I have a question about the placements of objects and targets in sentences. I am not sure if I understand the difference between "target" and "object". I have tried search for it, but they both seem to be; "the word or phrase which the verb is referring to".

In short my questions are:

  • What are the differences between a target and an object (if there is any)?

  • In the sentence "警察那天不停地在警察局对他审问了几个小时 (The police kept him in the police station for a few hours that day)", why isn't "对他(to him)" an object and placed after the verb, since the chinese language uses Subject-Verb-Object structure?

  • If possible, can someone give me an example where both a target and an object is placed in the same sentence, and describe why it should be this way?

In the picture that I have posted below, you can see that the targets are placed before the verb. They have not included any place for the object, so where should it go? Or is the target an object? I'm confused! I hope someone can explain :)

I found my information on this website: https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Word_order

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  • there is no reference to objects in the table, objects are part of "verb phrase", e.g. in 1st line 说谎 consists of a verb and following object, table seems to concern the order of adverbial adjuncts (状语)which always are in front of verb (or adjective), it seems to say that the target of the action comes last, in agreement with previous discussions of order of adverbials at this site, see i.p. chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/12197/…
    – user6065
    Jul 9, 2017 at 18:10
  • object can occur before verb see previous Q, e.g. chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/24396/… i.p. comment, also returning to table, "time duration" is treated as complement, which generally follows verb
    – user6065
    Jul 9, 2017 at 18:34

3 Answers 3


As a native Chinese citizen & Chinese speaker, I can confirm that that placement is wrong, or at least partially.

警察那天不停地在警察局对他审问了几个小时 sounds quite weird. This sounds like:

The police repeatedly "interrogated him in the office" for several hours.

...which errorneously overemphasized the place.

My version (that makes sense):


Usually, places and locations should come before manners. If they come after manners, the only case in which it makes sense is when you want to emphasize the place. Generally, whatever closer to the verb is more "important". Compare:

他高兴地在教室里跳了起来。(Emphasizing place)
他在教室里高兴地跳了起来。(Emphasizine manner)

  • see quotation from "实用现代汉语语法"(linked to comment #1) which agrees with WikiChineseGrammar,here it is again (1)表示时间的状语; (2)表示语气以及在分句之间起关联作用的状语; (3)表示目的、依据、关涉、协同的状语; (4)表示处所、空间、方向、路线的状语; (5)表示对象的状语。
    – user6065
    Jul 11, 2017 at 20:16

Grammatical object in one language in a phrase, are not always expressed using grammatical object in another language. "对他审问了几个小时" is an example of this. (While "审问了他几个小时" is also correct).

As the examples containing both targets and objects, there are already some in your table, only not explicitly marked.

...给我介绍上海: "给我" is the target, "上海" is the object.
...给我们做了饭: "给我们" is the target, "饭" is the object.


The target here is like an adverbial modifier which is unnecessary for grammar. It appears just as extra information. Instead, an object is necessary after a transitive verb. In your table, objects are included in the verb phrase. For example, 说 is a verb and 谎 is an object.

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