When I was looking for a word in my dictionary, I found this sentence: 会开完了, which (in the dictionary) is translated as "the meeting is over".

I wonder what 开 means here... because when the sentence is translated word per word, 开 doesn't seem to have anything to do with the whole sentence.

Does 开 serve as something else (like grammatical expression or particle) here?

Will it be alright if I say: 会完了?

1 Answer 1


This is a good example of a V.O. (verb + object) word and it’s flexibilities.

If we take a look at Tuttle Learners Dictionary’s entry for 开会, we have;

[v+obj: 开 open up + 会 meeting]
attend a meeting, hold a meeting

and example sentences:

我们最好开个会, 讨论一下这个问题。
Wǒmen zuìhǎo kāi ge huì, tǎolùn yíxià zhège wèntí.
We'd best have a meeting to discuss this issue.

Wáng lǎoshī zài kāihuì.
Teacher Wang is at a meeting.

The order of V.O. words can be switched around. In your example for instance it starts with the object and then uses the verb later.

You might see similar expressions like:

  • 话说完了

  • 饭吃完了

  • 字写完了

  • Thank you so much! By the way, I'm going to have to ask you one more time, is the order of V.O can always be switched around or is it limited to special case/situation only?
    – Agnes
    Sep 27, 2018 at 18:00
  • @Agnes Maybe you'd like to check out this wiki: resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Separable_verb it goes in to far more detail than I ever could.
    – Mou某
    Sep 28, 2018 at 2:34

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