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I have another question about 玩儿 since you guys have been so helpful!

你在北京玩儿得高兴吗? - Did you have a good time in 北京

Can someone explain the sentence structure here? I'm hoping it can answer these questions:

Why is 得 used instead of 很

Why do we need 得高兴, can I just say 你在北京玩儿了吗?

Do I need 了 in this sentence?

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  • I think you are asking for some grammar points. In case this helps you, I previously asked about the usage of 得 compared to 很+Adj and summarised the final particle 了. – Puco4 Nov 13 '20 at 20:49
  • Just to comment on this little thing, 得 is not a replacement of 很。They can be used together in fact. E.g., "你玩儿得高兴吗?” Did you have fun? vs. “你玩儿得很高兴吗?” Did you have a lot of fun? To break the sentence, 得 stays with 玩儿得 phrase, and 很 stays with 很高兴 phrase。 – Yue Y Nov 17 '20 at 8:22
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- 你在北京玩儿得高兴吗? Why is 得 used instead of 很?

"得" is the adverb marker in this sentence. 玩儿得高兴 literally "play happily".

Some other examples of the V+得 structure:

走得快 to walk fast

吃得小心 to eat carefully

很 can be added before the adjective to increase the degree of the adjective.

走得很快 to walk very fast

吃得很小心 to eat very carefully

In your example the tense is probably past, as in "Did you have a good time in Beijing?" It can also be present, if you are, for example, talking on the phone. "Are you having a good time in Beijing?"

- Can I just say 你在北京玩儿了吗?

Yes, you can. It means "Did you travel for leisure in Beijing?" Literally, "Did you play in Beijing?"

- Do I need 了 in this sentence?

It depends on what you want to say.

"你在北京玩儿吗?" Are you having a leisure trip in Beijing? sounds like you're asking this question on the phone or via any instant communication device. The addition of "了" indicates that you are asking about a past action.

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Can't say if this is now or in the past, could be either.

你在北京玩儿得高兴吗?
you in Beijing enjoy 得 happy (Can you enjoy yourself unhappily??)
Are you/Did you enjoy yourself in Beijing?

你在北京玩得不开心吗?
Aren't you enjoying yourself in Beijing?

Why is 得 used instead of 很

This statement is a false assumption.

You could write: 我在北京玩儿, 很高兴!

Why do we need 得高兴, can I just say 你在北京玩儿了吗?

Yeah, you can just say that.

你在北京玩儿了吗? Are you sightseeing in Beijing?

Do I need 了 in this sentence?

Nope!

This sounds a bit strange I'm told: 你在北京玩儿得高兴了吗?

了 is exceedingly tricky to explain! Every Chinese knows when 了 is used correctly or not, but, the why is very hard to fathom!

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  • You can translate 玩儿 into travel / visit instead of enjoy. So the word "happily" would make sense.. – tsh Nov 16 '20 at 9:00

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