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I have some confusion with the use of 这么 (this, so) and 那么 (that, so). I found these examples (from Pleco):

大家都这么说

Dàjiā dōu zhème shuō.

Everyone says this / so.

你不该那么做

Nǐ bù gāi nàme zuò.

You shouldn't do that.

where 这么 / 那么 are placed before the action verb. Grammatically, I understand they are pronouns acting as the object of the verb. However, in Mandarin typically the object goes after the verb. What is the rationale for placing 这么 / 那么 before it? Are they an exception to the standard order of verb + object?

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    [这么 +v ] = [v + like this/ this way] ; [那么 + v] = [v + like that/ that way] – Tang Ho Aug 15 '20 at 17:42
  • @TangHo Ah ok, so then grammatically they are like an adverb and are placed before the verb. – Puco4 Aug 15 '20 at 17:45
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[这么 +v ] = [v + like this/ this way]

[那么 + v] = [v + like that/ that way]

Example:

大家都[这么][说] = everyone [says it] [like that]

你不该[那么][做] = you shouldn't [do it] [like that]

~

[这么 + adj ] = [ this + adj]

[那么 + adj ] = [ that + adj]

Example:

[这么][坏] = [this][bad]

[那么][好] = [that][good]

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  • Maybe for completeness, could you provide an example with 这么 / 那么 + verb + object? Does it sound good 你不该那么做菜 - You shouldn't cook the dish like that.? – Puco4 Aug 15 '20 at 18:16
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    做菜 in 你不该那么做菜 can be a single verb for 'cook' but you can treat 做 as a verb and 菜 as an object – Tang Ho Aug 15 '20 at 19:02
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    In SWC, the correct structure is [那样 + v + object ], but many people use 那样 and 那么 interchangeably. I tried to argue [那么 +adj ] and [ 那样 + v ], but they just insist [那么 + v ] = [ 那样 + v ], So I gave up and accepted the way they use 那样 and 那么 interchangeably – Tang Ho Aug 15 '20 at 19:13
  • What does it mean SWC? – Puco4 Aug 15 '20 at 19:34
  • Standard Written Chinese – Tang Ho Aug 15 '20 at 19:37

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