2

I've just stumbled across this sentence:

"吃土" 表示自己没有钱了,很穷,穷到只能吃土的状态了

I'm interested in 穷到只能吃土的状态了. It means "so poor that they can only eat soil". But it seems that adjective + 到 + description is a structure to say "so ... that ...".

  1. Is it in fact a structure to create such sentences?
  2. 只能吃土的状态了 - I don't even know if I should treat it as a sentence or as a noun. So: what should come after 到?
  3. Is this sentence correct? 累到不会走路的状态
  4. Is this sentence correct? 累到不会走路
  5. What's the difference between 穷到只能吃土的状态了 and 穷得只能吃土?
  • 2 了 is not part of the phrase. It ia attached to 穷到 – fefe Aug 11 at 0:39
4

Your understanding is mostly right

“A 到 B 了” means "become so A that have got into the condition of B"

  • A: adj, but used as a verb, which means "become A"
  • B: a condition

"只能吃土" is a 状态 (condition) so it is the same as "只能吃土的状态"。

"到~" means "getting into" a 状态.

"了" means finished. There might be no "了", depending on the tense.

Correct example:

  • 我很穷,(已经)穷到只能吃土了
  • 我很穷,(已经)穷到只能吃土的状态了
  • 赌博会让你 穷到只能吃土
  • 赌博会让你 穷到只能吃土的状态

Is it in fact a structure to create such sentences?

Yes

只能吃土的状态了 - I don't even know if I should treat it as a sentence or as a noun. So: what should come after 到?

As discussed above. 只能吃土的状态 is a 状态 which is a noun. 了 is following 到 indicating the tense.

Is this sentence correct? 累到不会走路的状态

Correct, but not a complete sentence. Missing subject and tense indicator.

Is this sentence correct? 累到不会走路

Correct. Same as above

What's the difference between 穷到只能吃土的状态了 and 穷得只能吃土?

In 穷到只能吃土的状态, 穷 is an adj. but used as a verb, followed by the extent of this verb. In 穷得只能吃土, 穷 is just an adj. followed by an adverb.

Both are correct and mean the same.

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1

this seems very analogous to the way we speak in English, i didnt even consider it anything special when I encountered it the first time; 到 means "to" and is being used in the exact same way we'd say "sad to the point of tears" or "happy to no end" in English.

So (some state) + 到 + (the extent/result of that state) reads exactly as it would in English. In your case it would be poor + to + (the extent of) only being able to eat dirt

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