I'm having trouble understanding the following sentence:


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.

  • 1
    The sentence is ungrammatical.
    – dan
    Commented Oct 24, 2021 at 11:14
  • note: here 个人 is 一个人(withomitted, meaning "a man")not 个人(individual)
    – imkzh
    Commented Oct 25, 2021 at 12:55

6 Answers 6


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


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

  • 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
    Commented Oct 24, 2021 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
    Commented Oct 24, 2021 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
    Commented Oct 24, 2021 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
    Commented Oct 24, 2021 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. Commented Oct 24, 2021 at 18:12


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, (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.


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

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


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


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,"

  • "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
    Commented Oct 26, 2021 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
    Commented Oct 26, 2021 at 3:00

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


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.

  • 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
    Commented Oct 24, 2021 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
    Commented Oct 24, 2021 at 13:19
  • 1
    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
    Commented Oct 24, 2021 at 13:26
  • @ALife Thank you for your input. I added the words "from a purely grammatical standpoint". Commented Oct 26, 2021 at 0:10

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