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
Tā shuō de hěn qīngchǔ.
He speaks very clearly.
B. Description of the consequential state of an action
Tā shuō de wǒ gèng hútu
He spoke only to make me even more confused.
C. Description of the degree of a state
Tā lèi de dǎoxià
He was so tired that he fell.