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Chinese Essential Grammar 2nd Ed

Chinese Essential Grammar 2nd Ed

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07/23/2013

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The above discussion has focused on shì as an intensiyer of elements
in the predicate that modify the verb (adverbials, [purpose] construc-
tions, etc.) or subjects/objects of the verb. In addition, shì as an
intensiyer may occur alone in topic-comment sentences with gradable
adjectives or state verbs.

179

(1)Gradable adjectives:

!5

Tashì hln ki.

(lit. she int very short)
She is short.

Tamenshì

(lit. they int not happy)

5

bù gaoxìng.

They are unhappy.

(2)State verbs:

!5

Wnshì bìng le.

(lit. I ill p) I am ill.

!"5Wnmen

(lit. we int wrong p)

shì cuò le.

We are wrong./It]s our fault.

It can also be introduced in a subject-predicate sentence where the
emphasis is on the whole predicate. Its presence in effect makes the
sentence topic-comment:

Wnmenshì

(lit. we int go asp three-times)

!5

qùle san cì.

We (really) did go three times.

!

Wnshì chcguo

(lit. I int eat snail) I have

5

wdniú.

eaten snails.

Tamenshì

(lit. they int not know) They

5

bù zhcdao.

reallydon]t know.

!"

Zhèi gè wèntí shì(lit. this mw question int can

!"5

klym tí chelái.

raise out-come) This question
can be raised.

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