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I came across this example use of 把 in the sentence structure "把 + Object + Verb + 得 complement":

昨天把我吃得站不起来了

I've gotten some feedback that this sentence is not correct. It's used as an example sentence in a book I'm using to learn Chinese. What's wrong with it?

If the sentence above is indeed wrong, how can we correctly add a 把 structure to 我昨天吃得站不起来了?

  • I think it’s fine in colloquial conversations. When you said so without mentioning anything else, I would ask what you have eaten. – sylvia Jan 18 at 21:08
  • It looks like there are a mix of responses saying it is correct and others saying it is incorrect. Can someone please clarify or further support their position on why it is correct or not? And thank you to everyone who has responded -- your help is much appreciated. – Kassem Jan 19 at 2:15
  • @Kassem This is grammatically not correct per many answers below. However, it sounds very natural and native IMO. If I heard it in a day to day conversation, I would totally understand you. Same in English where a lot of day to day sentences aren't technically sentences but people get them just fine and you sound native doing tha - Now I reflect on this, I think I naturally put in some meaning with 把 assuming you went with a group of friends (who were the subject that 把你吃的站不起来了) and they peer pressured you into eating a lot (in a friendly way). this might just be me though – Bobby Jan 19 at 14:39
  • @Bobby 昨天我朋友把我吃得站不起来了 to me sounds like “Yesterday, my friends ate me, to the extent that they/I couldn’t stand up”. The sense you describe isn’t one I’ve heard with 把 before – I would expect 让 for that. Barring actual cannibalism, I can’t make proper sense of the sentence, though I daresay in context, I’d understood what was meant all right. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 19 at 23:34
  • I found the sentence is hard to understand for non native speakers is probably relevant to the difference between "eat" and "吃". It would probably help if we interpret 吃 as "fill" or "gorge". I gorge myself, instead of "I eat myself". – dan Jan 20 at 1:27
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  • You need a subject before the disposal marker "把" and 昨天 is not a subject

  • If you add a subject in your sentence and write 昨天他把我吃得站不起来 (yesterday, he ate me to the point of I couldn't stand up) The verb (eat) would not match the result (I couldn't stand up)

What would make sense, is something like: "昨天他把我打得站不起来" (yesterday, he beat me to the point of I couldn't stand up)

The correct usage of [(subject) + (把) + (object) + (verb) + (result /degree complement) + (result/ degree)]:

"昨天他把我煮的飯吃得乾乾淨淨"

昨天 (time reference phrase)

他(subject)

把(disposal marker)

我煮的飯 (object)

吃得 (verb + result/ degree complement)

乾乾淨淨 (result/ degree)

The correct sentences without using 把:

昨天我吃得站不起来了

昨天那頓飯讓我吃得站不起来了

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  • Based on Bobby's comment, do you think the sentence can sound natural given a context that the subject "my friends, etc" may have been omitted? – Kassem Jan 19 at 19:55
  • @Kassem He feels it is natural because in his mind, "昨天把我吃得站不起来了" would sound like "昨天(那頓飯)(讓)我吃得站不起来" The omitted object (那頓飯) is subconsciously added by his brain (Our brain often take short cut, fill in information that it expected to be there) ; Also, his brain replaced the incorrect complement 把 with the correct complement 讓. because it expected 讓 to be there – Tang Ho Jan 19 at 20:52
  • For example, if someone read a sign: "how do yo do?" at a glance, he would very likely remember this sign as "How do you do?" or even "how are you?" – Tang Ho Jan 19 at 20:55
  • @Tang Going with Bobby’s comment, I’d say the friends are just as likely to be added in as the food: 昨天我朋友让我吃得站不起来了 = my friends made me eat (让 is verbal); 昨天那顿饭让我吃得站不起来了 = the food was eaten by me (让 is prepositional and equivalent to 被, marking the agent in a passive construction). You might even add both catenative 让 and keep the original object-marking 把: 昨天我朋友让我把那顿饭吃得站不起来了 (which is a bit clumsy and not something normal people would say – but also not, I think, ungrammatical). – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 19 at 23:41
  • @JanusBahsJacquet 昨天我朋友让我吃得站不起来了 means I made my friends eat so much that they can't stand, which is different from what you intended to mean I guess. 昨天我朋友让我把那顿饭吃得站不起来了 makes no sense at all, because 饭 can't stand like a human being in any case. – dan Jan 20 at 2:16
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Quote from the page on chineseboost:

Use a descriptive complement

You may be interested to know that you can also use 把 to get a little bit more descriptive and interesting than the standard things being moved around, changed, affected etc. This is commonly done with a descriptive complement. This just means that some extra description comes right after the verb.

