So, since 红 is a verb, it should precede any other attributive. Still, if I Google both phrases, it seems that the latter form is prevalent.

  • 3
    红茶 (red tea) is a noun
    – Tang Ho
    Oct 23, 2020 at 15:15
  • 1
    black tea 红茶 (Yes it is a different colour) | Chinese black tea 中国红茶.
    – Bósài
    Oct 23, 2020 at 15:29
  • how is 红 a verb?
    – wada
    Nov 2, 2020 at 11:33
  • @wada all adjectives in Chinese are verbs, the adjective "red" can also be interpreted as the verb "to be red" Nov 13, 2020 at 1:53
  • @小奥利奥 hmm... can you make a sentence that uses 紅 as a verb?
    – wada
    Nov 23, 2020 at 10:29

2 Answers 2


红茶, like 绿茶, (green tea), are particular varieties of tea.

The "red" and "green" do not standalone as verbs describing color but must be compounded with "tea" to indicate a particular variety of tea.

Thus red and green are not verbs but must be read together with "tea" forming compound nouns.

There is therefore only 中国红茶, (Chinese red tea), i.e. a variety of tea popularly known as 红茶, (which is actually black, but who would drink a tea called 黑茶, "black tea"?, which figuratively could mean something "bad" in the tea)

There is no such thing as 红中国茶, meaning "red Chinese tea", which in this case, the 红 would be a verb. You could call it that if you could find a type of tea from China that is actually red in color. But then it would not be "红茶" anymore.

  • 黑茶 exists in Chinese, it is the name of a kind of tea. So does 白茶. For example, 普洱 is a kind of 黑茶 instead of 红茶.
    – River
    Oct 23, 2020 at 16:18
  • Really? OK, learn something today; perhaps we also have 蓝茶? Oct 23, 2020 at 16:22
  • Oh, I did not know 普洱 is a kind of 黑茶. I've never called it that though. Oct 23, 2020 at 16:23
  • "中国茶类的划分有多种方法,公认的是根据制作方法和茶多酚氧化(发酵)程度的不同,可分为六大类:绿茶(不发酵)、白茶(轻微发酵)、黄茶(轻发酵)、青茶(也叫乌龙茶、半发酵)、黑茶(后发酵)、红茶(全发酵)" Ref:zhongce.sina.com.cn/article/view/2490
    – River
    Oct 23, 2020 at 17:26
  • Yes, I've been told that. Many S-E Asian traditional Chinese families in the old days have a huge pot of tea made in the morning and family members drink only this and nothing else throughout the day. If this practice is carried on, many "modern" chronic illnesses could be minimized, I believe. Oct 24, 2020 at 3:48

Chinese and English have the different word orders in adjectives.

East China Sea 中国东海

South China Sea 中国南海 (see below)

Simplified Chinese characters 中文简体字

Traditional Chinese characters 中文繁体字

native English speaker 英语母语用户

native Chinese speaker 汉语母语用户

black Chinese tea 中国红茶 [yeah, Chinese think it is red, not black]

By the way, Chinese and English also have a opposite word order in addresses.

Paris, France 法国巴黎

London, England, UK 英国英格兰伦敦

Beijing, China 中国北京

North China 华北

South China 华南

Northeast China 中国东北地区

mainland China 中国大陆

The examples above are normal cases. However, there do exist abnormal cases — English-grammar Chinese.

For example,

North America 北美洲

South America 南美洲

East Asia 东亚

Central Asia 中亚

West Asia 西亚

South Asia 南亚

South China Sea 南中国海 (see above)

Those are really English-grammar Chinese, literally translated from English. According to Chinese grammar, they should have been called 美洲北部, 美洲南部, 亚洲东部, etc, but those English-grammar Chinese terms are more prevalent now.

  • South China Sea is 南中國海. It encompasses China's South Sea 中國南海.
    – joehua
    Nov 8, 2020 at 21:34
  • @joehua That's just English-grammar Chinese, though frequently used.
    – Victor
    Nov 29, 2020 at 9:58
  • Not according to this page (zhihu.com/question/48419794)
    – joehua
    Nov 29, 2020 at 20:51

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