3

今天晚上老板和我们一起加班。

What purpose does 要 have here (in this specific location)? I thought it would be;

今天晚上老板和我们一起加班。

I know 要 also means 'to do smth' so I get why it's needed, but why in that specific position? Because I thought 要 came before the verb.

  • The short answer is 要=will. – trisct Dec 16 '19 at 16:19
  • @trisct But still. Can't you just put 要 before 加班 to mean the same thing? (The boss and us, together, WILL work overtime.) – QuarterOne Dec 16 '19 at 16:23
  • I see what you mean. But that doesn't sound natural. And I doubt it that this can be explained by grammar. – trisct Dec 16 '19 at 16:27
0

The usual 一起 grammar structure is

Subj. + 一起 + Verb + Obj.
Expressing "together" with "yiqi"

Adding 要 after 一起 interferes with this structure: it's possible to misinterpret 要 as the verb.

Comparison

There's actually three places 要 (which has a few meanings) can be added:

  1. 今天晚上老板和我们一起加班。
    Tonight, [the] boss [wants to/needs to/is going to] work overtime together with us.

So we have:

  • the subject is 老板 = "[the] boss",
  • the verb is 要, and
  • and what they want to do is 和我们一起加班 = "to work overtime together with us".

This seems unproblematic, and probably the most natural.

  1. 今天晚上老板和我们一起加班。
    Tonight, [the] boss and us [want to/need to/are going to] work overtime together.

So we have:

  • the subject is 老板和我们 = "[the] boss and us",
  • the verb is 要 = "want to", and
  • and what they want to do is 一起加班 = "to work overtime together".

This also seems unproblematic.

  1. 今天晚上老板和我们一起加班。
    Tonight, [the] boss and us together [want to/need to/are going to] work overtime.

This one is more complicated:

  • the subject is 老板和我们 = "[the] boss and us",
  • the verb is 一起要 = "together want to" or "together need to" or "together [are] going to" (??), and
  • and what they together [want to/need to/are going to] do is 加班 = "to work overtime".

I feel this one is ambiguous because what follows 一起 is 要, so it's possible to interpret 一起 as applying to 要 and not necessarily to 加班. Something in English to indicate the difference:

We don't work at the same company, but we're together wanting to work overtime to save money for an upcoming concert.

But realistically, it's a very contrived interpretation. So I don't believe the Chinese here is wrong, it just sounds a bit weird.

Baidu

Compare the Baidu search results:

(The number 76,000 is likely hugely inaccurate, but there's a lot.)

We consistently see that 一起[2-character verb] does not want a 要 in between.

1

When 要 is used to mean "do something", it usually means "will do sth" or "want to do sth", and also sometimes "need to do sth".

In your original sentence, 要 can mean both "will" or "want to" depending on the context. See the following examples.

今天事情比较多,所以今天晚上老板要和我们一起加班 (There is too much to do today, hence the boss will join us in working overtime tonight).

老板想知道我们加班时到底有没有认真干活,所以今天晚上老板要和我们一起加班 (The boss wants to know whether we are taking the overtime seriously and wants to join us tonight).

As for the position, I am not sure whether there is an explanation involving grammar. The second one does not sound natural while the first one does.

I can come up with an example where 要 is placed right before the verb, only with slight modification to your sentence:

今天晚上老板和我们一样要加班 (The boss has to work overtime tonight just like us).

  • The grammar was a bit lost on me since I read that 要 comes before the verb but I guess, at times, it's just about which one sounds better. – QuarterOne Dec 16 '19 at 16:32
  • @QuarterOne There is one possible explanation. Note that 和我们一起 is used to describe the verb 加班 and therefore you should think of 和我们一起加班 as an integral part. – trisct Dec 16 '19 at 16:44
  • The examples clarified it to an extent. Sorta like the boss wants/is going to do something so you just attach 要 to 老板.(The boss is GOING TO join us,together, we'll work overtime). I understand now. Thanks! – QuarterOne Dec 16 '19 at 16:45
  • @QuarterOne Whereas in my last example sentence, 和我们一样 describes the boss: the boss is in the same situation as us where he has to work overtime. – trisct Dec 16 '19 at 16:46
0

Think about this sentence first:

今天晚上老板要和我们一起. // The boss will/want to be with us tonight

To do what? 加班,work overtime.

今天晚上老板要和我们一起 加班。//The boss will be with us tonight to work overtime.

Taking 加班 as a complement might help you.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.