I have a question about the chinese structures. In this example talking about 大力。


In the first part of the sentence there is no verb which is normal but there is no 很。Afterwords the subject is no present anymore what i understand because is allways the same subject but it was the first time i saw an adjective for describing a person without a 很。¿大力很好动 would be better? Is it right 大力好动 or 他大方。?is it because the adjective is a bisilabic word?

In the next example. 他个子高高的,小眼睛、小鼻子、小嘴巴。他的头发是黑色的,短短的。 First talks about his high, then talks about eyes, nose with adjective before subject and then a normal estructure about his hair with the verb 是 ¿why not follow with 头发短短的,黑色的。¿when do you have to put the verb and when is not necessary?


  • 1
    Good question, I'd like to hear an explanation!
    – Pedroski
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 22:42

4 Answers 4


in 好动, is the verb, which means "like". So in your first example, it has 3 parts with different verbs, but all having the same meaning "like".

in your second example, if you follow with 头发短短的、黑色的, where 黑色的 is to describe hair, so it is not in parallel with other adjectives in this sentence. So the sentence is broken into 2 to avoid this confusion.

  • Don't you think 好动 just means active? I think the OP wants to know why 大力好动 is acceptable, but 他的头发黑色的 needs a 是。I would like to know that too!
    – Pedroski
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 22:46
  • @Pedroski 好, when pronounced hao4, is a verb indeed as in 好动, 好玩, 好闹, etc.
    – dan
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 23:04
  • zdic: 好 hào(1) 喜好;喜爱 [like;be keen on;be fond of] So, 好动 is not a word?
    – Pedroski
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 23:22
  • Can you say why 他的头发是黑色的,短短的 needs 是?What about 他头发黑色的,短短的? Sound funny?
    – Pedroski
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 23:38
  • @Pedroski 是 is needed as in 她的头发是红色的(her hair is red). It's consistent with English.
    – dan
    Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 0:14

I would say the sentences you provided are very colloquial, which means in such a flexible language as Chinese, they are all valid.

Despite of it, there are indeed some reasons why people would come up with them.

  1. 动宾结构(verb-object construction)好动, though often used as an adj., consists of a verb+noun, and thus can play the role of predication and object. Many adj. are of such construction, e.g. 乐学/率性/恋旧/怀春…

  2. “是” is wordy, and are often omitted in conversation (and informal writings).(But such omitting sometimes convey other tones: 你谁啊?(contempt, sarcasm)).

  3. adjectives are treated as verbs extensively.

  4. Sentences are broke by topic change instead of grammar requirements.

Here I write a brief passage including 啊lot of depiction to illustrate it further. And I will insert spaces to help reading.

我的 邻居 张军 沉默寡言,喜怒 不 形 于 色,日 不 出户,足 不 下楼,旁人 难 窥知 其 生活 一二。年关 将 至,是夜 雪 骤 风 紧。我 上楼 时 瞥见 他 家 透出的 灯光 依然 晦暗,平日 习以为常,而 在 这 凛冬 万家灯火 之时,不由 少 发 怜悯。家里 最近 包了 饺子,我 想着 送过去 一些,正好 也 看看 他 的 生活 如何。

左手里 盛饺子的 碗 还 火烫,门 却 半天 也 不开。正当 我 放下 敲门的 右手 要 分担 那 苦差 时,嘎 的 一声,一头宽 的 门缝 间,是 张军 背光 的 人影。我 看清 了:促狭 的 房间 靠墙 贴着 一铺 床,衣物 和 被褥 随意 交 裹 着,隔着 角落的 木衣柜,蒙着 报纸 的 窗户 下,是 一方 书桌,窄小 而 拥挤,叠着、立着,似乎 都是 书,一盏 台灯 却 从中 探出来,明晃晃 照着 几 页 纸,密密麻麻 都是 字——只能 看见 这些 了。

“什么事?”他 合了合 门。“送 点 饺子。”我 有些 局促。“那 多谢 了。”

……相顾 无语,我 只得 转身,然后 楼道 的 残晕 倏 地 消失 了。

Note that a sentence is long and within it the grammar subject seamlessly changes. Adjectives function as predication plus predicative. Inversion is quite common in depiction and sometimes the subject is even omitted. Prepositive and postpositive attributives are balanced. Here and there 是 is replaced by other figurative verbs.

In short, you can freely use all these techiniques to elaborate your writings. You don't have to be that accurate.



not a very well written sentence.
note: 好动 = 喜欢运动[1]
好 is the verb, which means 喜欢[1]

(他)乐于挑战自己 is another sentence, with the verb 挑战
大力好动,(他)乐于挑战自己 can be further reduced to


This one is tricky, the verb is 高高的.
note: It can be reduced to this form and remains a complete sentence

acceptable but not very standard writing

他的头发是黑色的,短短的。 standard expression
他(的)头发(是)短短的,黑色的 also acceptable


We can describe a person in the following catalogues:

  1. appearance

  2. ability

  3. personality

  4. status

    • 好动 (like to be active),乐于挑战自己(like to challenge oneself) and 十分喜欢运动 (like sport very much) are all descriptions of a person's personality.

    • 大力(having great strength) is a descriptions of a person's physical ability.

It is a poor choice to mix 大力 with the rest of the descriptions that describe a person's personality

  • 他个子高高的 (he is tall) describe his appearance

  • 小眼睛 (has small eyes)、小鼻子 (small nose)、小嘴巴 (small mouth)。 describe the features he has, and it is also a part of his appearance

  • 他的头发是黑色的(his hair is black),短短的 (and short) 。 describe his hair, which is a feature he has, therefore also included in the appearance area.

Example of describe someone systematically:

  • 他个子高高的,小眼睛、小鼻子、小嘴巴。他的头发是黑色的,短短的 - He is tall, has small eyes, nose and mouth, and his hair is black and short (descriptions of his appearance)

  • 他很有氣力,十分敏捷,耐力很強 - he has great strength, very agile and has very strong endurance (descriptions of his ability)

  • 他很好动,乐于挑战自己,十分喜欢运动 - he like being active, willing to challenge himself, love sport very much (descriptions of his personality)

  • 他在銀行工作,未婚,但有很多女友 - he works in a bank, single but has many girlfriends (descriptions of his status)

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