0

I came across the phrase '住在上海旁边的一个小村子里’... I cannot understand the use of 的 in this phrase.

Any help is greatly appreciated :) If you have the time to fully break down the sentence that would also be helpful :D

  • Short answer: you probably know 的 as a sort of 'possessive' marker, but it is just an attribute marker here. 上海旁边的X is "a/the X near/beside Shanghai", so the phrase before 的 describes the noun that comes after it. – Drunken Master Jul 7 '16 at 19:07
3

"住(live)在(in)上海(Shanghai)旁边(beside)的(indicates attributive)一个(a)小(small)村子(village)里(used together with 在 to mean in)" can be translated as 'live in a small villiage beside Shanghai.'

的 is used between an attribute and the head noun it modifies. That is, an attribute must be followed immediately by a 的 in order to modify a noun.

The question lies in the different word orders between English and Chinese. In English, the word indicating the location of A is usually placed after A, together with a preposition such as in/at/beside and so on. While in Chinese, the word indicating the location of A is usually placed in the attributive position (before A), followed immediately by a 的. So "a church in Washington" is translated as "在(in) 华盛顿(Washington) 的 一所(a) 教堂(church)" or just "华盛顿的一所教堂", "a church beside Washington" is translated as "华盛顿(Washington) 旁边(beside) 的 一所(a) 教堂(church)"

As for "住在上海旁边的一个小村子里", 住 means live, "在...里" means in, "上海(Shanghai) 旁边(beside) 的 一个(a) 小(small) 村子(village)" means "a small village beside Shanghai".

上海旁边(beside Shanghai) as a whole is used as attribute to modify 一个小村子.

0

的 is used as an adjectival suffix here

(1.住)(2.在)(上海旁邊)(的)(3.小村子)

1.住(verb) "live"

2.在(preposition) "in "

3.小村子 (noun) "small village"

= 住在小村子 (live in small village)

的 is an adjectival suffix that make 上海旁邊 a relative phrase of the noun 小村子 (small village)

** In English, we place the relative pronoun " that/ which/ who" after the noun to indicate the following is a relative phrase of it.

Example: " the village [that] is beside Shanghai."

** In Chinese, we place the adjectival suffix 的, after the relative phrase to indicate that phrase is a descriptive phrase of the following noun.

Example: [ relative phrase - (beside Shanghai) ]+ [adjectival suffix - (的) ]+[ noun- (small village)]

  • the relative phrase is not limited to location, it can be any description, for example: " the small village that has no phone" - " has no phone" would be the relative clause of "the small village" – Tang Ho Jul 15 '16 at 18:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.