I came across the following sentence:


Zhège fángzi zhù qǐlái bu shūfú.

This house seems uncomfortable to live.

I think in this sentence, 起来 indicates an initial judgement, i.e. like in English the verb "seems".

Furthermore, in When to use 住在 and when to use just 住? it is argued both 住 and 住在 are quite similar. I was wondering if it is possible to rewrite the previous sentence (including also 起来) but using 住在 instead of 住.

I thought about the following possibilities:

  • 在这个房子不舒服。
  • 住在这个房子不舒服。

Does any look good?

  • Neither is correct.
    – fefe
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 14:12
  • 1
    旁邊的工廠好吵,住在這的住起來應該不舒服。 Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 15:54

2 Answers 2


住起在 and 住在起 are both ungrammatical. It is either 住起来(upon living) or 住在(live in). You can write "住在这个房子讓我很不舒服" - " living in this house make me uncomfortable" But you cannot add 起来 to it

  • 起来 = upon

  • [Verb + 起来] = [upon + verb] -- e.g. 住起来 (upon living)

  • [Verb + 起来 + adj = [seem/feel + adj + upon + verb] -- e.g. 住起来不舒服 (feel uncomfortable upon living in it)

他看起来很友好 = seem friendly, upon looking at him = he seems friendly when looking at him

你的头发闻起来很香 = seem to smell nice upon smelling your hair = your hair smells nice when smelling it

你的床摸起来很舒服 = feel comfortable upon touching your bed = your bed feel comfortable when touching it

  • What about 住起这个房子来不舒服。? Is it possible to add the object in between 起来?
    – Puco4
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 14:59
  • [这个房子]住起来不舒服 --> 住起[这个房子]来不舒服. You are moving the topic [这个房子] into the comment and insert it between [起来] . It is ungrammatical.
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 15:04
  • Ah ok, so this is only possible then when 起来 indicates initiation of an action? Because I came across this example: 等一会儿,我想起他的名字来了。which I understand as: Wait a moment, I'm starting to think her name.
    – Puco4
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 15:16
  • @Puco4 Adding an object in between is not impossible. E. g. 跳起舞来,她跳起舞来真好看。but I can't think of a case to make 住起房子来 valid.
    – dan
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 15:19
  • 1
    @Puco4 Yes, you can insert the object between 起来 in ' initiation of an action' structure. But in your question, you stated "indicates an initial judgment" In this case, the object cannot be inserted between 起来
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 15:26

if you want to say "This house seems uncomfortable to live" you will say 这个房子似乎住起来不舒服。似乎 = seem. means you didn't live in the house you just conjecture this house is not uncomfortable to live.
这个房子住起来不舒服 mean you have lived the house already. uncomfortable is your feedback to the house. and the correct way always subject+verb+object so always let 这个房子 lead the sentence. and there is only 住在(live in) or 住起来(live up) are correct.

  • I don't think 这个房子 is the subject of the sentence: a house can not live. The subject must be a person but it is implied from the context.
    – Puco4
    Commented Aug 28, 2020 at 8:30
  • the "被" is omitted.
    – Yang Chen
    Commented Aug 28, 2020 at 16:26

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