I am having difficulty understanding how 的要 is being used in the second sentence:


The first sentence makes sense: [Your] hair [is] too long

However I don't understand at all how 的 and 要 are operating in the second one. I was not able to find any information on it online (I may have searched for the wrong terms).

  • 1
    該剪的 is a shorten device. The full version should be: 該剪的(頭髮/地方)要剪一剪了.
    – dan
    Apr 18, 2018 at 2:25

3 Answers 3


"的要" is not a term; "的" makes the phrase a noun, so "該(should)剪(cut)的" means "what should be cut". "要" means should/must/shall/will, so the whole sentence literally means "(you) should cut (the long hair) what should be cut".


I like that. Must be at the barber's.

Your hair is very long.
Trim the bits that need a trim.

該剪的 = the bits that need a trim


The word "hair" is omitted on the second sentence. The complete sentence would be:

該剪的 (頭髮) 要剪一剪了。

該剪的 (頭髮) means "(the hair) that needs trimming" (here "的" works as "that")
要剪一剪了 "must trim"

So 該剪的 (頭髮) 要剪一剪了。 is "(the hair) that needs trimming must be trimmed"

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