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有一个”我真是这个意思“的句法的问题。那个句子的英文的翻译根据Wiktionary是”I mean it“. 在那个句子”我“是主语还是一个属格的主题?下面的三个句子A,B, C对吗?任何句子好像奇怪, 没有第一句的意思吗?

I have a question about the sentence structure of "我真是这个意思", translated as "I mean it" in this example from Wiktionary.

别笑!我真是这个意思!
Don't laugh! I mean it!

Is 我 the subject or a non-subject topic like a possessor? Are the following related sentences grammatical? Do any of them sound strange or have a different meaning from the example?

A) 真是这个意思。
B) 我的意思真是这个。
C) 我的真是这个意思。
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  • I truly wish I could answer this before Tang Ho gets here, alas I actually don't know – 小奥利奥 Oct 7 '20 at 2:19
  • @小奥利奥 If I've posted an answer, but it is different from yours, you should definitely post your own answer in case I was wrong – Tang Ho Oct 7 '20 at 2:40
  • @TangHo 哈哈,我想说我不知道这个问题的答案,所以我不会回答。你回答前我想要过回答,但是我不能。 – 小奥利奥 Oct 7 '20 at 2:48
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I believe the grammatical structure of 我真是这个意思 is:

Subj: 我 - I

Adverb: 真 - really

Verb: 是 - to be

Object (Pronoun + Measure Word + Noun): 这个意思 - this idea

Which literally means I really am this idea. However, this use of the verb to be indeed sounds strange: the person I is not an idea!? But, we can understand it considering the 'illogical' sentences of the copula verb 是, in which 是 has a metaphorical meaning understood from the context. For more details see the answer I referenced, but we can understand the main idea with an example:

我是炒饭.

Which does not mean I am a fried rice (literal), but implies (e.g. in a restaurant) I am the one having the fried rice (metaphorical). The same occurs in the common expression:

这是什么意思?

Which does not mean This is what meaning? (literal), but implies What does this mean? (metaphorical). So coming back to our example:

我真是这个意思.

Which does not mean I really am this idea (literal), but implies I really mean this idea (metaphorical).

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我 is not 'my' here.

A is OK as a short answer. B is OK, C is not good.

Lack of context confuses things.

意思:literally 'think think'

Simplify things, take away 真:我是这个意思。

这个意思 refers, points to an opinion, idea or meaning. Whether or not this opinion, idea or meaning is from 我 or was just adopted by 我 is not clear. 我 may just be concurring with someone else's opinion.

我是这个意思。
I 是 that thinkthink
I 是 that opinion/idea/meaning

Now swap things around:

这个意思是 [some meaning or opinion]。
这个意思是 [我]。(我 is not an idea or opinion, but a preceding context could legitimize this: 这个意思 points back to something said before.)

Even in a language with case, either side of 是 a noun is still nominative case. The sloppy Western Grammar idea of 'subject and object' cannot apply to 是。

You have 2 words in the category noun: 我 and 意思. Both and neither are 'subject'. Both are what you are talking about.

Is 我 the subject or a non-subject topic like a possessor? (i.e. my)

我是这个意思。

If 'subject' is 我:

我是这个意思。(This is why you want to impute a 'my' for 我: This structure won't work in English.)
I am this opinion. (but in English you must say: ‘I am of this opinion.’ or 'This is my opinion.' You are patently not 'this opinion'.)

If 我 is 'my':

我是这个意思。
*My is this opinion/meaning. (not such good English)

Explicitly state the meaning or opinion:

(我的、他的、这个)意思是 [some meaning or opinion]。
(我的、他的、这个)意思是,[这个问题还远远没有得到解决]。
(My, His, The) opinion/meaning is, [this problem is still a long way from being resolved].

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  • "The sloppy Western Grammar idea of 'subject and object' cannot apply to 是" thats because "sloppy western grammar" calls words such as "是" and such as "is" a "copula" and their uniqueness is already well understood. I'm really curious why you call linguistics sloppy – 小奥利奥 Oct 7 '20 at 12:25
  • Easy: define subject, or for that matter: sentence. – Pedroski Oct 8 '20 at 10:43
  • the definition for either of these are readily available online, and the explanation for whichever contradiction you have up your sleeve is also readily available online. Evidently neither of us are linguists. – 小奥利奥 Oct 8 '20 at 12:56
  • "the definition for either of these are readily available online"?? There is only one "definition"? That would make life easy! This, according to one definition, is a sentence: H. So, I ask myself, what is the subject of this sentence? Linguists and grammarians will not define things in specific terms and are unable or unwilling to address the question: Why? This is their sloppiness. – Pedroski Oct 9 '20 at 2:22
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    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentence_(linguistics) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subject_(grammar) They even acknowledge subject-less clauses. The point I'm trying to make here is that neither of us are linguists, for you to make a mockery of the study linguistics and grammar has the same effect as an unlearned farmer saying that astronomers can't possibly claim to understand the inner workings of stars – 小奥利奥 Oct 9 '20 at 3:18
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Try this:

我说的话真是这个意思。-> 我说的真是这个意思。/我的话真是这个意思。-> 我真是这个意思。

People are getting lazier and lazier in language (all those "IDK" "LOL" ... stuff), hence don't like to repeat what's understood: Lots and lots of omittances.

Actually, it's same in English: I really mean what I said. -> I really mean it.

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是 denotes the sense of justify. It's like saying I justify the meaning or I justify that was my intended meaning.

So, I think 我 in 我真是这个意思 is the subject.

A) 真是这个意思。 // it's incomplete.

B) 我的意思真是这个。 // it's ok.

C) 我的真是这个意思。// It's grammatical, but you have to put it in a proper context.

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