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:


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?


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


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)

  • 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 '20 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 '20 at 19:56

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。

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