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"真的太可爱了" has 3,930,000 results on Google. "真地太可爱了" has only 17,500. Why do we use 真的 instead of 真得? I thought that 地 is used to connect an adjective and connect it with a verb, while 的 is only used for connecting a noun with an adjective or another noun. Is it possible that "真的太可爱了" is more common just because that it what is suggested by input methods?

https://chinese.stackexchange.com/a/2156/ has a comment "An interesting phenomenon, many 地 are replaced by 的 in China, TV, book, newspaper, everywhere"

I took a look at https://www.guancha.cn/DuZheZhiSheng/2013_04_18_139488.shtml and was still quite confused about the matter.

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  • There are some adverbs which consist of more than one character, one of them is 的 and then they don't need 地. Examples: 真的, 十分的. – musialmi Dec 31 '20 at 7:00
  • 的 makes 真 adjective, just like 美丽的,好吃的, 的 makes the preceding words adjective。 – sunfy Jan 3 at 13:00
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As the others' answers and comments have pointed out, the most common written form of this phrase is 真的, even when it is used as an adverb. 真地 is rarely seen, and may even be considered "weird" or "incorrect".

Wiktionary lists 真的 (with this particular written form) as both an adverb and an adjective (真的 - Wiktionary), and doesn't have a page for 真地.

In 《现代汉语八百词》(Eight Hundred Words in Modern Chinese), editor-in-chief 吕叔湘(Lü Shuxiang), the entry of 真 is as follows:

  1. ...
  • c) 修饰动词、形容词以带‘的’为常。(我真的要走,不骗你 | 他真的不想去 | 你真的有意见? | 事情真的很顺利 | 昨天来的是老李吗?)
  • d) ‘真的’修饰全句,可用在主语前,后面有停顿。(真的,手术后恢复的比别人都快 | 真的,我们厂今年提前两个月完成了全年计划)
  1. ...
  • c) Usually with "的" when modifying verbs or adjectives. (I'm really going to go, no kidding | He really doesn't want to go | Do you seriously have an opinion on this? | things went really well | Was it really Li who came yesterday?)
  • d) "真的" can modify the whole sentence. It can be used before the subjective with a following pause. (Really, [dropped subjective] recovered faster than all the other people after the operation | I'm serious! Our factory accomplished our annual goal two weeks before the year ends this year)

The use of 真的 but not 真地 as an adverb is (almost) uncontroversial, but also, on the surface, a blatant outlier of the usual 得-的-地 distinction rules taught in schools. So try and consider this a convention that doesn't conform to these rules. musialmi's comment is right: it can be considered as a two-character adverb that happens to contain the character 的. 真地, on the other hand, is not used, or even if it used, it was probably because of hyper-correction influenced by 得-的-地.


[I'll digress a little in this paragraph and talk about another issue that musialmi brought forth in their comment. Probably not all people will agree with musialmi on 十分的. Words like 十分, 非常, 相当 are adverbs of degree; it is yet universally agreed upon whether it should be 的 or 地 when you want to add a de modifier after them. Both 非常地 and 非常的, for example, can be seen in literary works. In this case, if you don't want to be nitpicked by grammar police, sticking with 地 would be a safer approach, because "地 for adverbials" is agreed by mostly everyone (again, there are exceptions like 真太可爱了). But more natural will be not putting a de modifier after an adverb of degree at all (十分地/的有趣 → 十分有趣), because words like 十分 or 相当 don't need one.]

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真的 (or just 真) is correct in this context, at least in the sense of being original. The 的 most probably reflects the emergence of 真的 as an adjective before also being used as an adverb. When 真的 is used as an adverb, the 的 plays no grammatical role--the word is just 真的. 真地 seems to be a hypercorrection arising from the perception that any adverbial modifier should not have a 的. It is similar to the perception that, e.g. "gingerly" cannot be used as an adjective because it has an "-ly" ending that reflects its original use as an adverb.

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We use 真的.

We barely use 真地, most time when you see this, it's a typo of 真的.

We never use 真得.

I know some people would say difference between 的,地,得, but in our daily life, we only use "真的".

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In grammar, we should use 「的」 as the end of an adjective, 「地」 as that of an adverb and 「底」 as that of a possessive case.

However, now we rarely use 底 (some even don't know this usage, it only appears in some old documents that made in the early ROC era) and use 的 to replace it instead.

Some people usually use 的 to replace 地 (though I don't recommend it personally). But worth noticing, we rarely use 真地.

真的 might be the only exception in Chinese. I think I have never seen 真地 before.

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