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I'm having trouble understanding the following sentence:

"猴王穿得像个人一样的走了很长时间。"

Google translates it as

"The Monkey King dressed like a man and walked for a long time. " but I don't think this is accurate.

I know that the structure 像。。。一样 is often used to indicate that two nouns are similar in some fashion (in this case 猴王 and 个人 clothes).

What I am really struggling with is the use of 的 in the sentence and how it connects with the whole sentence, or what function does it serve.

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  • 1
    The sentence is ungrammatical.
    – dan
    Oct 24 at 11:14
  • note: here 个人 is 一个人(withomitted, meaning "a man")not 个人(individual)
    – imkzh
    Oct 25 at 12:55
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It seems to me that using 的/de/ instead of 地/de/ as an adverb marker is acceptable to most people.

Look at the following two phrases

重重地打擊 /chóngchóng de dǎjí/ : heavily(adv) hit(v)

重重的打擊 /chóngchóng de dǎjí/ : heavy(adj) hit(n)

The functions of 地 and 的 are clearly different, however, we often see sentences like this: 重重的打擊他 (hit him heavily). 的 here takes on the role of an adverb marker (same as 地)

重重的打擊他 = 重重地打擊他

猴王穿得像个人一样的走了很长时间

的 here modifies the verb 走 (describes the manner of the verb is carried out), therefore, it is acting as an adverb marker instead of an adjective marker

It is also correct to write: 猴王穿得像个人一样地走了很长时间

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  • would it make sense to write: 猴王穿得像个人一样的(衣服)走了很长时间?
    – MBdr
    Oct 24 at 14:22
  • It should be 猴王穿得像个人(穿衣服)一样的走了很长时间
    – Tang Ho
    Oct 24 at 14:31
  • Would you mind shedding light on (semantically) how could the walking be different with different dressing, as the question I raised under a different answer?
    – ALife
    Oct 24 at 16:08
  • "He" in this case is a monkey disguised as a man, and the idea here is that now that he is wearing these clothes he can pass as a man and walk for a long time looking for watever he is looking for.
    – MBdr
    Oct 24 at 16:19
  • I witnessed the same roughly use of 的 where 地 should be used. I'm waiting for a revision of the dictionaries, but in the meantime it is still not correct. There is much confusion among natives on how to use (and pronounce) 地. Oct 24 at 18:12
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猴王穿得像个人一样的走了很长时间。

I shared the opinion with @Alife. The problem isn't about the usage of 的 or 地. The 穿得像个人一样(dressed like a man) isn't a way of walking, so it cannot be used to describe the walk itself. It's better to parallel the two phrases like:

猴王穿得像个人一样走了很长时间。

Or

猴王穿得像个人一样, (它)走了很长时间。

In real life, some might deliberately use this nonsensical description to make a joke. E.g. 他像骑马一样地吃饭。But in OP's sentence, it's not for joking purpose obviously.

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Your confusion is reasonable. The correct ways would be

  • 猴王穿得像个人一样走了很长时间
  • 猴王穿得像个人一样似的走了很长时间 (this could be seen as redundancy, but it's probably common colloquially)
  • 穿得像个人一样的猴王走了很长时间
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I agree with ALife. It reads much better and more understandable if we use a comma to separate the sentence and get rid of 的: 猴王穿得像个人一样, 他走了很长时间

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thanks for all the answers. This has been very helpful.

Update

Jeff Pepper is the Founder and CEO of imagin8press, the publisher of the book from where I got this passage. Here's his take on the matter:

"Hi Marcus, thanks for pointing this out. I talked it over with my writing partner and translator Xiao Hui, and we agree that the use of 的 in this sentence is correct, although it might be confusing.

As used here, 的is part of the expression 一样的, meaning "the same". As I'm sure you've seen, 的 is often put after an adjective, for example in the common expression 好的. When we use 的 here, it pertains to the word before it, 一样, and not the words that follow it.

Xiao Hui suggests that we could have broken it up with a comma, like this: 猴王穿得像个人一样的, 走了很长时间。

Anyway, hope this makes sense. I see that you've started a Reddit discussion about this. feel free to pass our comments along if you like!

Best regards,"

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  • "猴王穿得像个人一样的" isn't good. 的 is so out of place. 猴王穿得像个人一样 is better.
    – dan
    Oct 26 at 2:40
  • 1
    As for the usage of 一样的 vs 一样, we say: "团结得像一个人一样", not "团结得像一个人一样的". 一样的 is like adjective in English. e.g . 我们俩个是一样的。一样的天, and etc. So, the structure here 像......一样, not 像......一样的. e.g. 像我一样, not 像我一样的. Or we can say 像我一样的跑. But the OP's sentence 穿得像个人一样的走 doesn't make a practical sense though it's grammatical. That's why I said in my answer the problem is not about 的 and 地, but the way it describes the action "走". Otherwise, we have to seperate it as two independent clauses like 猴王穿得像个人一样, (猴王/他)走了很长时间。
    – dan
    Oct 26 at 3:00
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Your sentence is from the book "The Rise of the Monkey King" (《猴王的诞生》), which includes both the original

"The Monkey King walked a long way dressed like a man."

and the translation

"猴王穿得像个人一样的走了很长时间。"

Anyway, from a purely grammatical standpoint, as auxiliary particle I would have used 地 (used after an adverbial phrase before verbs and adjectives, in this case the verb 走) instead of 的.

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  • IMHO, both the original English text and the Chinese one (with my assumption of the writer's intention) wanted to use the phrase "dressed like a man" or "穿得像个人一样" to describe the Monkey King, as opposed to the way how he walks. Even though grammatically both ways are correct, semantically, I do not see how "dressed like xxx" could be a way of walking. Put it another way, how could the walking be different with different dressing? Or maybe there could be (depending on the context)?
    – ALife
    Oct 24 at 13:17
  • And grammatically, in the English original text, "dressed like a man" also seems to describe the King. Or maybe it's not entire clear whether the phrase is for the King or for the way he walks? I am not a native speaker of English, so maybe a speaker can tell better than me.
    – ALife
    Oct 24 at 13:19
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    In my understanding, rephrasing each sentence, they would become: "The Monkey King dressed like a man; he walked a long way" and "猴王穿得像个人一样; 他走了很长时间".
    – ALife
    Oct 24 at 13:26
  • @ALife Thank you for your input. I added the words "from a purely grammatical standpoint". Oct 26 at 0:10

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