What does 如果做这样,他要看不懂。 mean? Is it grammatically correct? I tried to google translate it, which gave me stupid results.

  • If it is done this way, he will not be able to understand, look up 看懂,看不懂 is its negative potential form – user6065 Aug 15 '16 at 4:52
  • Who is he?? And what is 'negative potential form'? – Danny Han Aug 15 '16 at 5:03
  • 如果这样做,他会看不懂。At lease "做这样" would not be correct. – fefe Aug 15 '16 at 6:14
  • if reply is still needed, "potential form" is a wrong name, 看懂 is verb 看 followed by resultative complement 懂,putting 不 in between makes 不懂 a negative potential complement of 看 (看懂/understand can be found in dictionaries), 看不懂 therefore literally means "cannot understand" or "unable to understand" , see any grammar on complements (补语) – user6065 Aug 15 '16 at 6:23

He is 他, as indicated in your example.

A complement is a word or sentence following a verb, providing additional structure.

A complement can be resultative, as in 做完 (do something, and also finish doing it), directional, as in 放下 (let go of something, and to put it down), and so forth.

A potential complement indicates possibility, as in 看得懂; here 看 is the verb (to see), followed by 得 and an affirmative potential complement 懂. The modifier 得 changes resultative or directional complements to potential ones. 做得完 = he is able to finish what he is doing.

A negative potential complement is therefore the opposite, when a verb followed by 不 plus verb indicates that the action does not result in the desired result: 看不懂. He sees, but he is not able to understand.

The full sentence then: 如果做这样,他要看不懂. 如果 = if; 做 = do; 这样 = this way; 他 = he; 要 = will; 看不懂 = not understand. If (you) do like this, he will not understand. (You is inferred from the context.)

Is it grammatical? It is not pretty, but will be understood. It would be better to negate an affirmative complement, but still better to use 了解 than 看懂. It doesn't sound very native.


i don't think that is the correct expression in Chinese.It should be"如果这样做,他要看不懂".In this sentence,做 is verb,and 这样is adverb,Adverbs qualify verbs,这样qualifies做。It means"if it is done this way,he would be able to understand".Hopefully it can help you.

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.