In Mandarin if you use 地 to an adjective, it can change into an adverb. For example,



Now I wonder whether all adjectives can be transformed into adverbs in this rule. Is this assumption true? If not, how can I know if one adjective can be transformed into an adverb with 地?

  • I've taught that 地 is attached an adverb, some phrases can be adjectives and adverbs, not transformed by 地. But according to some decisions by education department, you will not wrong if you mess the 的 地 得 in school test. In practical, no body want to do that though.
    – sfy
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 4:19
  • see grammar:"实用现代汉语语法":状语后结构助词"地"的使用问题1。形容词:形容词作状语与形容词的音节有关,单音节形容词后一般不能用"地"。例如:(1)快走几步,跟上队伍!(2)他眼睛直视着前方。"真"作状语时,为了加强描写作用,可以用"的"。例如:(3)这件事我真不知道。(4)这件事我真的不知道。"猛"作状语要用"地"。例如:(5)突然他看见前面一个老人正在过马路,他猛地一下刹住车。多数双音节形容词,可以用"地",也可以不用"地"。例如:(1)你有事可以直接找他。(2)要切实(地)帮助他们解决一些问题。(3)要注意安全生产。(4)医生把病历仔细(地)翻了一遍。(5)她刚才还明确(地)表示过同意,怎么这么一会儿就变了?(6)车子过了西郊公园,猛然(地)转了个弯。(7)这件事又详细(地)说了一遍。有的形容词,总是描写已经发生的动作,后面要用"地"。例如:(8)大夫清楚地写了两个字:手术!(9)他模糊地听见有人在喊他。(10)他含混地应了一声。重叠式形容词表示已然动作时,一般用不用"地"也是自由的。例如:(1)她回身轻轻(地)把门关上了。(2)难道咱们眼巴巴(地)看着粮食烂在地里?(3)大家痛痛快快(地)玩了一天,如果被修饰的只是一个单节动词,一般要用"地"。例如:(4)小刚一边穿衣服,一边慢慢地问:什么事?"(5)我一翻身,觉出床在轻轻地颤。形容词短语后一般要用"地"。
    – user6065
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 6:18
  • (*)例如:(1)那位姑娘非常详细地介绍了自己的经验。(2)入了党,我就可以更好地维护党的利益。(*)有的"很+单音形容词"用不用"地"是自由的。例如:这件事大家很快(地)就传开了。
    – user6065
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 6:18
  • 1
    see previous Q&A:chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/13776/… chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/21893/… (searched site? also there is bound to be information online at other sites)
    – user6065
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 6:42
  • The answer to your question is yes, only that sometimes words so made look awkward because most of the times in Chinese adverbs can be naturally merged with the sentence and used without any suffixes like "地“. Commented Oct 1, 2017 at 12:12

5 Answers 5


Check out these dictionary entries for 地[de5]:


(adv.-forming, like English -ly)


hěn kuài de

very quickly



[used with an adverb or adverbial phrase]


dispose of available manpower rationally


We should judge a person from the historical point of view.

Oxford Pocket

<助> [used after an adjective, a noun or a phrase to form an adverbial adjunct before the verb]


The fox sneaked into the orchard


He shouted as if he were drunk


{grammar} (variant pronunciation of -dì) (forming an adverb from an adjectiv, e.g., gāoxìng 高興/高兴 "happy" + de 地 yields gāoxìngde 高興地/高兴地 "happily")


1 -ly

2 structural particle: used before a verb or adjective, linking it to preceding modifying adverbial adjunct

The simple answer to your question is: yes. The more complicated answer is that many things can be turned into an adverbial adjunct by adding 地[de5].


It depend on the property of the adjective. For example "不明的" means unknown, But if use "地" to replace it, it will be ridiculous.

If the meaning of the adjective is also suitable to verb or other adjective. It can be replaced to adverb, otherwise it can't.

It should be noticed that some word have a flexible meaning. Even if it both have form in adjective and adverb but there meanings are different. For example: 文明的 ---> 1,advanced development of knowledge;2, always behave gently 文明地 ---> gently


In Chinese, there is no such thing as an equivalent to adverb in English. Chinese basically and mainly use adjective, 形容词, to describe everything.

