I would like to understand which (if any) of these sentences are incorrect and why.
- 我给了我妹妹一支笔。(being the most basic, this is the one I think I understand)
Thanks in advance for any answers.
Simply put, 把 is just used to denote the object.
However, the object particle 把 can only be used when the action is done entirely on the object and the object undergoes some consequences or changes after the action. This also implies that the object is doomed to experience the consequence once the action is triggered.
For example, the following sentence will be very wrong:
我把汉语学习。 = I learn Chinese. (?) -> wrong
Here, "学习" means learn. Object particle is not used here as "Chinese" itself did not undergo any consequences or changes. Unless you use the completion form 了, then it will be OK to do that as "Chinese" has been in your mind deeply (did have some kinds of change), otherwise it will be unnatural to use the object particle.
So, in your example above, the use of 把 is correct in each of the four sentences.
OK, so the only problem left is whether the four sentences are natural or not to be spoken.
Bear in mind that Chinese loves simplicity. So, for the particle 把，you should use it only when it is important that the listener does not miss the object (i. e. 笔 in your example).
Correct me if I am wrong.
Super Cool Handsome Gel Boy has given you a very interesting answer. You used the preposition 把 correctly. However there are some minor issues in the usage of the particle 了: in the 2nd and 3rd sentence, 了 should directly follow the predicate and precede the object (妹妹), because it is modified by the determiner 我. So we should write:
The preposition 把, as you've been told, can only be used when the direct object of the sentence undergoes or suffers some changes or consequences, in other words, the action expressed by the predicate must act directly upon the object. It follows that you are allowed to use 把 with action verbs, but not with stative verbs or verbs that do not express an action.
Therefore you cannot use 把 with:
Also notice that the preposition 把 can only be applied if the object of the sentence you're constructing is somehow definite or known to the speaker and the listener. For instance, I cannot say
because the object 书 is not definite (in fact it is preceded by 一些 which expresses indefiniteness). To make this sentence correct, I should say
In this case, 书 doesn't have any specific modifier, but it's inferred from the context that both the speaker and the listener know the book they are talking about.
There are some situations in which you are obliged to use the 把 construction. This mainly happens when you have a result complement or a direction complement and they introduce another object in the sentence which is additional to the one of the main predicate. In the sentence I've just given to you (你把书放在桌子上), I must use the 把 construction because the predicate 放 has the result complement 在 which introduces its own object (桌子上). After the result complement block I'm not allowed to put anything else, so to add the object of the predicate (放) I should anticipate it using the preposition 把.
Be very careful when using 妹妹 and 笔 in a sentence. Just like you do in English with cock (rooster) and little girl. In Chinese, Pen (笔) has an implication of a penis because they are all similar shape, especially for the Chinese; so you will never say something like this: (My little sister loves cocks.) or (I give my cock to my sister.), even though they are all correct in grammar.
They are all correct. but if I want to say or do it in a more sophisticated and correct way.
This is it: 我送了一支钢笔给我妹妹。（I gifted my sister a fountain pen.）/
use 送 (gift), not 给 (give); why?
also, using 钢笔, so no one will think of your 笔 has anything to do with your private part.
For the "把", its meaning is "taking" in your sentences.
I give my sister something; (我给我妹东西。)
I am "taking" something to give my sisiter. （我把东西给我妹。）
see grammars，b/c object of 把 should be definite（确定）only 3 might need justification, better search this site for previous discussion of such a basic question, cf. ＂实用现代汉语语法＂，＂把＂字句，
Thus it seems 3 can also be considered correct in that they make the point that a pen and not a pencil or some other writing utensil was given, if unfamiliar with the combination of 在 (for progressive aspect, 动作正在进行的形式）with 把 (see 4) enter ＂在把＂ in jukuu for many examples
All usages in the examples are grammatically correct. Basically if you construct your sentence in compliance with the
"[Subject e.g.我你他] 把 [Object e.g. 笔/书] [predicate e.g. 给妹妹/放那里]"pattern I don't see how you could be convicted grammatically wrong.
However from an idiomatic perspective #4 is very awkward, too grammatically influenced by Western languages and wont be heard ever from a native speaker.
And I assume present continuous tense is used in #4 to connote an intent/desire that should translate to "I will give away this pen shortly"? In that case the correct expression should be:
And as a side note, in colloquial context we tend to omit the subject and even the 把 itself. The following examples would be preferred by native speakers in every day/non-emergency situations:
Usually the 把 construction is intended to stress the intent/importance and in many cases even the urgency of the predicate, with an extra amount of emphasis on the significance of achieving the outcome of the predicate. Consider the following examples where their context/situation perfectly warrants the use of 把: