I think that I understand the overall meaning of the sentence: He forcibly stole her bag and ran away. But I'm not sure about that part (一把把), neither its meaning nor its grammatical function (I'm not even sure if it is a single element or I've splited two and joined it :/ ).

I've searched the web, but it seems to be a not-so-frecuent construction. I've found it on a book (汤小团-东周列国卷-1, p.76). When I google it, I get only results for the classifier (一把).

Many thanks in advance!

  • perhaps 一把 is "in a single snatch"? – Colin Sep 10 '16 at 16:59
  • Then could it be related to the previous 更是? – oscarah Sep 10 '16 at 17:04
  • see 14 examples for 一把把 at jukuu, all except 1,8, 11-14 are of the same type as in Q, in the remaining ones 一把把 seems to refer to many handfuls or pulls (pulling motions), 1 with 一把把旧曼陀林 is somewhat doubtful – user6065 Sep 10 '16 at 19:22
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The 一把把 here is made up of two different grammatical units:

The first 一把 is the classifier you mention. It is used to modify the action, and means something like "with one grab". It emphasizes that the action happened suddenly. Here are some examples from news websites:

乘客 一把 拉开飞机安全门
A passenger opened a plane's door with one grab.

男子欲跳楼好友 一把 拉回去
As a man wanted to jump off a building, his friend pulled him back with one grab

走进人家客厅 一把 抢走手机
Walking into someone's living room, [he] stole a cell phone with one grab

The second 把 is just the normal marker for the verb's object when it comes before the verb:

书包抢了
He stole the book bag

So 一把把 is not a grammatical unit here, it just happens that two parts of the sentence put two instances of the same word together:

他 一把 抢了书包
他 把 书包抢了

  • Thanks! That made sense! I'm still on a bit trouble with the 更是, but that's another question 😉 – oscarah Sep 10 '16 at 17:46
  • 更 vs 更是 cf。 还、只、可、像、。。。 vs 还是、只是、可是、要是、像是、。。。 – user6065 Sep 11 '16 at 9:55

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