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Apparently, the argument to 对 may be a verb, which I found surprising.

a) 对听音乐感兴趣
b) 对音乐感兴趣
c) 对听感兴趣

d) 对游泳感兴趣
e) 对泳感兴趣
f) 对游感兴趣

g) 对学汉语感兴趣
h) 对汉语感兴趣

From what I can tell, d) is grammatically better than e) or f), but b) is grammatically better than a), but g) and h) are both okay. Is that right? If so, why?

2 Answers 2

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  1. b) is not necessarily better than a). They represent different things.

a), 對聼音樂感興趣, means that you have an interest in listening to music.

b), 對音樂感興趣, means that you have an interest in music generally. It could be composing music, playing a musical instrument, or singing.

In this case, it depends on what you are trying to say. If you like listening to music, a) is correct. If you like music generally, b) is correct. None of them is grammatically better than the other.

  1. Again, g) and h) are both correct, depending on what you say.

g), 對學漢語感興趣, means that you have an interest in learning Chinese.

h), 對漢語感興趣, just means that you have an interest in Chinese generally.

  1. There's a totally different case for your last example involving answers d), e), and f).

d), 對游泳感興趣, is correct. You have an interest in swimming.

e) and f), 對游/泳感興趣, do not make sense at all. 游 and 泳 must be used together to form a term. If you use only one word (in this case), it wouldn't make sense. If you were saying "I threw a snowball", you wouldn't say "I threw a snow" or "I threw a ball".

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  • Right, that's how I understood the situation. But the question was "If so, why?"! What makes 游泳 different from 學漢語? Oct 31, 2018 at 12:46
  • Both are a verb + object right? If you remove the verb half or the object half, you end up with sentences g), h), e)` or f). But g), h) are okay sentences, and e) or f) are not. So I am trying to understand what makes 學漢語 structurally different from 游泳, such that the constituent parts of 游泳 may not be used in isolation. Oct 31, 2018 at 13:00
  • I get what you mean. 學漢語 is actually two terms combined together. 學 and 漢語. Therefore, you can use one or another or both. However, 游泳 is a single term, so you can either add another term similar to 學, or leave it as it is, but you can't just break it apart. In other words, 游泳 is just a verb, not a verb + object.
    – Puffy
    Oct 31, 2018 at 13:02
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对 (toward) is a preposition here

对(preposition)

游泳(n)

感兴趣(v)

[] [游泳] [感兴趣] = [interested (v)] [toward(preposition)] [swimming (n)] = "interested toward (in) swimming"

~

[对] [汉语] [感兴趣]

[toward] [Chinese] [interested] = "interested toward (in) Chinese"

"interested" is the verb; "Chinese" is the object noun

~

[对] [学汉语] [感兴趣]

[toward] [learning Chinese] [interested] = "interested toward (in) Chinese"

"interested" is the verb; "learning Chinese" is the object phrase

You can skip the preposition if you put the verb before and auxiliary verb before the noun

Example:

有兴趣(main verb) 游泳(auxiliary verb)

有兴趣(main verb) 学(auxiliary verb) 汉语 (noun)

"对 游泳(n) 感兴趣" and "对 汉语 (n) 感兴趣" have the noun before the verb. It serves to emphasize the object itself

e) 对泳感兴趣

f) 对游感兴趣

Both are nonsensical, we do not break up the noun 游泳 into 游 or 泳

对听感兴趣

It lack an object --> "interested in listen to" (listen to what?)

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