Is there such case in which 把 must be used or otherwise a sentence is incorrect?

I am not interested in when it can be used because that's an issue that is rather widely covered.


  • 1
    When it's a measure word, for sure.
    – Mou某
    Jul 10, 2018 at 8:45
  • What is the reason for the 2 downvotes?
    – Blaszard
    Jul 11, 2018 at 18:03

3 Answers 3


The short answer is that the "ba" construction is required when a direct object representing a human or an animate item or a non-specific indefinite inanimate item is moved before the verb. Moving such an object before the verb is done for the purposes of topicalisation or adding focus to it.

For example:

He hit the ball.



In the above 把 is optional, although having it makes it clearer. The optional nature of the 把 comes from 球; it is inanimate, so does not require 把.

He hit me.



Here, 把 is obligatory when 我 is put before the verb for emphasis. Why? Because it is animate (and because it is a pronoun).

Why you would have to put an object in front? It depends on the verb, and specifically: when certain verbs can take two objects or "arguments", only the indirect /positional one fits after the verb, and so the direct object must go before the verb in Mandarin. The most well-known one is 放, but others like 送 / 丢 / 仍 also exist.

He puts the cake on the plate.



Notably however, this restriction is relaxed in dialectal Mandarin and in other Chinese topolects like Cantonese: it is not obligatory to use 将 (the Cantonese equivalent of 把) for verbs like 放:

He puts the cake on the plate

Cantonese only




The question is not so specific. Maybe you can give some example cases as the beginning of your question. It takes me several minutes to think about "把字句" (the sentences using 把). 把 is not necessary in most of the cases, because it can be change to another formation we called "被字句" (the sentences using 被, passive voice).

你的问题回答了 = 你的问题我回答了

Please read this for more info: https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E6%8A%8A%E5%AD%97%E5%8F%A5/9464755

However, even if you use it as a measure word, 把 can be substituted by other measure word. For example:

一把稻草 = 一束稻草
一把枪 = 一支枪 = 一杆枪

Even if the measurement is just small around the size of your hand. It is mostly not a fixed phrase:

一把沙土 = 一握沙土
一把手枪 = 一支手枪

Now the only thing I know is "一把手", here the specific verbal word means the top power person of an organization, especially the government department.


Whenever you emphasize the object associated with your action, then use 把.

example: I put a cake on a chair 我放下蛋糕予椅子上 我放低蛋糕落張凳

我把蛋糕放在椅子上 我將舊蛋糕放低落個凳度

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