影吗?
② 甲:这儿可以吸烟吗?
Besides, students who learn Chinese language in China should know that the stative verb also can be used as predicate in some conditions like “你去可以,他去也可以。” and “这样做应该”.

The second point is that we can use the stative verb of paralleling affirmative and negative to express the interrogatory. The following examples are often seen when you attend to Chinese school in China to study.
① 你想不想看这本书?
② 他今天能不能打球?
③ 一天到晚白看书,会不会遭人家的白眼?

Another condition should be that the stative words can be modified by some certain adverbs. But the difficult point for learning Mandarin Chinese is that the modifying conditions are different due to the different stative verbs. The following examples can be a help to understand.
① 那伙人对他这么好,从此以后他更得铁了心跟他们在一起。
② 硬让我去,一定得捅出什么乱子来。
③ 我去可以,你去也可以。
④ 他这样说话很不应该。
⑤ 没问题,明天他当然会来。

One necessary point for those who learn to speak Chinese is that the objects of the stative verb can be only verbs (phrases), adjectives (phrases) and the subject-predicate phrases. Some nouns or pronouns are not allowed 
except for some idiomatic phrases. Here are some examples.
① 可能遇到什么大事呢?能够把江姐就出来么?
② 对,不会错,这个纪延风一定是老纪的女儿。
③ 今天应该小张值班。
④ 在这场斗争中,要立场坚定,旗帜鲜明。

What’s more, the stative verbs can’t be repeated and can’t be followed by the verbal auxiliary like “了”, “着” and “过”. Another point that learners who study in China should pay attention to is that the main function of the stative verbs is to act as the predicate. But sometimes it acts the attribute, for instance, “应该的事多着呢,可不一定能实现”.

After learning the grammar functions of the stative verbs, Chinese language learners can use them correctly when they meet the stative verbs in their daily learning life.

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