In the music video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC_5uIQSYl0&t=42s is the lyric "用你給我的翅膀飛". If my understanding of that sentence is correct, it translates directly to "using" + "you-to-me's wings" + "fly" which seemingly has the same meaning as "Fly to me using your wings."

The word order guide at https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Word_order#Placement_of_target_in_a_sentence suggests the latter sentence should conventionally be written as "用(你的)翅膀" (instrument) + "給我" (target) + "飛" (verb).

Yet, based on the structure of "用你給我的翅膀飛", it seems that one can combine the "target" into the "instrument" by using the target as an adjective. Is this interpretation correct? Or am I missing some fundamental grammar point?

  • 林俊杰的歌词 Lyrics from JJ's song
    – xenophōn
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 3:34
  • 你給我的 翅膀 飛 (I) use the wings you gave me to fly.
    – xenophōn
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 2:51

2 Answers 2


A. 用翅膀飛:

[1. 用] [2. 翅膀] [3.飛]

[1.use] [2.wing] [3. to fly]

[1.primary verb] [2.object] [3. secondary verb]

"用翅膀飛 = to use wings to fly."



[1.用] [2.你給我的] [3.翅膀] [4.飛]

[1.use] [2.the one you gave me] [3.wings] [4. to fly]

[1.primary verb] [2.adjectival phrase] [3.object] [4.secondary verb]

"用你給我的翅膀飛" = "use the wings that you gave me to fly."

The adjectival phrase describes (or gives additional information about) the object

For example: It is a pair of wings-- it is a pair of wings that you gave me.

Primary and Secondary Verbs:

A primary verb can be marked for tense (walked), person (walks) and in some cases number (is, was, were). Present and past tenses are formed with verb inflection, the other tenses are formed in combination with auxiliary verbs.

A secondary verb is not marked for tense, aspect, mood, number and person, and it cannot serve as a predicate, nor can it be used in an independent clause.

Since 用 (use) in 用翅膀飛 is the primary verb, it can be marked for tense, (e.g. use used, have been using) . while 飛(to fly) is the secondary verb, it is not marked for tense.

Another example: in 'jump to reach', 'jump' is the primary verb and 'to reach' is the secondary verb


用 with
你給我 you gave me
翅膀 the wings
飛 fly

你給我的翅膀 the wings you gave me

fly with 你給我的翅膀

fly with the wings you gave me.

What you missed is the meaning of 用. It is a preposition here and is equivalent to 以.

用...工具 = 以...工具 = with ... tools/instruments

You won't miss it if the sentence is 以你給我的翅膀飛 .

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