So the Sentence, <他舒服地躺在那里。>, can be rewritten as <他躺在那里很舒服。>, which means you don't need a 地 or 的 at all,which is sort of the -ly equivalent to English. You don't need that. Chinese grammar is easy and not as strict as English grammar. When it makes sense, then it's correct.

For instance:他在那里舒服的躺着躺着睡着了后慢慢的做了一个很长很长的关于爱情的美梦。

On the other hand: <他舒服地躺在那里。> translation to English would be < He is comfortably laying there.> or < He is laying comfortably there.> or < He is laying there comfortably.> While all the above three English sentences are correct, Chinese is not the same.

<他舒服躺在那里。> Good

<他躺舒服的在那里。> Weird

<他躺在那里舒服。> Good

Why the second one is bad writing? Technically, it's okay, but it's bad. For instance, in English, a bad way to call 中国人 < Chinese > would be < the People of China >,or even worst, < People living in Mainland China >. Why would you use this awkward long phrase when there is a single simple word to describe the same thing?

I will give you another example why you should never use English Grammar as an analogy when trying to learn Chinese or any other Language. For instance, the word "Red", it's an adjective or a noun in English, but in Chinese, 红,can be used as everything.

她喜欢吃猪。 Noun




  • This doesn’t answer the question
    – Ludi
    Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 19:43

的、得、地 are sharing a same meaning, but the way we use is quite different.

的, is used when there is a pronoun or a noun behind:

  1. 我的鉛筆。My Pen.
  2. 臭臭的臭豆腐。The smelly fermented bean-curd.
  3. 害羞的我。The shy me.

得,is used when there is an adjective behind:

  1. 別讓大家過得太輕鬆。輕鬆 is an adjective.

地,is used when there is a verb behind:

  1. 我真喜欢你健健康康地长大。長大 is a verb, means grow up.
  2. 他舒服地躺在那里。 躺 is a verb, means lying (lye on the floor).
  • This doesn’t answer the question!
    – Ludi
    Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 19:44

It's not transformed to a adverb, but to an adverbial or adjective phrase.

It depends the word you want to modify upon. If the word to be modified is a noun, then it's an adjective phrase. And if it's a verb or adjective, then an adverbial phrase.

For example, in 舒服的躺着, 舒服的 is an adverbial phrase, while in 舒服的环境,it's an adjective phrase. It's because 躺 is a verb whilst 环境 is a noun.

By the way, in modern Chinese, 的 can replace 地 in this usage. However, 地 can not replace 的 in other usages. So, 的 will be correct most of time.

  • 1
    I my dialect, 的 and 地 (and 得) are pronounced differently. Children can distinguish them very easily. Teachers will say that they are definitely not interchangeable. (And we understand using 的 in place of 地 is a common mistake, and is too common that most won't care, except language teachers and examiners.)
    – HYC
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 4:39
  • 4
    No, 地 can never be replaced by 的, otherwise there may be ambiguity! Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 0:40
  • Agree with @HarrySummer, 地 cannot be replaced with 的 in this situation, ie 舒服的躺着 is wrong.
    – jf328
    Commented Oct 2, 2017 at 11:00
  • It's a common mistake in the past. But if you look into the modern dictionary, you will see the usage replacing 地. refer to this link in definition 5: zdic.net/z/1f/js/7684.htm
    – dan
    Commented Oct 9, 2017 at 0:42
  • @HarrySummer 人民教育出版社中学语文室1984年出版的《中学教学语法系统提要(试用)》其中有个附注:①这里不区分“的”“地”,都用“的”。过去曾经不分,并未引起混乱,而通行的分写办法在教学上不无困难,事实上也确有疑难情况,所以根据许多教师的建议,提倡不分。但是目前报刊文章和许多著作中大都是分写的(虽然分得不妥当的屡见不鲜),因此不作硬性规定,愿意分写的尽管分写,只要分得对就行(定语用“的”,状语用“地”)。ref: 现在还区分「的」「地」「得」的用法吗? - 刘江的回答 - 知乎
    – zypA13510
    Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 14:51

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