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I'm perplexed by the line 掉的那么地刺耳 of the song 过不去. Doesn't the 的 demand a noun to go after it? Is the 刺耳 a verb or a noun? And what's the meaning of the entire line? My highly insecure guess would be "falling so shrill" (???).

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    Lyrics aren't the best place to learn grammar. – jf328 Aug 5 at 1:25
  • At some point, however, one has to learn the (so to speak) "grammar of lyrics"? Similarly for what happens to the tones in singing? – user22495 Aug 5 at 7:29
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    Even for natives, unless you are a song/lyric writer, you can happily live without learning it, let alone foreign speakers. – jf328 Aug 5 at 9:39
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    @droooze Are you sure that trisct is incorrect? Because as a native speaker I feel that 得 would be correct. Also, according to 百度百科, the lyrics is written as 掉得那么地刺耳. – Krantz Aug 8 at 17:34
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    @droooze I see your point that 刺耳 is not proper for the verb 掉, but if you think about it, it is the same improper for the noun 泪水. 泪水刺耳 and 掉得刺耳, for me they are equally strange. Then consider the poor grammar in all these pop songs, and you might agree that 掉得刺耳 is somewhat acceptable. Also, what you point out is not a grammatical incorrectness (语法上“刺耳”作副词可以形容动词“掉”), but a semantic incorrectness (语义上“刺耳”似乎不能是动作“掉”的一个属性), which is less severe from my point of view. – Krantz Aug 9 at 3:47
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I think there's a mistake in the lyrics, IMO it should be 掉[得]那么地刺耳 since 刺耳 is an adverb for the verb here. So the lyrics basically says (tears) are dropping so harshly.

BTW there are tons of grammar errors in Chinese pop lyrics.

  • This answer is not correct - you have applied, what's called in linguistics, hypercorrection. – droooze Aug 9 at 4:07
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    Based on the comment by @Krantz I've looked in other places. Indeed, also SING!CHINA, which looks qualitative enough to have double-checked for typos, has captioned the line with 得 rather than 的. – user22495 Aug 25 at 21:25
  • @user22495 good to know that, I agree with Krantz's comments – dontloo Aug 26 at 2:37
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Doesn't the 的 demand a noun to go after it?

So, when there isn't a noun, that means the phrase is referring to a noun, which is omitted in this case due to context (刺耳 is an adjective). This is what you're missing:

掉的「淚水」那麼地刺耳

So the original text translates (liberally) to

而淚水比什麼都還重

掉的那麼地刺耳

...but tears are heavier than anything else,

falling in ear-piercing drops.

「刺耳」is basically something completely opposite to soothing to the ears.

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    掉的[声音]那么刺耳,泪水不能刺耳 – jf328 Aug 5 at 1:27
  • 「淚水落地之聲」刺耳,簡作爲「淚水」,掉的淚水就是落在地上的淚水,已經產生聲音了。您這種說法不對,好像橘子沒吃到嘴裏就不能甜。。。 – droooze Aug 5 at 6:49
  • @droooze 那么补充成“掉的泪水的落地之声刺耳”真的好吗?“掉的”变成“掉的(泪水)”,然后再补充成分把本来就是补进来的中心词“泪水”也变成定语,成了“掉的(泪水掉落的声音)”,这样对原句结构的破坏是很大的。(等于说您把原句的成分看成“定语中的定语”,这是不符合“的”字结构的通常用法的。) – Krantz Aug 9 at 4:10
  • @Krantz 如果把「的」說成「得」,就是再推測歌詞著者以「刺耳」解釋「掉」的動作,而(1)沒有人是這樣形容「掉」的、(2)「得」、「的」說話唱歌時發音一樣,你這個說法是以字體來推測歌詞的意義。大家都知道衹有「聲音」可以「刺耳」,「淚水」也確實「掉落」了,你自己看看「刺耳」是形容「掉」還是形容「淚水」吧。。。。。。 – droooze Aug 9 at 4:26
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    @droooze 我觉得我们两个的观点大概都表述得很清楚了,接下来继续争论也无益,不如保留意见,免伤和气😁 – Krantz Aug 9 at 4:29

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