What does 的 mean in this sentence? I think what follows 的 is Noun, but these are 衬托下, 照射下 (Verbs)

...在蓝天白云的 衬托下,阳光的照射下...


3 Answers 3


衬托 = set off (by contrast)

在蓝天白云的衬托下,= under the blue sky and white cloud's contrast

阳光的照射下. = under the sunshine.

An object here is omitted

A complete sentence:

[红衣少女] 在蓝天白云的衬托下,阳光的照射下,[看上去有如女神般美丽]

[The girl in red] under the blue sky and white cloud's contrast, under the sunlight, [looks as beautiful as a goddess]


What does 的 mean in this sentence?

的 is a possess marker. 蓝天白云 is a noun phrase, and it possesses the noun 衬托 (contrast)

在蓝天白云[]衬托 = Blue sky and white cloud['s] contrast = the contrast of blue sky and white clouds (in the back ground)

If 衬托 is used as a verb, the sentence would become 被蓝天白云衬托著 (set off by blue sky and white cloud)

  • I look up in the dictionary many times and I wonder why several verbs can be used as Noun. Same as this sentence, 衬托 and 照射 are defined as Verbs but they follow 的,they are theoretically nouns @@
    – Jenny
    May 1, 2020 at 17:35
  • many verbs can also be nouns. 衬托(v) : to set off / 衬托(n) : contrast, merriam-webster.com/dictionary/contrast 照射(v): to shine on/ 照射(n) shine. merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shine
    – Tang Ho
    May 1, 2020 at 17:39

I don't know what language you speak Jenny, but I'm sure, in your language, verbs may also be used as nouns.

的 is the great adjectivisor in Chinese. It makes adjectives from anything, however long and complicated.

在蓝天白云的 衬托下,
under the background of an azure sky speckled with fleecy clouds

阳光的照射下 ...
the sunlight beat down upon ...

在 ... 下 under / against

(蓝天白云的)衬托 (adjective)
(blue sky white clouds) setting


You can think the component this way, 在[things]的[action]下, where [action] is perform or caused by [things]. 在[things]的[action]下 means under the condition that [things] [action] on somethings. In your example, 在藍天白雲的襯托下(在[things]的[action]下, where [things] is 藍天白雲, [action] is 襯托)(Under the condition of contrasts to blue sky and white clouds), 襯托 is perform or caused by 藍天白雲.

在藍天白雲的襯托下,陽光的照射下(Under the condition that contrasts to blue sky and white clouds ,and shining of the sun) can means 在藍天白雲的襯托下 and 在陽光的照射下, when they form the one sentence one 在 will be drop. It is because 在 is used and shared by 藍天白雲的襯托 and 陽光的照射.

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