Going through this sentence.

我看得目瞪口呆。I was stunned/dumbfounded.

看 means see, why see in this sentence?


The English translation is not literal. The idiom 目瞪口呆 means something like 'eyes wide-staring, mouth stiff'. Of course that is a physical description of someone who is dumbfounded.

To be grammatical, you first need the verb 看 'to see; to look' in your sentence, followed by 得 which suffixes an adverb or an adverbial phrase (目瞪口呆) to describe the extent of shock resulting from your looking at something dumbfounding.

Other preceding verbs are also possible, such as 被嚇 'to be scared', as in 被嚇得目瞪口呆 (lit. to be scared, so much so one's eyes become wide-staring and mouth stiff). In this case, the speaker is not looking at anything.

  • 1
    I saw my eyes staring at and mouth became dull/stiffed at. Literally also we can translate it has valid meaning. moreover writing back from English to mandarin, that type of thinking for translation works very well, I think. Thanks
    – user27485
    Mar 7 at 23:16

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