V. When to use the complement of Degree

 

The complement of degree is used in the following context:

 

1. When commenting on an action. The comment is usually an assessment or evaluation of the action with a focus on its quality, demeanor, appearance, quantity, time, frequency or duration. It reflects the speaker’s opinion ABOUT the action.

 

A. Quality

 

A 1.   shuō de hěn qīngchǔ.  

他说得很清楚。

          He speaks very clearly.

 

A 2.   pǎo de tài màn le. 

          他跑得太慢了。

          He runs too slowly.

 

B. Demeanor

 

B 1.   xué de tài yònggōng. 

          他学得不太用功。

          He does not study so hard.

 

B 2.   shuō de fēicháng kèqi. 

          他说得非常不客气。

          He sounded very impolite.

 

C. Appearance

 

C 1.   Wáng xiǎojiě zhǎng de yòu gāo yòu shòu. 

          王小姐长得又高又瘦。

          Miss Wang is (or: has grown) tall and thin.

 

C 2.   zhǎng de xiàng mǔqīn. 

          他长得像他母亲。

          He looks like (has grown to look like) his mother.

 

D. Quantity

 

D 1.   chī de tài duō le, suǒyǐ hěn pàng. 

          他吃得太多了,所以很胖。

          He eats too much, so he’s fat.

 

D 2.   zuò fàn zuò de gòu. 

          他做饭做得不够。

          He did not make enough food.

 

E. Time, Duration and Frequency

 

E 1.    měitiān dōu lái de hěn wǎn. 

          他每天都来得很晚。

          He comes late every day.

 

E 2.    Wǒmen děng de tài jiǔ le. 

          我们等得太久了,

          We have waited too long.

 

E 3.    tóu de tài qín duì tóufa hǎo. 

          洗头洗得太勤对头发不好。

          Washing one’s hair too often is not good for one’s hair.

 

2. When describing what state the action has caused someone or something to be in;

 

2.1     bìng de néng lái shàng bān le. 

          他病得不能来上班了。

          He is so sick that he can’t come to work.

The purpose of saying ‘he can’t come to work’ is to describe how sick ‘he’ is. The focus of the sentence is still on the verb ‘sick’.

 

2.2     xiě de shǒu dōu suān le. 

他写得手都酸了。       

          He wrote so much that his hand ached.

The purpose of saying ‘his hand ached’ is to describe how much ‘he’ has written or how long he has been writing. The focus is still on the verb ‘write’.

 

3. When describing how serious the situation is.

 

3.1     è de hūnguòqù le. 

          他饿得昏过去了。

          He was so hungry that he fainted.

‘He fainted’ describes how hungry ‘he’ was. The message that ‘he was hungry’ is still central to the remark.

 

3.2     Tiānqi lěng de shéi dōu xiǎng chūqù. 

          天气冷得谁都不想出去。

          It is so cold that no one wants to go out.

‘No one wants to go out’ is a description of how cold the weather is.