How can we use 做 in this meaning in other sentences? Where can I read more about it and what is the name of this "rule"?

And what is the meaning of the 了 in this sentence?


4 Answers 4


做 + identity = be identity

Example:做好人,做首領 (good person and leader are identities)

做 + procedure/action = do procedure

Example: 做大事, 做錯,做工 (great thing, mistake and work involve procedures or action)

the final particle 了 is a modal word for emphasis, if you remove it, the meaning of the sentence would not change, but the tone would be flat

Example sentence:

"要(做)大人物就要(做)大事" = "to (be) a great man, you need to (do) great thing"

Why do we use 做 in this sentence as “being”?

朋友 is an identity


Well, whereas in English you 'be a friend,' in Chinese you '做朋友。‘ Not much of a rule. Why does that surprise you? Do you think Chinese must copy English?

Have a look here. Number 8


You could write:

Edit: I was reading an interview with a TV presenter today. He was asked if he acts role of an intellectual in his TV show. He said:


I think there may be a similar form in English.

A: You should try to be more friendly.
B: I don't do friendly!

What is the meaning of 了? That is a whole Pandora's Box of questions!

The simplest answer is, it makes the sentence sound complete. Otherwise it sounds strange, according to a Chinese friend.


Original: 我太喜欢和他做朋友了
I much like with him being friends

1. 太...了

First, it uses the 太...了 grammar construct: see Expressing "excessively" with "tai". Most learners encounter this almost immediately with 太贵了. Here, it's used for emphasis, such as in 你太好了 or

I much like to eat dumplings

To simplify breaking it down further, I'll delete the 太 and 了, which only reduces the emphasis. I.e.:

I like with him being friends

2. What if we delete the 做?

We get a sentence which is incomplete:

我喜欢和他朋友 ✗
I like with his friend [..?]

Here, 他朋友 is interpreted as "his friend", i.e., 他的朋友; see Expressing close possession without "de".

3. Why 做 and not something else?

is one of these Chinese words that have a lot of meanings. In the original sentence, it could mean any of these (or some combination, or something in between):

to do; to make; to act as; to be; to become; to function (in some capacity); to serve as; to form (a bond or relationship)

Precisely what it means depends on context, which is presumably known to the people speaking.

In principle, in sentences like these, it's possible to replace 做 with 当:


But in this example, it seems the formal and distanced 当 is mismatched with the informal and positive 太喜欢...了. This is probably not true all the time, but it's my impression. Compare it with examples such as the following:

I said I was friends with him, [but] he still says a few exceeding-friendship words

How can I let a man know, I only want to be friends...

(For why it's not 是, see When do I have to use 做/当 instead of 是?)

4. Other examples

How can we use 做 in this meaning in other sentences?

Here's some examples I found searching the web:

I'm determined to be a good teacher

After becoming a mother, why [does] everyone lose their self

I want to be a thief

Who wants to be a millionaire?


Quote:- “In principle, in sentences like these, it's possible to replace 做 with 当"

Interesting, because if you combine the two to 当做, it becomes "to treat, to regard, to perceive, to look upon" someone as a friend and not making someone a friend as 做 by itself would.

You can also replace 做 with 交, (jiao) which is, I think, less colloquial.

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