I am wondering what the acceptable combinations of classifier, noun, and adjectival phrase are? For example 一本 + 有意思的 + 书

Is it acceptable to say both of the following?:

  • 一本有意思的书。
  • 有意思的一本书。

Are there any other ways to produce the same meaning? What is the difference (if any) in the meaning / connotation?

3 Answers 3


有意思的一本书 is rarely used, either in colloquial language or formal speech.

However, 很有意思的一本书 is popular, as in "这是很有意思的一本书" (interchangeable with "这是一本很有意思的书" and "这本书很有意思"). The sentence literally means "this is a book that's very interesting".

I do not know why adding "很" makes it sound right. The Google results are quite convincing, though: all of them have "很" before "有意思的一本书".

(Is it the same case with "你很漂亮" (correct) and "你漂亮" (incorrect) ?)

  • I know when you are writing a notice for a lost item, you invert the order of the MW and the noun, so you would say something like: "丢失了眼镜一副”
    – aelephant
    Commented Mar 18, 2012 at 4:00
  • I think "丢了一副眼睛" sounds right, too. The only situation I can think of where you must invert the order is the idiom "小事一桩" (no big deal; a piece of cake).
    – gonnastop
    Commented Mar 18, 2012 at 6:31

Although both of them are valid, 一本有意思的书 is more commonly used than 有意思的一本书.

Actually, the usage is depend on the context.

For example, 这是一本有意思的书 is OK; 这是有意思的一本书 is also OK, but more emphasized on "有意思".

Another example, 昨天我看了一本有意思的书 is OK; 昨天我看了有意思的一本书 is NOT acceptable.

Another example, 我有一本有意思的书 is OK; 我有有意思的一本书 is NOT acceptable.


Both are valid and commonly used. They have the same meaning.


for 一本 + 有意思的 + 书:

  • 一本有意思的书。 - GOOD, "An interesting book"
  • 有意思的一本书。 - GOOD, "An interesting book"
  • 有意思的书一本。 - WEIRD, and maybe incorrect grammar; don't use

situation suited for adj. + 的: 搞笑的(funny), 无聊的(boring), etc

for 一本 + 好 + 书:

  • 一本好书。 - GOOD, "A great book"
  • 好一本书。 - different meaning from the other 2 combinations, but totally valid; I'm unable to explain.
  • 好书一本。 - GOOD, "An awesome book!!", better than "A great book"

situation suited for selective one word adj.: , , , etc.

note that the second combination is ONLY valid for .

  • interesting. I wonder why 有意思的书一本 sounds weird and 好书一本 doesn't?!?
    – jsj
    Commented Mar 11, 2012 at 12:40
  • If I change to 精彩(exciting), 精彩书一本 or 精彩的书一本 still very wired, maybe because is an one word adj. or maybe it's a magic word?
    – Mengdi Gao
    Commented Mar 11, 2012 at 12:48
  • I've update my answer to include more one word example.
    – Mengdi Gao
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 6:09
  • "好一本书" in your second example is similar to "what a special book it is" in English. "好" here helps to form an exclamatory sentence and does not mean "great". 好一个混蛋 = what a jerk; 好一句“不关我的事” = (roughly) how dare you say "it's none of my business"! We can start a new question, actually.
    – gonnastop
    Commented Mar 18, 2012 at 13:01

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