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你想要什么喝的吗?

I've seen 的 used after a verb like this in other sentences. The only thing I could find about 的 after a verb was when it's used with 是.

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Here, you could think that "的" converts a verb (i.e. "喝"/drink) into a noun, i.e. something for drinking.

But notice the "的" after "是" is different, it is more of an interjection, and does not have additional meaning.

  • oh ok, that makes sense. I didn't know 的 could be used in that way. 谢谢你。 – 在去中国 May 20 '17 at 4:03
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喝的 is something for drinking, simply some drinks. 的 is something, some stuff, unnamed stuff, something related to.

Chinese is less bound to type of words comparing to English.

大的嗎?
用的嗎?
十號的嗎?
位元堂的嗎?
他的嗎?

Interestingly, you can replace a verb with an adjective, a noun, or a pronoun. 的 is just something related to a word.

  • Isn't it strange? 的 is probably the most used character in the Chinese language, but people don't really know what it does or what it is there for. 你想要喝什么? – Pedroski May 21 '17 at 0:44
  • Chinese languages is not like Indo-European language. It has nearly no morphology in parts of speech which Chinese speakers have no concern. English speakers prefer asking the parts of speech, the change of one form to another. Chinese speakers try to answer and analyse sentence. In practice, the function of words in Chinese languages is by context, its meaning and order. Meaning is more important than grammar. Chinese speakers do not put everything in a sentence, Instead, they add more and more information on sentences appending to that sentence. – OmniBus May 21 '17 at 2:26
  • @Pedroski In conversation, people starts with a question and very soon they realises it should be more specific and make an amendment. At first, they start asking 你想要甚麼?. Oh, they find that it is not specific. They add 喝的吗? in the middle of speech. – OmniBus May 21 '17 at 2:30

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