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I just read the following sentence:

我这两天住的很愉快。

The meaning is pretty clear. Since this is a letter from a guest to a host in AirBnB, the meaning should be something like "It was so good to live here for 2 days.".

However, I'm not sure how I can decide which part is a subject and which part is a predicate. If you understand it from the meaning, 我这两天住的 is a subject and 很愉快 is a predicate. But it is only after the meaning that I can understand its grammartical structure, and I wouldn't understand it without context. I also don't understand why 的 is used here, which seems to not in a list of use cases of 的.

But this is not the only example of when I don't decide the grammartical structure, specifically where a subject is and where a predicate is. How can I tell it apart better when I don't have enough context?

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I'm not sure how I can decide which part is a subject and which part is a predicate.

Subject:The object that starts the statement/sentence. It usually tells us who/what to be mainly described. In Chinese, the subject is usually put at the beginning.

E.g:

我是学生。(I'm a student.) “我” is a subject, because it is the MAIN object to be described.

Predicate:The action, statement of the subject. In Chinese NOT ONLY a verb can take the predicate, but adjectives and some other words can also take this position. This is the MOST DIFFERENCE between Chinese and English.

E.g:

1)他很帅. (He's much handsome). 帅 is an adjective, used as a predicate to describe how he looks. In English, we must use "be" as the link verb to link an adjective with the subject.

2)他在吃饭. (He's having lunch)吃 is a verb, used as a predicate.

我这两天住的很愉快。

Sorry but you CANNOT use “的”,you should use “得”. Because if you understand the meaning (Some verbs without a complement to tell you how the predicate develops, the meaning of the statement isn't complete).

Please think about this statement again:

他住. (He lives).

Even in English, you will reguard "live" as "he has his own life". Because when you reguard "live" as “住” (locates in someplace). The statement isn't complete. We neither know where he lives nor how he lives. And so for the Chinese statement.

Now if you wanna make the statement complete, in English maybe we say:

He lives very happily. (他住得很愉快).

Notice that happily just describes how he lives (the statement of the period when lives in someplace). And in Chinese, this is called a 补语(Complete Statement).

补语 is usually used in two senarios:

1) When a S+V, and the "V" (verb used as a predicate). The meaning isn't complete, and we should complete the sentence by attaching something to describe "How/Where……ect" the verb develops……. Such a statement is called a "Complete Phrase"(补语成分). Here we MUST ADD “得”, like:

S+V+得+补语成分.

E.g:

他跳得很高

Notice when a complete phrase is used to describe a verb's degree, you can add “得”. However if it is used to describe the result of a verb. We CANNOT add that. Please compare the two statements:

a) 他吃完了。 (完 is a complete phrase to describe 吃, means He has finished eating).

b) 他吃得完。 (得, if you add this, this is of "Future Time" to describe that he can and will eat up.)

2) Even if you see a whole statement (something like S+V+O), but if we think we still need to describe the degree of the predicate about (how, where……). The 补语成分 can be also attached at the end of the setence as an optional thing.

S+V+O+补语成分

E.g:

他吃饭吃得快 (他吃饭:is a whole S+V+O, complete statement. But we wanna descirbe how he eats. so “吃得快” can be also attached at the end of that)

  • Sorry but you CANNOT use “的”,you should use “得”. Then that means maybe the writer made a mistake there? It's strange, since the letter is written in hand, not in computer... – Blaszard Dec 9 '16 at 4:27
  • Well if 得 was used here, I can understand its grammartical structure without any problems. But in this case, I couldn't decide which of 住 or 愉快 is a predicate. – Blaszard Dec 9 '16 at 4:28
  • 1)“得” is used for your complete phrase. So “的” must be wrong. 2)住 is a predicate as a verb. 愉快 describes how you lives (happily). – xqMogvKW Dec 9 '16 at 5:48
  • 就你以为她是写错的吗?(So do you think the writer made a mistake here? If you do, is it common to make such a mistake even in hand?) – Blaszard Dec 9 '16 at 9:05
  • @Blaszard:We use "了" like “就你以为他写错了吗?” We don't use “的” here, because this is tendency statement to tell the result 写的结果——The result is wrong. So according to my above syntaxes, we cannot use “得” or “的” here. And if you use “的” at the end of Complete phrase or a whole complete phrase, this means "someone who is relying on something". E.g:卖鱼(Fish-selling) 卖鱼的(Fish-selling men). – xqMogvKW Dec 9 '16 at 9:12
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  • 我 - I (subject)

  • 这两天 - these two days (relative phrase- stating the duration of the event)

  • 住 - stay (verb)

  • (得) - (verb particle, to indicate the result or degree )

  • 很愉快 - very happy (resultive phrase, describe the result of the verb 住 )

"我" is the subject; "住得很愉快" is the predicate

~~~~

  • (的) - (adjectival suffix, indicate the phrase it followed is an description of the following noun)

  • "这两天住(的)" should be followed by a noun, e.g. 地方, as in 这两天住(的)地方 (the place I lived in these two days)

这两天住(的)很愉快 is grammatically incorrect. Either it misspoken 得 as 的, or mistakenly used an adjective instead of a noun after the adjectival suffix "的"

*Another possibility is, the noun and the verb in an relative clause are omitted. 这两天住的(地方)很(令人)愉快

Another example:

我|玩|得|很高興 - (I played and I was very happy)

我(subject)|玩(verb)|得(verb particle)|很高興(resultive phrase)

  • Ah, if it is 得 I can understand it is a degree particle. But why is it 的 then? Is it interchangeable? – Blaszard Dec 8 '16 at 19:13
  • The pinyin of 得 can be: de2 |de5 |dei3. the pinyin of 的 can be de5 |di2 |di4 . Some people may confused 得 with 的 in speeches . For example, If you say "說的真好聽 " instead of "說得真好聽" people may not bother to think about the difference between the two phrases- 說真好聽 means " you speak beautifully" ; 說真好聽 means "You words are beautiful" – Tang Ho Dec 9 '16 at 10:19
  • @ Tang Ho Is it possible that the omitted noun was mentioned in previous sentence and the clause ending with 的 refers to it? For example, a traveler who already lives in some city, gives a piece of advice to a friend who's planning to visit it - to find a hotel before coming (你先找到一个旅馆). Then he adds, that the one he stays in is quite pleasant. Would the sentence with the omitted noun (我这两天住的很愉快.) be grammatically correct then? – Alex_ander Dec 9 '16 at 14:33
  • 愉快 is not an adjective for 旅馆. The sentence would work if you write: "我每天換不同的酒店, 这两天住的(酒店)很不錯" (住 and 酒店 should be omitted for better flow, but it is not incorrect to leave them in the sentence) – Tang Ho Dec 9 '16 at 14:51

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