I have 2 的s in my text which are confusing.

  1. "可以明确是实习生与企业间不是劳动关系,。。。“
  2. "我九月份进这家公司,老板说前面几个月是作为实习期的。“

In 1. I think '的‘ nominalizes, but I'm not sure what it nominalizes. Maybe there is a ‘所’ understood and unspoken, '(所)可以明确的‘ = (that which) (we) can be sure of'。I don't really think '明确的‘ or '可以明确的‘ are nouns, neither in English nor in Chinese.

In 2. I can't see what 的 does. Nothing? Or is there a missing 是 ‘我是九月份进的这家公司’?Or is it just for the rhythm of speech? Or can I rewrite as '这家我九月份进的公司,‘? That doesn't seem right! Maybe '这家我九月份进的公司的老板说,‘

4 Answers 4


1 - 可以明确的(matter) - (the matter) that one can see clear is...
2 - 我(是)九月份进的 (it's part of a 是...的 structure) - I entered on September...

  • So you are saying the same as Mona, that in 1. '明确的‘ is a nominalized adjective representing '明确的东西‘?In 2., a redundant '是‘ has been omitted? If I wrote the same with 是, is that acceptable Chinese? ‘我是九月份进的这家公司,‘??
    – Pedroski
    Jul 16, 2015 at 1:19
  • 1. Yes. 2. Yes. 3. Cheers. Jul 17, 2015 at 12:35

2nd sentence: If I am to use English grammatical terms to explain this, "我九月份进的" would be a restrictive relative clause that describes "这家公司" .


The company that I entered in September; the boss said that ...

Better still: The boss of the company that I entered in September said that ...

1st sentence: 的 also connects a relative clause to the main noun, but it's a bit more complicated because the noun that is being modified is omitted, or understood. It really is something like 可以明确的東西 是...


The thing that is certain is that ... or, as one of the answers indicates, What is certain is that ...

Hope this helps.

  • Relative clauses are adjectives. My main handle on 的 is as an 'adjectivisor' par excellence. So if I wrote '我九月份进的公司‘ have I changed the meaning at all? If that would be ok, then we have the adjective '我九月份进的‘ as a neat descriptor for '公司‘。However, in English we would expect the adjective after 'the' or '这‘, not before.
    – Pedroski
    Jul 15, 2015 at 2:25
  • "So if I wrote '我九月份进的公司‘ have I changed the meaning at all?" - you have not changed the meaning significantly. It would be like saying: the company that I entered in September vs. this company, that I entered in September ... It would be the same company, the same descriptor, but one is slightly more emphatic than the other.
    – monalisa
    Jul 15, 2015 at 22:17
  1. What is certain is that apprentice and company is not a contract of employment...

的 functions as the second 'is' above, such that one can omit the object "fact" "What is certain is (the fact that) apprentice and company is not a contract of employment...". This sentence is a bit colloquial and hence the grammar here may appear strange.

  1. (About) this company I enetered in September, my boss said the first few months are for training.

EDIT: The first 的 emphasis "This company" is the subject or topic of discussion, and "Entered in September" is merely a descriptor or adjective-phrase (的 has the ability to convert most clauses/words before it to adjective). 的 also serves as a rhythm of speech particle so that if omitted it won't sound natural, unless you replace it with “了”,i.e. “我九月份进了这家公司”. This results in a sentence that instead of emphasizing the company is in question, I is put as the subject and the time (September) is emphasized as the important information. As in "I enetered this company in September (I am the subject topic, and the important thing is the time I enetered this comapany). Further to OP's post, OP asked what if one writes "我九月份进的这家公司", this put even more emphases on the fact that "I started in September" as important information.

The second 的 shortens the more correct but cumbersome sentence structure: "前面几个月是实习期的几个月". Again this is a bit colloquial and it is not uncommon for the grammar to seem a little bit informal. I would personally however said "老板说前面几个月是实习期", which is more compact and grammatically sound.

  • In 2., I am wondering about the first 的。 The second 的 in 2. doesn't confuse me, that kind of use is very common.
    – Pedroski
    Jul 14, 2015 at 23:06
  • @Pedroski Oh my apologies, I missed the first one! I will edit my answer Jul 16, 2015 at 9:42
  1. I feel this sentence is weirdly constructed and sounds very strange, but the 的 is used like the English word "what". So, 可以明确的 is like: what is certain is that

  2. There is an implied 是 in the second sentence.

  • I have never heard that 的 may be used as 'what'.
    – Pedroski
    Jul 14, 2015 at 23:07
  • @Pedroski the word "的" has couple of meanings, it sometimes means "belongs to" e.g. "這是他的文件", it sometimes means "what" e.g. "這就是他所說的", or it may refer to sometimes e.g. "有的時候" and lots more...you may take it as chinese character "嘅" Jul 15, 2015 at 7:57
  • Do you really think 的 has a meaning? I think it is an adjectivisor. 他的 = he 的 = his。 The genitive always functions as an adjective, so 的 just changes words or phrases into adjectives.
    – Pedroski
    Jul 15, 2015 at 11:46
  • w,s ? 关于1。 百度文库:结构助词“的”7。结构助词“的”还可以用来组成名词性“的”字短语构形式:定语+“的”例如:吃的∕红色的∕彩色的∕这样的∕先进的∕打鱼的/他看见的。。。。更接近于上述1。句子:值得注意的是、指的是、讨厌的是(例如:我最讨厌的是得参加这些会议) 关于2。b/c of comma 我九月份进的这家公司 can b cons a compl. s, w/o cmma (with optional(?) 的 instead)would be rel cl (s. above) 是。。。的s w 是 omitted,cf. "实用现代汉语语法"第四编 句法(中)单句 第三章 "是。。。的"句 第一节 "是。。。的"句(一)一、("是。。。的"句(一)的勾结特点 "是。。。的"句(一)是一种带"是。。。的"标志的动词谓语句。 "的"经常出现在句尾,有时也出现在谓语动词之后,宾语之前。。。例如:2。我是在预售处买的票。4。今天中午我们是吃的饺子。四、有关"是。。。的"句(一)的注意事项(三)"是。。。的"句(一)中"是"的省略 "是。。。的"大部分都可以省略。例如:2。(是)谁打的酒,(是)谁买的肉,你也不问一问,就知道坐下来吃!3。A:昨天你们俩都去看京剧了吗?B:没有,他(是)看的京剧,我(是)看的电影。4。你们来,(是)坐的几路车?--我们(是)坐的十六路。
    – user6065
    Jul 15, 2015 at 20:19
  • Danke Reechen, but I am a very simple man and I just got back from Spain, can you give a simple response that even a dull-wit like me can grasp?
    – Pedroski
    Jul 16, 2015 at 2:52

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