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Typically, Chinese word order is Subject + Location + Verb + Object.

However, this page indicates the location may follow the verb with certain exceptions. That is, there are location complements for 在 (zài).

Is there an exhaustive list of all verbs which are exceptions to the standard word order, and which cause the location to follow the verb?

For instance, would 跳舞 qualify as an exception? How about 游泳?

  • clue: ?? single-word verbs + 在 ?? – SLS Sep 16 '17 at 19:51
  • 在 after verb;"实用现代汉语语法";介词短语"在。。。"可用在动词后面作补语,表示事物通过动作行为所在的处所(或动作行为发生的时间) 1。表示处所:(1)他生气地把衣服扔在地上。(2)计算出来的那些数据已经都存储在计算机里了。(3)他进屋就趴在床上了。CCG(abbr):在 with location expressions, before if initiator of action has to be at part. location before action can be carried out, and is placed after verb if location indicates position reached following action expressed by verb.学生们在图书馆(里)看书。运动员们在操场上跑步。有不少人 在海里游泳 。雪花在空中飞舞。我在旧书店碰见了一个老朋友。有许多外国商人在中国东南部建立了企业。If location expression indicates result of action, it naturally comes after verb.他把大衣挂在衣架上。妈妈把妹妹抱在怀里。爸爸把汽车停在路边。钱都存在银行里。信息都存在磁盘上。游客们都躺在树荫下。客人们都站在房子前面。 – user6065 Sep 16 '17 at 20:26
  • if emphasis is verb itself , location expr. becomes coverbial phrase, e.g. last 3 examples may be reworded as: 信息都在磁盘上存着。游客们都在树荫下躺着。客人们都在房子前面站着。6。2。Dynamic and static differences. Dynamic action verb: location phrase precedes it, static action verb: location phrase either precedes or follows,e.g. 他在公园里散步。[ungramm.:*他散步在公园里.] 他在草地上坐着。他坐在草地上。Thus regarding 游泳,跳舞 location comes before verb, see examples in jukuu. – user6065 Sep 16 '17 at 20:28
  • @user6065 thank you! could you please post this as an answer? – Crashalot Sep 16 '17 at 20:41
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The page clearly stated: "These are verbs that imply movement or location. Technically, the structure is called a location complement"

The answer to your question is: "Any verb that imply movement or location can use '在' as a location complement

There are too many to count.

For example:

  • 跳 (jump) - you can jump on somewhere. E.g "他的貓跳在我身上" (His cat jumps on to my body)

  • 掉 (drop) - you can drop something on somewhere. E.g "我把鑰匙掉在街上" (I dropped my keys in the street)

  • 放 (put) - you can put something on somewhere. E.g "約翰把書放在桌子上" (John put the book on the table)

  • 丟失 (lost)- you can lost something on somewhere. E.g "我把鑰匙丟失在街上" (I lost my keys in the street)

  • 放置 (place)- you can place something on somewhere. E.g "約翰把書放置在桌子上" (John places the book on the table)

For instance, would 跳舞 qualify as an exception? How about 游泳?

跳舞 and 游泳 do not qualified as exceptions. No location complement is needed for these two words. Dance or swim is not a single movement that apply to a location. You can't dance, swim, sing or talk yourself (or an object) to a location.

Edit:

Crashalot wrote:

why is jump on somewhere an exception, but dance is not? 跳舞 even uses 跳 as part of the word. in the same way you can jump on somewhere, you can dance on somewhere (e.g., dance on street, dance on grass)

Adding the location complement '在' after a verb, is to indicate the action is a movement that put the subject or object on a location, which mean the action is associated with a location.

跳舞 only describes the action of 'dance'. It is not a movement to put object on a location.(you know that because 跳舞 doesn't even take object)

On the other hand, verbs like '放置' (place) and 丟失 (lost) are movements that put object on a location-- when you 'place' something, there's always a location where you place it; When you 'lost' something, there is always a location where you lost it.

You can use 跳舞 on its own with no object, but you must use '放置' with object.

Verbs like 跳舞, 工作 and 游泳 do not take object, therefore cannot be an exception from the 'location before verb' rule.

If you want to add the information of where the verb takes place, you have to do it the regular way by adding a relative phrase. For example: " 他在大廳裡跳舞" (he dances in the hall) but not "他跳舞在大廳裡"; "他在銀行工作"(he works in a bank) but not "他工作在銀行"

  • thank you for the answer. (yet again! you're amazing!) however, why is jump on somewhere an exception, but dance is not? 跳舞 even uses 跳 as part of the word. in the same way you can jump on somewhere, you can dance on somewhere (e.g., dance on street, dance on grass) – Crashalot Sep 16 '17 at 20:40
  • See my edition. – Tang Ho Sep 16 '17 at 21:37

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