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她想把电脑给砸了。

She wants to smash the computer. Literally, is 给砸 saying "give it a smash"? So, is it like saying, "She wants to take the computer and give it a smash?"

Thanks so much!!!!

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    Good question. Some linguists think 给 here is 半助词, a strange word.
    – T-Pioneer
    Aug 8 at 4:38
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In this context 给 has a meaning of transformation from one state to another:

电脑给砸了 - smash/break one's computer

电脑给修了 - take a computer from a corrupted state to fixed

我钱包给偷了 - my wallet was stolen (state of being owned by ones self but then stolen, belonging to the thief

把食物都给吃掉了 - ate all the food (a plentiful amount of food turned into nothing, emphasis on completely devouring everything)

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    So, it's similar to one of the many ways "just" is used in English. "I want to take this computer and just smash it!" "I want to take her keys and just throw them out of that window!" "I want to take that cup of water and just throw it in his face!" Aug 9 at 3:49
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    @JosephKing I would not compare it to "just" in english as this would mean "I simply want to take this computer and smash it!". 给 in this context really means: "I'm going to turn this computer into pieces, that's how frustrated I am with it!". Another really good example is this: "你快点把电视给关了“: Quickly go and turn off the TV. 给 is used to link what "verb" you want to perform on the "subject". Finally another example you can try to guess the meaning: 你作业给写好了吗?
    – noobular
    Aug 10 at 4:12
  • 你作业给写好了吗?- Have you finished writing your homework??? -- So 给 is used as some sort of marker to throw back the verb to the subject? In your example, it feels like it's also working to split up the topic from the comment (or the rest of question), almost like a splitting/dividing marker. Aug 10 at 20:08
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    饭给吃了 = Dinner eaten it has been. 电影给看了 = Movie it has been watched. 咖啡给喝了 = Coffee it has been drank. All of these sentences can mean an action has been taken on a subject. At the same time, they can all be said as a command to perform the action itself. Depends on context but it should be obvious when heard.
    – noobular
    Aug 10 at 22:17
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This dictionary definition addresses the use of 给:

直接用在动词前面,加强处置的语气. (used ahead of verb, to stress the tone of disposition/handling)

他把自行车给修好了 / 茶碗叫我给摔碎了。

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  • Could you please explain what is "处置的语气"?
    – T-Pioneer
    Aug 9 at 2:59
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    @T-Pioneer Basically, it 's how to handle/deal with the introduced object in the sentence. 给 stresses the handling. E.g. 自行车 is the object and 修好了 is how you deal with it. 给 stresses how you have handled it or just the tone itself. Not sure if I have made it clear. Sorry for my bad English.
    – dan
    Aug 9 at 23:22
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    I think this answer is the right answer
    – starckman
    Aug 12 at 3:33
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As a native speaker, I think it's more like the passive form of "have/get sth done", like 她想把电脑给砸了 could be precisely tranlate be "She wants to get the computer smashed", here "get" does not actually mean anything either.

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给 here does not have any actual meaning. You can delete it; the meaning of the sentence will not change.

It has a relationship to "把". It is a part of this 把字句. In my opinion, this kind of "给"(not include "给" in "给我打!") can only appear in 把字句 and 被字句.

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