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According to my textbook 简明汉语语法 the parts after the verb 写 are so called complements, they are strictly differentiated from adverbs.

both complements are called:

  • complement of result 完
  • complement of possibility 得完

I assume the meaning of 写完 is "to write (and it is completed)". However, i can not find out myself what the difference to 写得完 is?

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写得完: possible to complete writing

写完: complete writing

Beginners often learn 能+verb first, but in many cases, verb+得+complement sounds much more natural when they want to express can/be able to + verb.

I'm aware of some languages, e.g. Japanese and sometimes English, that don't always strictly distinguish these two kinds of expressions, but Chinese does. Always keep in mind that 写得完 is stative while 写完 is dynamic.

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I am not sure if this answer is correct or contributes to your understanding, here is my interpretation:

写完, as you have put it, means some piece of writing is completed.

写的完 the stresses the ability to complete something written. E.g. 这么长的文章你写得完吗? Are you able to finish writing such a long article/essay?

I think you already know 看得懂 where 得 is to emphasize the ability to understand something by reading (able to read and understand). E.g. 这个汉字你看得懂吗? Can you read this Chinese character?

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    the negative of 写得完 would be 写不完 , right? – meireikei Nov 8 '14 at 16:21
  • Much the same as 看不懂,听不懂, yes. I think you got it now. – imrek Nov 8 '14 at 16:23
  • if 写不完 is the negation of 写得完 , than i am clueless what the negative of 写完 might be??? – meireikei Nov 8 '14 at 16:26
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    The negation of 写完 is 不写完, i.e. not complete writing (probably on purpose), which is rather uncommon and has only limited use. The usual expressions we use are 写完了 and 没写完. – Yang Muye Nov 8 '14 at 16:29
  • That is quite 'regular', e.g.: 你写完了吗? 我没写完。Or if you are to state something in the present, 不写完. – imrek Nov 8 '14 at 16:30

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