In some situations, it is not clear to me when to use a direction complement or a location (destination) complement.

For instance, I read from a book that the sentence "衣服都装进箱子里去了" is correct. This sentence has a direction complement. Could one also use a location complement and say "衣服都装到箱子里了". And if yes, what is the difference in meaning?

Another example where one uses a direction complement is "他搬进城里来了"。 Is "他搬到城里来了" with a location complement also correct?

On the other hand, what confuses me is that in the sentence "气球升到天上去了", one uses a location complement. Could one also use a direction complement "气球升上天上去了"

Thanks for your help in advance.

  • The are almost same. But 上、进,seems more direct
    – Chris
    Dec 26, 2014 at 12:03

1 Answer 1


The first example: “衣服都装进箱子里去了” and “衣服都装到箱子里去了” has the same meaning and is both OK. The only difference I think is the former one indicates the action(put in) but the latter one emphasises on the state of the clothes.I am not sure because these two are almost the same in daily use and nobody will notice the difference between them.

For the third example: You can use a direction complement. “气球升到天上去了” /“气球升上天了” However native speakers do not use “气球升上天上去了”. Because the meaning of “天上” contains both location(天) and direction(上).

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