I was just working on a Chinese review app and came across the sentence:


And I was wondering if the doubling of the first character is unique to certain kinds of verbs or all 2 character verbs.

Or can I also say 他游泳得很快。?

  • 1
    grammar topic: complement of degree 程度补语 with object 宾语 ,cf. "外国人实用汉语语法"position of the object 宾语的位置(1)要是动词谓语后面同时带宾语和程度补语,一定要 重复动词 ,程度补语要放在重复的动词后边,助词"得"则要放在的动词程度补语之间。order is as follows: 动词谓语___宾语___重复的动词谓语___"得"(助词)___程度补语。例如:回答问题回答得很完全。打行李打得很结实。种树种得不多。additional topic: 离合词 separable verbs, e.g. 游泳 where 泳 is a noun as well as a verb: swimming, to swim, so that 游泳 can be considered a verb-object verb, and 游泳游得很快 follows above rule for complements of degree with object
    – user6065
    Feb 24, 2018 at 23:49
  • 1
    "现代汉语离合词"(supporting comment #1): 游泳。。。 [误] 你游泳得很好 [正] (1)你游泳游得很好(2)你游得很好
    – user6065
    Feb 25, 2018 at 0:16

2 Answers 2


I agree with comment 1 & 2.

游泳 is Separable Word(离合词). There are some other 离合词: 吃饭, 睡觉, 散步, etc.

The grammar here is that 离合词 can not be followed with an object or a complement directly.

  1. Followed by an object, it has to add a prep word. For example, 我和他见面, not 我见面他. Unlike in English, where we can say I met him, but not I met with him.
  2. Followed by a complement, it should repeat the verb character out of 离合词( 游 is a verb character out of 游泳 in this case). So, the correct phrasing of your sentence should be 他游泳得很快. More examples : 他吃饭吃得很慢; 他跑步跑得很快; 他结婚结得很草率; 游泳,吃饭,跑步 and 结婚 are all 离合词(separable word).

You should also note that not all two-character verbs are separable(离合词), hence follows the rules above.


This is mostly just for clarity rather than anything else.

他游泳得很快 is not okay but 他游得很快 is okay. Without any context though who could understand a random 他游得很快? No one, really. Hence we get our doubling up: 他游泳游得很快。

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