2

In the topic-comment structure, I notice that action verbs and adjectival verbs often appear in the comment part. This makes sense because the topic is typically an object: with action-verbs, you can comment on the topic in a performative manner (I watched it, I read it, He arrived etc); with adjectival verbs, likewise you can describe the object with adjectives (very good, a lot of, very fast etc).

Curiously, I don't see many stative verbs (like 喜歡,需要,希望,想,覺得)used in the comment. For example:

我喜歡這個人

Would it also be okay to say: 這個人我喜歡

Other examples:

我需要買汽車 Or: 買汽車我需要

春捲我想要 Or: 我想要春捲

她奶奶我想念 Or: 我想念她奶奶

Are there potential differences in meaning between the two formats?

1

In a 'topic-comment structure', the topic and the comment cannot swap places. If they can, the sentence would not be a topic-comment structure. It is just a 'object placed before verb' sentence

Examples

這個人(object) 我喜歡 (subject + verb) [O]

我喜歡(subject + verb) 這個人 (object) [O]

這個人 (topic) 不是好人 (comment) [O]

不是好人(comment) 這個人(topic) [X]

More examples:

我去过(subject + V) 中国 (object) [O]

中国 (object) 我去过(subject + V) [O]

攻擊中國 (topic) 對美國沒有好處 (comment) [O]

對美國沒有好處 (comment) 攻擊中國 (topic) [X]

Now look at your other examples:

我需要買(subject +v) 汽車(object) [O]

汽車(object) 我需要買(subject +v) [O]

她奶奶(object) 我很想念(subject + verb)[O]

我很想念(subject + verb) 她奶奶(object) [O]

None of the above is 'topic-comment' sentences

Example of stative verbs in comment

攻擊中國 (topic) 大家都[覺得]對美國沒有好處 (comment)

美國攻擊中國 (topic) 我[希望]只是一個謠言 (comment)

| improve this answer | |
  • Didn't realize there was a difference thank you! With the stative verbs 覺得 and 希望 in your examples, are they in brackets because they're implied and not necessary? – MuchAppreciated25 Jun 12 at 18:40
  • 1
    They are in brackets just to make them stand out more, also you can replace them with other verbs as long as the sentence make sense – Tang Ho Jun 12 at 19:56
1

Putting the “object” in front of the sentence is to emphasize, express a strong emotion, and it is also a rhetorical technique-排比句。 Example: 面包会有的,牛奶会有的,一切都会有的。 Can be written as: 面包,会有的;牛奶,会有的;一切,都会有的。

| improve this answer | |

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.