1

I just bumped into this apparently simple sentence, but I cannot figure out what it means.

这个道服好羞人

Why there is 人 at the end of the sentence if it doesn't have any reason to be there? In addition 道人 means a Taoist person but it is just cut in half , there is any grammar structure related to that?

3

这个 - this (determiner)

道服 - Taoist suit (n)

好 - quite (adv)

羞人 - embarrassing (adj)

羞人 literally means "to embarrass people" but it is actually a compound word for the adjective "embarrassing"

Similarly:

驚人 literally means "to amaze people" but it is actually a compound word for the adjective "amazing "

動人 literally means "to move people" but it is actually a compound word for the adjective "moving/ touching (emotionally)"

1

Question:- "Why there is 人 at the end of the sentence if it doesn't have any reason to be there?"

人 by itself, and 羞人 have two separate meanings.

人 = person, or people in general.

羞人 = is a compound word meaning being embarrassed, shameful, disgraceful.

Why have a 人 in 羞人?

Whether a person is embarrassed, shameful, disgraced, depends on the point of view, the judgement of other people, i.e. other 人.

羞, by itself already means embarrassed, shameful, disgraceful; however, with the addition of 人, it emphasizes the fact that "in the eyes / opinion of people", it is an embarrassing, shameful, disgraceful situation.

Also there is the question of compounds which are "inherently" a part of Chinese sentence structure. Every language has it's own inherent peculiar structure.

Therefore, consider the sentence 这个道服好羞 which is perfectly alright, grammatically, but 羞人, (besides the above semantic indication), is a compound that without which the sentence seems to be "hanging in midair" without a satisfying resolution, sententially.

Consider other compounds with 人:-

动人 = emotionally moving;

恼人 = annoying;

烦人 = boring;

All the 人 there are to show the fact that the "actions" in question have, in the general standard / opinion of common human interactions, the qualities that they depict.

0

You parse the sentence wrongly. It should read as: 这个道服/好羞人.

道服 is clothes the Taoist person wears.

羞人: feel embarrassed.

好: quite

The sentence is saying (wearing) this Taoist clothes is quite embarrassing.

0

It's a common pattern that a verb(usually a feeling) + 人 makes an adj, meaning "causing people to feel xxx".

some examples: 惊人shocking,感人touching,喜人gratifying,迷人charming,醉人intoxicating,动人moving,烦人annoying

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  • Failed to figure out a -ing word that fits 气人 just fine [laugh-into-tears]
    – imkzh
    Oct 28 at 4:40
  • 1
    @imkzh maybe infuriating ? Oct 28 at 5:19

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