There is a line in a Chinese poem that reads like this: 我要高飞。 To be translated literally it means "I want to high fly" but carries the meaning "I want to fly high." I was wondering if it is usual to put the adjective (高) before the verb (飞), or if it is just this way for the sakes of the poem, and if so, in normal speak, does the adjective come after or as a complement, etc?

  • 高飞 means to soar, it's a two syllable verb.
    – Cheeseu
    Sep 4, 2018 at 16:15
  • 1
    more examples of verbs of type 形素+动素: 单干 迟到 热爱 静坐
    – user6065
    Sep 4, 2018 at 18:58

2 Answers 2


'高飞' means 'flying high', it is a common set phrase

in the idiom '遠走高飛' , '遠'(far) and '高' (high) are adverbs; while '走' (run) and '飛' (fly) are verbs

'高'(high/highly) in "我要高飞" is functioning as an adverb for the verb '飞' (fly)

other examples of 高 as an adverb in common phrases

步步(高陞) - continuously (raising high)

價格(高企) - price (standing high)


"Adjective" as a grammar category, in case of Chinese, is rather a syntactical (positional) idea. Many words jump around those "parts of speech" a lot in Chinese. When an "adjective" comes after the verb, it's usually predicate. Have a look at Wikipedia and don't pay too much attention to Indo-European grammatical categories when studying a Sinitic language. It helps.

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