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So there is a Chinese saying,

有钱能使鬼推磨。

If you have money, you can make the devil push the millstone for you.

Right after the verb 有,the other verb 能+使 comes.

Is that also considered verb serialization? because I've never seen the next verb with 能(can/could) in verb-serialized sentences.

Thanks in advance.

  • My English is poor.And I don't know what is the meaning of the verb-serialized. But the sentence 有钱能使鬼推磨, is a proverb.It means, if you have enough money, you can do everything you want to. And in China nowdays, it is very reasonable. The rich can do lots of things with money, such as buy a job, buy a chance to study in some great collage. And for the poors, the way to live is quite difficult.That's it. – JoyceBryant Jul 18 '16 at 6:01
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why not?
连动句 Sentences with Verbal Constructions in Series。(兼语句 pivotal sentence) are of the type

Subject + predicate_1 + (object_1) + Predicate_2 + (object_2),

object_1 being subject of predicate_2

If predicate_1 originally is some common verb it can be preceded by a modal verb without violating the above structure,in given example predicate_1 is modal verb (能) + verb (使)。

The 1st predicate can be 有 (i。e。 does not have to be of type 请、要求、使) and pivotal sentences can of course be strung together, resulting in more than 2 predicates。

If it were 某人 有钱能使鬼推磨,then more clearly it would be of type

subject(某人)+p_1(有)+o_1(钱)+p_2(能使)+o_2(鬼)+p_3(推)+o_3(磨)。

  • Thanks. But you mean "predicate_2" is 能+使?, because predicate_1 is a verb 有? – Dean Seo Dec 15 '14 at 9:18
  • the pivotal sentence comes after 有钱, and therefore seems to be without subject, 有钱 is not part of pivotal sentence, – user6065 Dec 15 '14 at 9:19
  • possibly instead of interpreting the sentence as: if you have money/ with money 。。。, it could be interpreted as: there is money which can 。。。, in which case the subject of the pivotal sentence becomes 钱 – user6065 Dec 15 '14 at 9:43
  • Thanks. So 有钱能使鬼推磨 is a perfect verb-serialized sentence ? – Dean Seo Dec 16 '14 at 1:23
  • I believe it can also be read as a pithy form of 有钱的人能使鬼推磨 meaning rich people can do this. Does that make sense? – Colin McLarty Dec 16 '14 at 2:44

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