In "高兴/地/说", is 高兴 an adjective or an adverb?

The following link is a document on "Part-Of-Speech Tagging Guidelines for the Penn Chinese Treebank (3.0)"


The Chinese Treebank 8.0 data can be downloaded from https://wakespace.lib.wfu.edu/bitstream/handle/10339/39379/LDC2013T21.tgz?sequence=1

I am building a Chinese part-of-speech tagger model using the Ontonotes corpus, which contains Penn Chinese Treebank data. After reviewing many of the annotated sentences, I fail to understand the annotation of many 'VA' adjectives that precede (的/地(DEV) verb(VV)). I processed the annotated sentences into a file, and by regular expression I found that words in this case are twice more likely to be annotated as VA than to be annotated as AD.

In my impression, regarding "XXX 地 verb", XXX is always an adverb. But in the corpus, hundreds of cases like this are annotated as an adjective, like "可以/VV/O 轻易/VA/O 地/DEV/O 改变/VV/O", ..., etc.

See page 14 of the document. 高兴 seems to be an adverb (AD) instead of an adjective (VA).

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Why are the words like this annotated as VA instead of AD? How to tell whether words of this case should be annotated as VA, JJ, or AD ? Or are the part-of-speech tags of the words really correctly annotated in the Chinese Treebank data?

  • 1
    see dictionaries, 高兴 is an adjective, adjectives can function as adverbs in which case they may or may not be separated from verb by 地, see any grammar on topic of adverbs, adjectives, structural particle 地,example of doubled adjective 好 functioning as adverb not separated from verb: 好好学习
    – user6065
    May 24, 2019 at 9:01

2 Answers 2


Adjective is placed before noun and Adverb is placed before verb So in your Context "高兴/地/说", since 说 is a verb, 高兴地 will be an adverb. 高兴 itself can be a noun, adjective or adverb depending on the context and any preposition character following it.

的 is used before nouns , e.g. 灿烂的笑容 charming smile, it served as a possessive particle too

地 is used before verbs , e.g. 用力地踢 kick it hardly, 仔细地观察 observe carefully

得 is used before adjectives, the words before 得 are usually verbs. e.g. 扫得很干净 Sweep very clean, 做得很好 nicely done

more examples:

通过仔细观察,我们可以知道一个人的喜好 By observing carefully, we can know a person's preferences (观察 is a noun here)

他仔细观察,不错过任何蛛丝马迹 He observes carefully and does not miss any clues (观察 is a verb here)

需要观察很仔细,才能够分辨出两者有何不同 Need to observe carefully to be able to tell the difference between the two

Note: in contemporary and unofficial writing nowadays, you may find out more people to use 的 instead of 地 or 得 in those specific situations. e.g. 做的好!/ 悄悄的离开了 / 悄悄的来到我身边 which are however grammatically inaccurate but somehow accepted by the public. If you google it, tons of people are actually using it with lots of examples that you can find it online and therefore it has become a norm nowadays.

more reference for 的/地/得 usage here


依照英汉词典的规律,happy被翻译成"高兴的",happily被翻译成"高兴地"。 所以单独看"高兴",不能判断其是形容词还是副词。而应该是



  • 但是在语料中它就被标为形容词,是链接的pdf文件内的一个范例。另外Chinese treebank语料的tag set中,VA和JJ是形容词,AD是副词
    – Tom
    May 24, 2019 at 9:19
  • 另外印象中这里"高兴的"也应该是副词。的和地通用,以及只看后面是不是接动词
    – Tom
    May 24, 2019 at 9:21
  • @Tom, By my personal opinion, 现在很多人在网络上打字的时候根本不区分"高兴的"和"高兴地",因为它们发音相同,拼音输入法难以区分。所以语料库的判断的时候,可能不单纯从"的"/"地"来区分是形容词还是副词。而是从"高兴的/地"后面跟的词来区分。
    – Zhang
    May 24, 2019 at 9:30

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