3. LOCATIONAL

+ zài + noun 2 (+ le)

Stating where the object ends up or where it is anticipated to end up as a result of the action.

 

3.1       yǔsǎn wàngzài túshūguǎn le.  

  他把雨伞忘在图书馆了。

  He left the/his umbrella in the library.

 

3.2       dāozi fàngzài yòubiān.  

  把刀子放在右边。

  Put the knife on the right.

 

Notē: The post-verbal locative phrase indicates where an object ends up as a result of an action. When a post-verbal locative phrase is used, the sentence usually uses the b[a construction. How does a pre-verbal locative phrase differ from a post-verbal one in its role in the sentence? Compare the following two sentences.

 

3A.      dāozi fàngzài yòubian.  

  把刀子放在右边。

  Put the knife on the right.

 

3B.       Qǐng zài yòubiān fàng dāozi. 

            请在右边放一把刀子。

            Please put a knife on the right.

 

In Sentence 3A, the object, dāozi刀子, is one that both the speaker and the listener know, not a generic reference. It may be right in front of them. In Sentence 3B, it is not important which knife is to be placed on the right. The speaker only wants a knife to be placed on the right. The knife may not be in the presence of the speaker and the listener. The example shows that ‘the more prominent the referent of the direct object is the more appropriate it is to use a noun phrase to refer to it’(Charles Li 1981: 484). Below are examples of common errors associated with the locative phrase in this type of sentences.

 

3C.      wàng yǔsǎn zài túshūguǎn le. (Ungrammatical)

            他忘雨伞在图书馆了。

            (He left his umbrella in the library.)

The locative phrase must follow the verb immediately and the sentence must use the construction. The correct sentence is:

 

3D.      yǔsǎn wàngzài túshūguǎn le. (Grammatical)  

            他把雨伞忘在图书馆了。

            (He left his umbrella in the library.)

 

3E.       zuòyè xiězài zhǐ shàng. (Grammatical) 

            我把作业写在纸上。

            I wrote my homework on the paper.

The post-verbal locative phrase indicates where an object ends up as a result of the action.

 

3F.       zuòyè xiězài sùshè. (Ungrammatical)

            我把作业写在宿舍

            (I wrote my homework in the dormitory.)

The locative phrase may not refer to the location of the subject or other elements. The correct sentence should be:

 

3G.      zài sùshè xiě zuòyè. (Grammatical) 

            我在宿舍写作业。

            I wrote my homework in the dormitory.