So I know that to make an adverb, you use 'de/di' and put it before the verb like:


But in my studies this week I saw this:




Am I right in thinking that these are simply adverbs but to make an adverb from an adjective like 好 or 兴奋 you need a 地?

  • 3
    not necessarily (only considering adjectives functioning as adverbs), cf."外国人实用汉语语法" 1. 下列情况都需要用"地":形容词兼属动词的双音词:他高兴地笑了。表示情态的双音词:他惭愧地低下了头。她轻松地唱了一个歌。双音词的重叠形式:大家舒舒服服地睡了一觉。我们要仔仔细细地汇报。 2. 下列情况不用"地":单音词:快走啊!学习语言一定要多听多说。 3. 下列情况用不用"地"都可以:单音词的重叠形式:学生要好好(地)学习。你们慢慢(地)走。双音词修饰双音动词:我们都努力(地)学习。他全面(地)解释了这个问题。
    – user6065
    Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 19:43

3 Answers 3


地 only CHANGES ADJECTIVES to adverb. Any adverbs without being conjugated from adjectives can exist without 地.

  1. 地 is commonly omitted. This happens usually when the adjective has ONE CHARACTER only. For example: 慢慢走 or 慢走. 地 is omitted since 慢 has only ONE character. The repetition of 慢 here is only for the purpose of expressing the action in a more visualized or vivid way.

  2. 兴奋 has two characters, and you cannot shorten it to one character to have the same meaning, so we usually don't omit 地 in this case.


(It's been a week, but hope this helps)
There are plenty. Consider:


In these phrases, the functions of 早晚, and 時常 are mostly apt to be seen as adverbs. This being said, the POS in Chinese is not very well-agreed. This is due to lack of morphological markers. In the ancient time there is no marker, and adjectives also functions as adverbs (like German). In these cases, arguably they also look like the complementary adjectives of the subject. I guess its advent is probably 20 century, when phrases are so complicated that we often have difficulty parsing, and English-like structures are borrowed into written Chinese.

So back to the question, I would say that when a adverb doesn't cause ambiguity, is often not added. The examples


In (b), it cause some confusion (at least when the eye has parsed to 兴奋) what 兴奋 functions as. But in (b), suffices to say, clears up confusion by reminding you a verb is following.

Last I shall note that even scholars often disagree, as modern Mandarin grammar is not well restricted, and native speakers are generally very tolerant with non-standard phrases. I found a discussion. You shall notice that the general consensus does not deem to be not compulsory.

So, append from an adjective if the adjective is several-Charactered (so more difficult to parse), or when the phrase is complicated so that confusion arises.

  • That's really clear. Thank you! @aminopterin
    – Gâr
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 6:59

An adv doesn't have to be followed by a “地“, such like in "慢慢走“/”好好干“. However, you can always check if a word is an adv by adding a "地" and see if it still make sense. If "yes", then it's an adv. E.g., "慢慢地走"/“好好地干”。

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