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他坐着在沙发上看报纸. He is sitting on the sofa and reading newspaper.

A friend tells me it should be

(1) 他坐在沙发上看报纸.

(2) 他坐在沙发上看着报纸.

(3) 他在沙发上坐着看报纸.

Can anyone explain to me why the original one is wrong?

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着 is a strong termination mark for an adverbial clause.

他坐着吃饭 = 他 / 坐着 / 看书

他笑着回答 = 他 / 笑着 / 回答

他哭着跑开 = 他 / 哭着 / 跑开

着 here terminate the whole adverbial clauses.

你哭着 you crying + 你对我说 you say to me = 你哭着对我说 you say to me in tears

One can easily separate out 哭着 because it's a whole.


Back to your original question, 着 has to be at the end of the clause, and hence 在沙发上坐着 (not 坐着在沙发上). It will be understood as

他 / 在沙发上坐着 / 看报纸。

However, the sentence is also grammatically correct if you add a comma after 着. It will sound like there are two predicates rather than one (modified by an adverbial clause).

他坐着,在沙发上看报纸。

He is sitting, and reading newspapers on the sofa.

In general, anything that belongs to an adverbial clause should go before 着.


One exception though is when the verb is transitive.

孩子 / 抱着妈妈 / 哭了起来。 Hugging his mother, the child started to cry.

In this case, the object can be put after 着.

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着= "ing"

他坐着在沙发上看报纸 Have two verb. S + V(ing)(sitting) + V(ing)(reading) + O(newspaper)+adj( on the sofa )

There is two verb but only one S without conjunction.

You could said: 他在沙发上坐着"且"在看着报纸。

He is sitting on the sofa and reading the newspaper.

S + V + O + conjunction + V2 + O2

(1) 他坐在沙发上看报纸. S + adj(坐在沙發上 sitting on the sofa) + V (reading)+ O (newspaper)

(2) 他坐在沙发上看着报纸. S + adj(坐在沙發上 sitting on the sofa) + V(ing) (reading)+ O (newspaper)

(3) 他在沙发上坐着看报纸. S + adj(在沙發上坐着 sitting on the sofa) + V (reading)+ O (newspaper)

PS: 在沙发上坐着 = 坐在沙发上 = sitting on the sofa

It's hard to explain, hope I express clearly enough.

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  • Careful - we don't use 著 for 着 outside of Taiwan. 著 usually means 著名.
    – dROOOze
    Jun 2 '20 at 10:04
  • I do not clearly understand :(
    – Jenny
    Jun 2 '20 at 16:14

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