Have a look at these examples:

今天把我吃得都不想动了。
Jīntiān bǎ wǒ chī de dōu bùxiǎng dòngle.
I've eaten so much today that I don't want to move.

他把我气得要命,就给了他一记耳光。
Tā bǎ wǒ qì dé yàomìng, jiù gěile tā yī jì ěrguāng.
He made me so angry I slapped him across the face.

Notice the [verb] + 得 + [description] in the sentences above. These sentences work well with 把 because the verb has a clear result or conclusion.

The sentence in question is correct. And the sentence without 把 ("昨天我吃得[都]站不起来了") is also correct.

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That is normal status during 春节:吃得站不起来!Your sentence is ok.

昨天把我吃得站不起来了。
Yesterday I ate so much I couldn't stand up!

昨天把我冻得感冒。
Yesterday I got so cold I caught a cold!

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If you removed the complement, the sentence becomes 昨天吃我. The verb is acting in the incorrect direction. 我 should be the subject here not the object. Correcting this mistake, we get 昨天我吃 which is still awkward because 吃 needs an object [1].

The 把 construction does not really work in this setting. The complement in 把 describes the object, but you are trying to describe the subject.

[1] While "to eat" is often used without an object in English, this is not the case in Chinese. "I am eating" is translated 我在吃东西 depending on meaning.

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  • Based on Bobby's comment, do you think the sentence can sound natural given a context that the subject "my friends, etc" may have been omitted? – Kassem Jan 19 at 19:55
  • I would personally not say it this way, but I can see why some people would given how close it is to a well-formed sentence. – Max Xiong Jan 22 at 3:20
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昨天把我吃得站不起来了

The sentence might be fine if you put it into a proper context. By itself, it sounds a little stilted. It will be more natural if we add 都 for emphasis.

昨天把我吃得站不起来了

It's worth to note that this use of 把 is very common.

This definition in dictionaries explains the usage:

表示致使,后面的动词通常带有表示结果的补语

E. g. 把他急坏了.

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  • That definition looks like it’s talking about the regular 把-construction, which this isn’t, unless you’re saying that yesterday ate you so much that it (or perhaps you) couldn’t stand up. Which might make some level of sense, but would still be quite odd. 把 used prepositionally like this normally marks a patientive object to the verb, not the subject. If you just remove the 把, the sentence becomes completely unremarkable; with it, I’m with Tang Ho in not being able to make its grammar and semantics match. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 19 at 23:29
  • @JanusBahsJacquet We wouldn't take 昨天 as the subject of the sentence in this case. It would make sense to you if it's written as 昨天, 把我吃得都站不起来了. However, in spoken, you wouldn't feel any pause there, so I guess 昨天把我吃得都站不起来了 can make sense from a native speaker's perspective. – dan Jan 20 at 0:09
  • @JanusBahsJacquet It's also worth to note that in this kind of cases the subject isn't important, which means we can drop it. It's we don't really care about the subject at all. E. g. 把她急得都不行了。 – dan Jan 20 at 0:14
  • That was my point: getting rid of all the non-essential bits, 把我吃得[X] does not make sense to me except as an example of the normal 把-construction where 把 marks the object – i.e., ‘[someone/something] ate me to the extent that [X]’. Clearly that’s not what it’s intended to mean here; in the intended sense (‘I ate so much that [X]’), the sentence does not make sense to me, since in that sense, 我 is the subject. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 20 at 0:15
  • @JanusBahsJacquet There might not be any issue if we understand it as a kind of passive voice here. Think about something "make you", where something can be dropped. That's why the dictionary says "表示*致使*,后面的动词通常带有表示结果的补语". – dan Jan 20 at 0:40
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做为书面语不规范,做为口头语行得通(事实上中国很多人这么用)。

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The sentence it self is understandable (and also a lot of people do use this everyday) if you are talking to a Chinese speaker, but it is informal when you write this down.

As a native Chinese speaker, I can tell that something is wrong with "昨天'把'我吃得站不起来了", but it's not a very big problem (if you want people to understand that).

昨天把我吃得站不起来了 sounds more like: Yesterday makes I ate so much I couldn't even stand up!

昨天我吃得站不起来了 is like: Yesterday I ate so much I couldn't even stand up!

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嘿,朋友,不要那么在意这些语法细节。

中华文化博大精深,中国人民也十分善解人意。

相信我,无论什么时候你在中国讲出这句 "昨天把我吃得站不起来了",对方都会很清楚你想表达的意思。另外你还可以加一句,”今天我打算吃不完兜着走“,对方就会对你投来赞许的目光,并夸奖你的中文really very good!

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