Parts of speech are always dicey in Chinese. What is a verb, what is an adjective etc. So, In the sentence 你好!, what part of speech is Hao?

  • 5
    predicate formed by an adjective
    – user6065
    Mar 27, 2016 at 18:04
  • Agree with above.
    – Stan
    Mar 27, 2016 at 18:09
  • 1
    你 is a pronoun, 好 is a stative verb, 你好 is an interjection.
    – user4452
    Mar 27, 2016 at 21:00
  • Do you want to know about 你好 specifically, or about that type of sentence in general?
    – KWeiss
    Mar 28, 2016 at 9:04
  • 1
    It may be different from English grammar. The structure of 你 is similar to "你 真 聪明" You (are) really clever, "春天来了,草儿绿了" Spring comes, grass (turns) green. As the verbs are actually missing in the Chinese sentences, there're different interpretations: 1) the verbs are just omitted, 好, 聪明, 绿 still work as adjectives; 2) introducing the "adjectives can work as verbs" rule – yes, it's common especially in ancient Chinese, "春风又绿江南岸", "彼", etc. In my primary school, I were taught the second interpretation, so "predicate formed by an adjective" is quite OK.
    – Stan
    Mar 29, 2016 at 6:50

1 Answer 1


Never think of parts of speech when learning Chinese, since Chinese has such concept no earlier than Tang dynasty, which is very short history comparing with Chinese. In fact Chinese parts of speech also have nothing to do with their functions in sentence. Noun could be predicate, verb could be objective, even prep. could be subjective, which is totally different with western languages.

  • 1
    This is true for classical Chinese, but modern Chinese is less flexible.
    – KWeiss
    Apr 5, 2016 at 6:55
  • well, I think modern Chinese is even more flexible, if not the same as traditional Chinese.
    – gcd0318
    Apr 19, 2016 at 6:41

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