III. Circumstantial elements that the shì ... de construction highlights.

 

5. Focusing on the target of the action (for whom the action was done or to whom the action was directed)

 

The shì ... de construction can be used to point out the target of the action. It shows for whom the action was done or to whom the action is directed. The target is usually the beneficiary of the action or receiver of the object. When focusing on the target of the action, it is the object in the coverb phrase that is emphasized. Shìis placed right before the coverb phrase. The object of the predicate verb is usually placed at the beginning of the sentence.

 

5.1     Zhèi huà shì wèi huà de. 

          这幅画他是为你画的。

          It was for you that he painted this painting.

 

5.2     qiāng shì cháo de. 

          那一枪他是朝我打的。

          It was at me that the gunshot was fired.

 

5.3     Zhèi píng jiǔ shì biérén mǎi de. 

          这瓶酒我是替别人买的。

          It was for other people that I bought this wine.

 

5.4     Zhèi wǎn tāng shì gěi zuò de. 

          这碗汤我是给你做的。

          I made the soup for you. /It was for you that I made the soup.

 

Sentence 5.4 could also be an answer to the following questions.

 

5.5     Zhèi wǎn tāng shì gěi shéi zuò de? 

          这碗汤你是给谁做的?

          For whom did you make the soup?

 

5.6     Zhèi wǎn táng shì gěi zuò de ma? 

          这碗汤你是给我做的吗?

          Did you make the soup for me?

 

5.7     Zhèi wǎn tāng shì shì gěi zuò de? 

          这碗汤你是不是给我做的? 

Did you make the soup for me?

 

5.8     zěnme diǎnr tāng? 

          你怎么不喝点儿汤?

Why aren’t you having some soup?