Can " 天空一片蔚藍 " also be "一片蔚藍天空"? And what's the reason?

Could "天空是一片蔚藍" be correct too?

Also can someone give a good translation? I just translate it as "An azure blue sky".

I might be over thinking it but I really want to know. Thanks.

Just want to add another thing. Another sentence I encounter is "天空一片蔚藍,很漂亮吧".

Can we say both "一片蔚藍天空,很漂亮吧" and "天空是一片蔚藍,很漂亮吧"?


天空一片蔚藍 or 天空是一片蔚藍 is sentence, which means The sky is all blue.

一片蔚藍天空 is a phrase, as you said, it means An azure blue sky.

  • Thank you for the translations! It's good to see the subtle differences. But I'm just a bit confuse. I thought that whatever is modifying a noun, should be place before that noun. So I thought it should have been "一片蔚藍天空", not "天空一片蔚藍". I forgot to add that the original sentence was "天空一片蔚藍,很漂亮吧". Oct 22 '14 at 3:43
  • Fixing my last reply to you, I just notice since you said "一片蔚藍天空" is a phrase, not a sentence,thus it's better to say "天空一片蔚藍". And the other user who answer, clarify "天空一片蔚藍" was a sentence with a nominal predicate. Which I need to wrap my head around it since I'm bad at grammar. Could you tell me how you would translate "天空一片蔚藍,很漂亮吧"/ "天空是一片蔚藍,很漂亮吧" and "一片蔚藍天空,很漂亮吧"? I translate them as "The sky is all blue, it's pretty" and "An azure blue sky, it's pretty." respectively. Would you happen to know if "天空一片蔚藍,很漂亮吧" is still a nominal predicate? Thanks again for the translations! Oct 22 '14 at 6:54
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    @chinese_beginner_need_help Yes, I'll translate 天空一片蔚藍,很漂亮吧 as The sky is all blue, it's pretty, but 一片蔚藍天空,很漂亮吧, I'll translate it as An azure blue sky, is pretty. Sorry I'm not familiar with grammar too, but I think it should be "adjective predicate". Anyway, in Chinese, an adjective could be used as predicate directly, without adding be as in English.
    – user4072
    Oct 22 '14 at 7:17
  • Could "一片蔚藍的天空" be another possible way to say the phrase, "An azure blue sky"? Could you also translate "天空一片蔚藍" as "The sky is an azure blue"? From what I research and what I learn here so far, I think adjective predicate makes more sense to me. Thank you for the explanation and translations. I'm glad that I decided to post here for help. Oct 23 '14 at 5:41
  • @chinese_beginner_need_help Yes, the translation are OK for me both. Glad to help you.
    – user4072
    Oct 23 '14 at 12:01

this is a sentence with a nominal predicate,e。g。see 实用现代汉语语法 667页 第四节 名词谓语句 (Sentences with nominal predicates) (四)描写主语的状况、特征或属性。谓语多是带有形容词或数量词的名词短语。(describing condition,characteristic features or properties,predicate often is an NP (noun phrase) with adjective or measure word) other examples (in particular note (4)): (1)这个十九岁的姑娘, 高 高 的 个 子, 一 双 眼 睛, 显得很机灵。(描写容貌) (2)张大哥 急 性 子, 张大嫂 慢 性 子。 (描写性格) (3)桌前 两 三 把 小 沙 发 和 一 个 矮 茶 几 儿。(描写室内状况,陈设) (4)日头将没不没的时候,水面 一 片 红 光, 耀眼睛!(描写景色) note that this type of sentence is characterized by the absence of the verb 是。Therefore *天空是一片蔚藍 appears substandard to say the least, besides in this type of sentence subject and predicate in general cannot be interchanged, therefore 一片蔚藍天空 appears ungrammatical.

  • Wow, thanks for the explanation! I'm trying to get my head wrap around it. I'm not very good with grammar. I was really confuse at first about whether or not, "一片蔚藍" was consider something like a noun. Thanks for clearing it up a bit. By the way, what if it was "天空一片蔚藍,很漂亮吧"? Does this changes anything? Like is "天空一片蔚藍,很漂亮吧" not consider a nominal predicate anymore? Can we say "天空是一片蔚藍,很漂亮吧"? Is "一片蔚藍天空,很漂亮吧" grammatically correct now? Like I mention earlier, I'm not very good with grammar. My apologies for staying up late, trying to figure this out awhile maybe overlooking something. Oct 22 '14 at 5:28
  • claim in answer #2 that 一片蔚藍天空 is ungrammatical appears false, this user was apparently thinking of other typical sentences with nominal predicate, like 一吨两千斤,现在十二点,他英国人,我加拿大人,我两个男孩,我妹妹一儿 一女,where subject and predicate cannot be interchanged,in the case of 天空一片蔚藍---一片蔚藍天空 the interchange of course leads to a noun with adjective, numeral and measure word, that is an NP(no longer a sentence).
    – user6065
    Oct 22 '14 at 5:43
  • it seems 一片蔚藍 is a noun phrase consisting of numeral-measure word combination and noun describing a color) (蔚藍 apparently can be considered as noun denoting a color, although perhaps mainly functioning as adjective), note corresponding entry in 现代汉语词典:蔚蓝:像晴朗的天空那样的颜色:~的天空,~的海洋 (examples showing use as adjective),could be compared with 一 片 红 光 in example (4) of second answer, where more clearly 红光 is a noun)。天空一片蔚藍is a complete sentence,so above question amounts to asking whether one can add 很漂亮吧 (subject omitted)following this complete sentence (it would seem possible)。
    – user6065
    Oct 22 '14 at 12:52
  • So "一片蔚藍" can be consider both noun and adjective? Could "一片蔚藍的天空" be another possible way to say the phrase, "An azure blue sky"? After doing some researching, could you consider "蔚藍" as a disyllabic adjective? If it is, it could answer my new thought that adding '的' is optional. Thanks for all the grammar explanation! I'm happy that I pretty much got my answers for the questions from the original post. Oct 23 '14 at 4:59
  • Looking over what I learn so far, I think "天空一片蔚藍" and "天空一片蔚藍,很漂亮吧" are adjective predicate instead of nominal predicate. And I think "蔚藍" is consider an adjective in "一片蔚藍天空". Of course I could be wrong since I'm bad with grammar. It just seems to make sense to me. If I was able to up vote your comment, I would do it. I'm glad I posted here, I learned alot here. Oct 23 '14 at 5:44

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