I saw that phrase while I was studying and I don't understand.


Why 说的 not only 说? What does 的 mean in that phrase?


2 Answers 2


In Chinese, noun phrases in the form:

nominal modifier + 的 + noun

may drop the noun when:

  1. it's clear enough from the context
  2. it's a term very generic in meaning

Clear from the context

This is the case where a noun is dropped to avoid unnecessary repetition.


This book is very interesting, who wrote it? (Who wrote the book)

Very generic in meaning

你要按照我说的 (话)...

As in your case, the generic nature of the noun may be given by two factors:

  1. it's actually a generic term, as 事情 (matter),东西 (thing), sometimes 人 (person, guy). It can be translated in English as a relative pronoun, e.g. "what":

他建议的(事情 / 东西 / 意见),我不太了解

I don't really understand what he's suggesting


The person / Whom I met yesterday is actually Chen Jie's best friend

  1. it's the object of a separable verb (because it has a generic unspecified meaning)


The food / What I eat every day is what my mum prepares


The context of 我说的 in this sentence could be orders(命令), instructions(指示), teaching(教導), advices(建議), etc. It should go back to previous diaglog to know exactly what 我说的 is.

說 is a verb. It refers to an ACTION. Similar to SAY, SPEAK, TALK, TELL etc.

"你要按照我说的做并且要做好" means I have told you the orders(命令) or instructions(指示) or teaching(教導) or advices(建議) BEFORE. You should follow it and get things perfectly done.

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