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中国的风景都真不错。

A native speaker told me that the above sentence was wrong, so the corrected version should be:

中国的风景真(的)都不错。

Is the first sentence's grammar wrong or it just sounds unnatural? Why 都 goes after 真? I was thinking of sentences like 他们都很聪明, where 都 appears before 很 (and because 很 is similar to 真).

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I'm not convinced either form is grammatically incorrect. They may just sound unnatural because usually you don't use multiple adverbs like this. You are correct that 很 is similar to 真, with the major difference that 真 cannot be used as a word qualifying a noun - 中国有真不错的风景 is incorrect. Source: ntnu.edu.tw/tcsl/cltp/Downloads/0319_teaching%20grammar/… –  congusbongus May 15 '13 at 2:06
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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

很 is NOT similar to 真.

很 is used before adj or adv to form a compounded adj or adv phrase, 很 is at the phrase level (inner level). But 真 modifies the whole predicate (ourter level).

We can say:

中国的风景不错。

中国的风景很不错。 很 modifies 不错.

中国的风景真(的)不错. 真 modifies the whole predicate (不错).

中国的风景真(的)很不错. 真 modifies the whole predicate (很不错).

But we can't say:

(NO)中国的风景很真不错. It is wrong because 真 can't be used at the inner level.

We can say:

中国的风景不错。

中国的风景都不错。 都 modifies 不错. inner level.

中国的风景真(的)都不错. 真 modifies the whole predicate (都不错).

But we can't say:

(NO)中国的风景都真不错. It is wrong because 真 can't be used at the inner level.

Please Note: sometimes 真 is also used at the inner level.

他跳得真高. 真 modifies 高.

他真跳得高. 真 modifies the whole predicate (跳得高).

他跳得很高. 很 modifies 高.

他真跳得很高. 真 modifies the whole predicate (跳得很高).

I guess, when only 真 appears, it can be at inner level or outer level. But if there are 2 or more modifiers, then 真 should be at outer level.

Another way to explain this:

很, 都 and 真 work in different aspects.

很 describes to "what extent" the following adj or adv imply. 很 corresponds to "very", or "very much".

都 describes the scope the following adj or adv imply. 都 corresponds to "both", or "all".

真 emphasizes the following adj or adv. 都 corresponds to "really".

So the order of them is: 真, 都, 很.

中国的风景不错.

中国的风景很不错.

中国的风景都不错.

中国的风景都很不错.


中国的风景真不错.

中国的风景真很不错.

中国的风景真都不错.

中国的风景真都很不错.

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One suggestion - if a sentence is grammatically incorrect, use the asterix (*) to indicate it instead of inventing your own notation. –  deutschZuid May 14 '13 at 3:51
    
他真跳得高 sounds extremely colloquial. I personally wouldn't use it as it sounds a little strange to me. –  deutschZuid May 14 '13 at 3:57
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