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I''m a Chinese learner for quite a while, I've been wondering why (是) shi4 is dropped in sentences like this:"我很好" Isn't there supposed to be a verb in every sentences? like 我(是)很好.

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possible duplicate of Stative verbs in Chinese: only for adjectives? –  NS.X. Apr 28 at 21:11
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@NS.X. I wouldn't necessarily say that this question is a duplicate of that one. While the answer to that question helps to answer this one, these two questions are fundamentally different. This question asks why 是 is not needed; the other question asks what word in the sentence is playing the role of the verb and how does it behave. –  Claw Apr 28 at 22:39
    
@Claw Agreed. Not a real dupe in question but there are major overlap in the supposed answers. I voted for closing for condensation but maybe I shouldn't. –  NS.X. Apr 28 at 22:59
    
weird enough, here 很 plays the role of is (copula). 很 in this case rarely means very seriously. –  Ma Ming May 1 at 19:57
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3 Answers 3

Simply put, adjectives in Chinese can function as verbs.

More specifically, they can form predicates without the use of a copula verb such as 是. For this reason, adjectives in Chinese are sometimes considered to be a class of verbs called "stative verbs".

You can refer to the answers of this previous question for more details: Stative verbs in Chinese: only for adjectives?

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Not sure if "Simply put" is applicable in the same sentence as "predicates", "copula verb", and "stative verbs" lol –  Ming Apr 30 at 1:47
    
@Ming That's fair. :) I suppose I meant "simply" as "most concisely". –  Claw Apr 30 at 2:15
    
Great answer +1. –  deutschZuid May 1 at 4:02
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Generally speaking, “是” means “is”. In English you can use "be"+adjective to mean "A subject whose property/attribute is of sth"

I'm well/better.

But in Chinese, “是” is usually means "to define a subject to be sth":So when we say "some subject" “是” "sth", this means "Some subject equals sth".

我是学生:I'm a student (meaning I'm working as a student). So “是” is usually used with a noun.

However, “是” can be also used to enhance a meaning (just like your example above)——this means some subject is REALLY sth, maybe according to the context, this is something with your mood.

我是很好!(Of course I'm fine, maybe someone is saying badly about you.)

他是很坏!(He's really very bad, agreeing with sb's saying)

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So "是" is usually used with a noun :) –  Ming Apr 28 at 6:09
    
@Ming:Yes, however we can use this to emphase something. –  CA55CE37 Apr 28 at 8:03
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是 is a contact verb here.
The grammar in example 我很好 is noun + adjective. just like subject + contact verb (ignored in Chinese) + predicative.

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