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In the following sentence (from http://www.xineurope.com/thread-1371549-1-1.html):

最近正在找语言学校,发现好多人也在找,正好把信息整理出来,欢迎补充 比较有名的开始

In the last sentence, the meaning is clear from the context, which means “starting from relatively famous schools”.

However, I don’t understand it grammatically. If the 的 means “of” and modify 开始 here, then it means something like “relatively famous schools’ start”, which doesn’t make sense. Instead, it should be something like 从比较有名的开始.

Or possibly does the 的 modify 语言学校 and is the 语言学校 omitted here? In that case it makes more sense, but then is it OK to also omit some prepositions, such as 从 (or something others like 以)?

I’m not sure if I understand it grammatically correctly, but also don’t understand when it is OK to omit the preposition (if it is actually omitted).

  • @user3306356 So is it OK to omit the preposition in these cases? Or grammatically not correct but nonetheless commonly used, especially in these blog posts? It is still a bit difficult to make a transition from a rigorous textbook Chinese to a live sentence used on the Web... – Blaszard Jan 30 '18 at 15:37
  • @user3306356 Do you mind writing it as an answer? – Blaszard Jan 31 '18 at 0:08
  • To be honest with you, even ME can't quite understand what's the last sentence means, and I "AM" Chinese!!! So... don't pull all your hair out over it! It's definitely NOT worth it! – Pikachu620 Jan 31 '18 at 9:51
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You got it: “starting from relatively famous schools”. This is not great written Chinese tho, it's more like spoken Chinese written down - I wouldn't read too much into it. You already know what it should be, you wrote it above: 从比较有名的开始. 有名的 is referring to the schools here.

So is it OK to omit the preposition in these cases? Or grammatically not correct but nonetheless commonly used, especially in these blog posts? It is still a bit difficult to make a transition from a rigorous textbook Chinese to a live sentence used on the Web... -@Blaszard

Yeah, especially when Chinese makes such a large distinction between written (书面语) and oral (口语) language. Day-to-day speech is basically a free for all. Sometimes you'll even hear words like 其实 or 而且 at the end of sentences almost like an after thought. As for your 从 preposition here, yeah you can drop it here, but in written language it is always better to keep it.

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