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Sentences using special verbal predicates
- 是 Sentences
- 有 Sentences
- 被 Sentences
- 把 Sentences
- Existential sentences
- Pivotal sentences
- Sentence with verbs in series
The 是 sentence uses the verb 是 as the predicate. For example,
- 他是我的朋友。 (He is my friend.
(The basic form of the 是 sentence is: subject + 是 + object.)
- 你已经是专家了。 You are an expert already.
(The adverb 已经 decorates the verb 是.)
- 你不是老板。 You are not the boss.
The negative form of the 是 sentence uses the adverb 不.
The verb 是 cannot be followed by a complement or by the aspectual particles 了、过、or 着.
有 sentences use the verb 有 as the predicate. The basic form is: subject + 有 + object. For example,
- 他有两头大象。 He has two elephants.
(This is the basic form of the 有 sentence.)
- 我还有时间。 I still have some time.
(The adverb 还, placed in front of 有 acts as an adverbial adjunct.)
- 我没有钱。 I do not have any money.
(Place the 没 in front of 有 to construct the negative form.)
- 我没零钱。 I don't have any small change.
When the object is simple, the negative form can omit 有.
In a 被 sentence the passive preposition 被 and its object act as an adverbial adjunct. The basic form is
Receiver (subject) + 被 agent (adverbial adjunct) + vebr + other elements
- 他被经理批评了。 (He was critized by the manager.
(Basic form — the subject 他 is the receiver of the action 批评 by the agent 经理.)
- 那个姑娘被绑架了。 The girl was kidnapped.
(Sometimes the agent of the action can be omitted — kidnapped by bad guys.)
- 工人的罢工被公司粉碎了。 The workers' strike was broken by the company.
(The predicate [粉碎] must be a transitive verb.)
The 把 sentence uses the preposition 把 with its object to act as an adverbial adjunct, which modifies a verb predicate. This kind of sentence places emphasis on a certain person or thing and the result or influence that it produces. The subject of a 把 sentence must be the agent of the action. The basic form of the 把 sentence is
Agent of the action (subject) + 把 reciever (adverbial adjunct) + verb (predicate)
- 她把雨伞丢了。 She lost the umbrella.
This is the basic form of the 把 sentence. The subject and agent of the action is 她.
- 他把那张单子撕了。 He tore up that list.
(The predicate verb, 撕 in this case, must be a transitive verb.)
- 我还没把衣服洗干净。 I haven't finished washing the clothes yet.
(The adverb 没 should be used in the negative form of the 把 sentence.)
Verbs that do not affect people or things cannot function as the predicate in a 把 sentence. For example, 是、有、在、象、等于、知道、认识、觉得、怕、喜欢愿意、开始、结束、进、去、坐、站、等。 Some predicate verbs are followed by complex structures. In these cases 把 sentences must be used. For example,
- 我把省下的菜放在冰箱里。 I put the left over food in the fridge.
(When the verb 在 is used as a complement of result for a verb predicate taking an object expressing a location, a 把 sentence must be used. We cannot say, 我放省下的菜在冰箱里。)
- 她把两匹马牵到大门去了。 She led two horses to the main gate.
(When the verb 到 acts as the complement of result of the predicate and the object expresses a location then a 把 sentence must be used.)
An existential sentence does not have a subject and the beginning of the sentence uses a place or time word or phrase to indicate the existence, appearance, or disappearance of a thing or person. For example,
- 昨天来了不少人。 Quite a few people came yesterday.
The adverbial adjunct 昨天 expresses time while the verb predicate 来 expresses the appearance of 不少人.)
- 东边来了个喇嘛。 (A lama came from the East.)
(The adverbial adjunct 东边 describes the location and the verb predicate 来 describes the appearance of a 喇嘛.)
A pivotal sentence has two predicates, the first of which has an object that serves as the subject for the second predicate. This object is called the pivot. The basic form of the pivotal sentence is:
Subject + predicate 1 (verb) + pivot + predicate 2
- 我请你们吃饭。 (I will treat you all to the meal.)
(The pronoun 你们 is the object for the predicate and also the subject for the predicate 吃. It is the pivot.
- 老师叫我们唱歌。 The teacher asked us to sing a song.
(The predicate 唱 of the pivot expresses the goal of the first predicate 叫.)
- 警察让司机停车。 The policeman directed the driver to stop the car.
(The first predicate in pivotal sentences usually expresses a request, a command, etc. Commonly used verbs include 使、叫、让、请、禁止.)
- 请（你吃饭）。 Please (eat).
(The pronoun 你们 is the object for the predicate and also the subject for the predicate 吃. It is the pivot.)
Sentences with verb constructions in series have two or more verbs serving as predicates for the same subject. The basic form for sentences with verb constructions in series is
Subject + predicate 1 + (object 1) + predicate 2 + (object 2)
- 他骑车走了。 He took off riding a bicycle.
(The first predicate is 骑, the first object is 车, and the second predicate is 走.)
- 咱们到王府井玩去。 Let's go to Wangfujing to hangout.
(The following verb 玩 'play' expresses the purpose of the preceding verb 到 'arrive'.)
- 我今天不能去给你买票。 I cannot go to buy you a ticket today.
(The negative form uses the adverb 不 or the adverb 没（有）.
- 咱们用中文讲。 Let's talk in Chinese.
(Predicates and objects expressing means, 用中文 in this case, must be placed in front.)
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