How to Use the Particle (de) 的, 地, And 得 in Chinese

What does 的, 地, 得 “de” mean in Chinese?

If you are learning Chinese, you will see that the three particles (de) are used quite often. What is the difference between – 的 , 得 , 地? There is no simple English translation for these grammatical particles, so we will need to go through them step by step.
de changes the noun
de changes the verb
de turns an adjective into an adverb

的 – noun modifier

When changing a noun, “的” can be used to indicate possession or to associate an adjective (or adjective) with a noun.

Possessive

的 shows proficiency just like (‘s) in English. It will be placed between the owner and the object. Examples:
Chinese
Pinyin
English
约翰的车 Yuēhàn de chē John’s car
我的车 Wǒ de chē my car
他的书 Tā de shū His book
  • 约翰 – John

Linking an adjective to a noun:

的 can associate an adjective or adjective with a noun just like we can use (that, which, who) “I want a car that is red” or “My brother is a boy who likes to eat cake.” For this function, 的 will be used in this structure: (Adjective) + 的 + (noun) Examples:
Chinese
Pinyin
English
红色的车 Hóngsè de chē Red car
喜欢吃蛋糕的男生 Xǐhuān chī dàngāo de nánshēng Boys who like to eat cakes
不听话的孩子 Bù tīnghuà de háizi Disobedient child
谁买的书 Shéi mǎi de shū Who bought the book

得 – verb modifier

得 helps us understand how the verb is performed and placed between the verb and its result:
Chinese
Pinyin
English
她学得很努力。 Tā xué dé hěn nǔlì. She learns very hard.
他唱歌唱得很不好听。 Tā chànggē chàng dé hěn bù hǎotīng. He sings very badly.
The two examples above show the result of a verb using an adjective to judge how the verb was implemented. We can also tell the result of a verb by indicating whether or not the verb can be successful in implementation. It can be used in a positive form such as “may” or “capable”:
我走得到。 Wǒ zǒu dédào. I can walk.
我看得见。 Wǒ kàn dé jiàn. I can see it.
我听得懂。 Wǒ tīng dé dǒng. I understand.
can be used to express “may” or “capable”, it cannot be used to express negative forms such as “may” or “cannot”. For negative form, should be replaced with 不.

地 – adjective modifier

In English, we can often add (-ly) at the end of an adjective to make it an adverb. This is the same function from , 地, but it can only be used between an adjective and a verb:

Adjective + 地 + verb

Chinese
Pinyin
English
他慢慢地走过来。 Tā màn man de zǒu guòlái. He walked slowly over.
她开开心心地回答。 Tā kāi kāixīn xīn dì huídá. She answered happily.

Tests

On this topic, we have several tests to help you test your knowledge in this article.

Additionally

The website has more helpful articles on this topic.

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John
John
9 months ago

De or De is the question. =))))

Jooooop
Jooooop
7 months ago

Now I understand. Good article

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