IV. The elements after the predicate verb


The predicate verb, except for some disyllabic verbs with built-in resultative components such as qǔxiāo取消(to cancel) and suōxiǎo缩小 (to reduce), must take a complementary element such as a complement, a locative phrase, an indirect object, and so on. The following shows what elements usually follow the verb.



+ resultative complement (+ le)

Stating what result has been accomplished or is anticipated


1.1       Wǒmen Zhōngwén zuòyè zuòwán le. 


  We have finished our Chinese homework.


1.2       Qǐng mén kāi.  


  Please open the door.


1.3       Zhèi liǎng tiān wǒmen mánghuài le. 


  We were terribly busy the last few days.


Note 1: Though stative verbs such as huài, tòu, show degree when placed after a stative verb or verb of mental activity, they are considered complements of result due to the structure.)


Note 2: Since the function of the sentence is to show what has happened to the direct object as a result of the action, the predicate verb and its complement must comment on the direct object, not on the subject or any other element. There is still a verb-object relationship even though the object has been displaced to a position before the verb. Such a relationship can be seen in Sentences 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 above.




Zuòwán做完             Zhōngwén zuòyè中文作业

Dǎkāi打开                     mén



1A.      fàn chīwán le. (Grammatical)   


            I finished the meal/food.

This sentence shows what has happened to the food---it has been finished.


1B.       fàn chībǎo le. (Ungrammatical)

            我把饭吃饱了。 (doesn’t make sense)


The verb takes a resultative complement bǎo ‘full’, which comments on the subject, ‘I’, instead of the object fàn ‘food’. Since ‘full’ is not what has happened to the ‘food’ but rather how ‘I’ has been affected as a result of ‘eating’, this sentence is not grammatical. It should be changed to ‘ chībǎo le.我吃饱了’---I’m full.