Chinese Syntax is: S V O there are different prepositional phrases, for instance: p.p. that express a place, time, objective, mean ...

How do i know the proper order of the different prepositional phrases?

1 Answer 1


Someone may guide you to a comprehensive source, but if you want to do prepositioning or left branching, all you need to care about is to make them appear in a logical sense. This basic sense is the same for most languages.

You put time first, then the location

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....

You put more prominent attributes first

There's a big bad wolf. (big is more obvious than bad)

You put what you want to emphasize first

If you give them a quick, short, sharp, shock, they won't do it again...

You prioritize common noun phrases and stick them close

Python is a good object-oriented programming language.

I'm not giving you Chinese examples because in Chinese they are exactly the same. There may be situations I'm missing out. Anyway, you do what you feel right.

However there are several situations where "right" is different in English and Chinese.


我来自中国上海。(I'm not, but you don't know any other city names do you?)

In English you say I'm from New York, New York.

Date and time


In English you mess up. Is it 1-4-1643 or 4-1-1643?

  • +1, but that's just Americans messing up the date :P
    – Ming
    Oct 30, 2014 at 0:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.