My question is regarding the following sentence.


I can currently not figure out why based on the grammar 一般 is placed at the position it is in the sentence above.

Could anybody shortly explain with grammar why it is located there and for example not at the beginning of the sentence (sounds logical to me).

  • Yes it's also fine to place 一般 at the beginning. The meaning is the same, the difference is 第一印象 is emphasized if it's placed at the front.
    – user4072
    Sep 13, 2016 at 14:09
  • 1
    Adverbs usually are placed before verbs. Sep 13, 2016 at 14:35
  • Before you ask this question, you should think first the difference between the following two sentences. "Generally, the first impression is hard to be changed", "The first impression in general is hard to be changed"
    – user13501
    Sep 13, 2016 at 15:14
  • This seem related to chapter 3 of 标准教程HSK4上 passage 5 (page 33), which talks about first impressions.
    – Becky 李蓓
    Nov 25, 2019 at 6:10

1 Answer 1


In typical [ topic + opinion/ comment] structure:

  • 「第一印象」(the first impression) is the topic
  • 「一般(是)很難改變(的)」( generally, is hard to be changed) is the opinion/ comment.

If you write 「一般, 第一印象(是)很難改變(的), the adverb (一般) that should be followed by the verb (是) is now followed by a noun (第一印象) instead, and it is grammatically incorrect.

*see comment from Enrico Brasil on your post:

Adverbs usually are placed before verbs.

The sentence has to be changed to 「一般(來說), 第一印象(是)很難改變(的)」

一般來說 = generally (adv) speaking (v)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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