II. When to use the construction


Since the construction is used to point out what action has been carried out upon a particular object and how the object has consequently been disposed of, it is usually used when stating what one has done to something, what one has accomplished (the verb must take an object) or what has happened to something as a result of an action. It is also often used in imperative sentences such as commands, requests or instructions asking someone to move, change, deal with, handle or manipulate something and affect it in a specific way. The following are a few examples.


A.        -de mén xiūhǎo le. 


  I fixed your door.


B.        jīntiān de zuòyè zuòwǎn le. 


  I finished today’s homework.


C.        Wáng xiānsheng -de chē màigěi le.  


  Mr. Wang sold his car to me.


D.        Qǐng lājī chūqu.  


  Please take out the garbage.


E.        chuānghu kāi yìdiǎnr, hǎo hǎo? 


  Open the window a little bit, all right?


There are two conditions under which the constructions is more likely to be used. First, “the more prominent the referent of the direct object is, the more appropriate it is to use a noun phrase to refer to it.” Second, “the more the verb elaborates or specifies how the direct object is being handled or dealt with, the more appropriate it is to use (Charles Li 1981:483-484).” The construction is also sometimes structurally required.