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I came across these sentences

我浑身都湿透了。
这些芒果熟透了。

And MDBG lists these:

坏透,烂透,恨透,干透。

Should 透 only be used with these adjectives?

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1  
Here 透 is used as an adverb, "completely". But 这个人好透了 is wrong while 这个人坏透了 is OK, 我高兴透了 is wrong while 我烦透了 is OK ... I don't know why but it seems 透 is often used with some negative words. –  Stan Jul 14 '13 at 16:07
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Like @Stan said it's often used with negative words, but not always. In your example, 熟透了 is neutral to positive. I think one difference between 透 and 完全/彻底 is formality. 透 is colloquial and rarely used in formal writing. –  NS.X. Jul 14 '13 at 18:24
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Is the meaning close to the "... to the core" expression? For instance, rotten to the core, soaked to the core. –  tao Jul 15 '13 at 3:26
    
@tao, yes, that or thoroughly. –  杨以轩 Jul 15 '13 at 7:48
    
@tao very good translation. "... to the core" keeps the image of rather than just explaining its meaning. –  Stan Jul 15 '13 at 8:33

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Question: When can I use 透?

Looking at the meanings:

(tou4) = penetrate, pass through, transparent, to show

So, you can use it to applicable situations:

penetrate: 墨汁渗透了那张纸 (Mòzhī shèntòule nà zhāng zhǐ): The ink penetrated through the paper

pass through: 太阳射线穿透了窗口 (Tàiyáng shèxiàn chuān tòule chuāngkǒu): The sun rays passed through the window

transparent: 她穿的衬衫是透明的 (Tā chuān de chènshān shì tòumíng de): she wore a transparent top

to show/reveal: 他身上透出一股英气 (Tā shēnshang tòu chū yī gǔ yīngqì): he revealed his heroic spirit

The commonality here is that 透 means something that is revealing, or gets through something... So in any instance that occurs, you can probably use 透

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"太阳射线 穿透 了窗口" sounds better. –  Stan Jul 15 '13 at 9:02
    
@Stan thanks Stan. Edited –  Growler Jul 15 '13 at 20:15

As other explains,透 (tou4) = penetrate, pass through, transparent, to show,this is one meaning,the other is "completely"

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If you agree with others' answers, please just upvote them :) –  Stan Jul 22 '13 at 3:42
    
@Stan,I almost have not read any answer completely :) –  XL _at_China Jul 22 '13 at 4:09
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@XL_at_China Reading some of the other answers is a good prerequisite for adding your own... –  Stumpy Joe Pete Jul 22 '13 at 6:43
    
@StumpyJoePete,the time is not available sometimes –  XL _at_China Aug 25 '13 at 9:34

Here is my point

verb + 透: means "through", such as 穿 + 透,看 + 透
adj + 透: means "extreme", such as 湿 + 透, 糟 + 透
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