As far as I know, in Chinese, the adverbial phrase is put right in front of the verb and its purpose is to describe the verb. Sentence pattern: S adverbialphrase V O

  • What are the rules to put a grammatically correct adverbial phrase together?
  • How long can a complex adverbial phrase become?
  • Can a chinese sentence contain more than one adverbial phrase?

It seems that you like rules, but soon you'll find that exceptions are the norm. Don't consider the following as rules. They are just examples.

How to put them together?

It is indeed very flexible, as it is in English:

轻轻的我走了。 Quietly I left.

我轻轻的走了。 I quietly left.

我走了,轻轻的。 I left quietly.

The 2nd is the most common form, but the other two forms give the sentences a poetic touch.

Notice in the last example you put a comma before the adverb, because Chinese is mostly a left branching language. This is how you make a right branch feel natural.

[rant]Someone may want to criticize my use of 的 and say that I should use 地 or 得 instead. In fact 的地得 is totally indistinguishable in speech, why bother distinguishing them in writing? My example is from the famous romantic poet 徐志摩. I'll listen to you if you write something better than him. Also stop being a grammar communist OK? [/rant]

There is another form of positioning, V + 得 + adverb:


Run fast and you get candy; run slow and you get candy wrappers.

How long and how complex can it be?

As long as you like. This is how you stick many adverbs together:


This looks like cheating, but you can have this:


We should complete the task with the spirits of the Eighteenth National People's Congress meeting, which includes liberation of the mind, faithfulness to the truth, advancement with the times, and emphasis on pragmatism.

Still this is but one colossal adverb phrase, not exactly "many" phrases.

How to do more than one adverb phrase?

From 阿桑's song (who died of breast cancer in 2009):


Listen you to the loneliness singing, quietly and ruthlessly.

Here is another example, with three adverbial phrases:


Slowly but surely, step by step, the turtle climbed up to the treetop.

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It will be much easier for me to explain it in Chinese.QAQ

What are the rules to put a grammatically correct adverbial phrase together?

Here are some examples.


run fast 跑得快 quikly open the door 迅速地打开门


very good 非常好

The same as we use in English.I think most of the rules are the same. When we use 地(adv+v)and 得(v+adv)depends on the usage of adverbial. We use 得(v+adv)as a supplement to describe verb(补语).For example,we can say 跑得快(run fast) not 迅速地跑(quickly run).But we can say 迅速地跑出教室(quickly run out of the classroom).

How long can a complex adverbial phrase become?

Agree with Answer 1,as long as you like.

Can a Chinese sentence contain more than one adverbial phrase?

It's easy.Unlike adjective,there are barely any rules.If you can find some ,like direction,depth,etc.Put adverbial phrases in order.

Adverbial phrases like 现在立刻马上,they are not correct.We can not say it on formal occasions.

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