I. What is the complement of degree?

 

“A complement refers to a grammatical unit, generally made up of a verbal or an adjectival expression, that appears after the main verb in a sentence and enhances its meaning (Hung-nin Samuel. Cheung 1994: 177).” There are many different complements such as the complement of degree, the complement of result, the directional complement, the potential complement and so on. This chapter focuses on the complement of degree. Generally speaking, the complement of degree is a grammatical unit that describes the main verb of the sentence. Specifically, the complement of degree is an assessment of an action or a description of the consequential state of an action. It may also be a description of the degree of a state.

 

A. Assessment of an action

 

          shuō de hěn qīngchǔ. 

          他说得很清楚。

          He speaks very clearly.

 

B. Description of the consequential state of an action

 

          shuō de gèng hútu le. 

          他说得我更糊涂了。

          He spoke only to make me even more confused.

 

C. Description of the degree of a state

 

          lèi de dǎoxià le. 

          他累得倒下了。

          He was so tired that he fell.