You may remember way back in school, your teacher will have told you that an adjective is a describing word. Well, just like in English, a Chinese adjective is added to a noun to give it a quality or to define it in a better way.
You could say that adjectives are all about making the noun better.
Whether it's in English, Chinese, or any other languages, a world without adjectives would be a very dull and boring world indeed. There would be no fast cars, they'd just be cars. No sunny days, they'd just be days...
So, let's celebrate the power of the descriptive word, and find out all about Chinese adjectives.
Resources for further reading:
Pronouncing Chinese adjectives
According to the noun it's linked to, adjectives can have: An attributive function, when it is linked directly to a noun.
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I like blue sky.
A predicative function, when it is linked to the noun through the verb 是 shì (to be).
The sky is blue.
I need a new scarf and a new jacket.
Both of these two movies are enjoyable.
More Examples of Chinese Adjectives
a red car
a friendly person
a touching moment
a very big house
an interesting book
a question that is difficult to answer
The Position of Chinese Adjectives
The adjectives that are used to describe nouns in Chinese are always put IN FRONT OF the noun they describe, no matter how long or short the adjective description is.
Over there is a big lake.
That was the lake where I took this picture.
Chinese is an interesting language.
Chinese is a language that is spoken by the most number of people in the world.
Adjectives and Adverbs
This is a fast airplane.
The plane flew past very fast.
That was a slow process.
The turtle is swimming around very slowly.
He is a hard-working clerk.
He works hard.
Chinese adjectives summary
- Adjectives in Chinese are connected to the nouns with 的 de.
- The adjectives can have an attributive or predicative function.
- Adjectives are always put in front of the nouns they modify, no matter how long the adjective expressions are.
- Adverbs in Chinese use the same words as adjectives, but are connected to the verbs with 地 de.
That's it for this lesson! Here are a few recommended Chinese lessons to try next!
Lin Ping: Rocket Chinese
Make It Stick With Rocket Reinforcement
Reinforce your learning from this lesson with the Rocket Reinforcement activities!