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I see 到 used with some verbs describing a result, I am wondering if there are a specific number of verbs in the structure V+(de)dao到. Is there an exhaustive number of verbs that can be used with V+ 到? Or is it just a limited number of verbs and if yes, where can I find them?

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  • You need to provide a few examples for "v + 到" describing a result to differentiate the usual case that it means the action described by the verb is/has completed.
    – r13
    Mar 27 at 20:07

2 Answers 2

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Any verb that can be deemed successful or takes an object can use 到

Let's randomly pick a few unrelated verbs and see which of them can or cannot use 到

碰、看、打、走、學、想、哭、笑

碰到 (O) touch - you can attempt to touch but not actually succeed, 到 indicates it is touched successfully

看到 (O) see - you can attempt to see but not actually succeed, 到 indicates it is seen successfully

打到 (O) hit - you can attempt to hit but not actually succeed, 到 indicates it is hit successfully

走到 (O) walk/ go - "走到 somewhere", and this "somewhere" is the object

學到 (O) learn you can attempt to learn but not actually succeed, 到 indicates it is learned successfully

想到 (O) think - "想到 something", and this "something" is the object

哭到 (X) cry - you don't have to try to cry, so it can't be deemed successful, and 哭 doesn't take an object

笑到 (X) laugh - you don't have to try to laugh, so it can't be deemed successful, and 笑 doesn't take an object

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  • 5
    also: Verb+到+Adj doing something to some extent: 哭到眼肿,笑到窒息
    – imkzh
    Oct 28, 2021 at 12:40
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The interpretation of "success" happens only when the process is associated with a target in the first place. For example:

  • 他去了校长办公室三次,昨天终于见到校长。
  • 今天我很早就去市场,所以买到新鲜的鲫鱼。
  • 我找到钥匙了,原来在抽屉里。

When we delimit a target P, we also envisage the non P (out of the target). The idea of success comes from hitting P and not non P.

If the process is not associated with a predefined target, we don't have the interpretation of "success". Instead, we have a kind of "it so happened that...". For example:

  • 我昨天去商场买东西,看到我们的校长。
  • 她真幸运,在沙滩散步时找到一只漂亮的贝壳。

In the classic situation of "Pick a card, any card", one uses 到 with any card he just happens to have picked:

  • 我抽到黑桃2。
  • 我抽到红心A。
  • 我抽到... etc.

It is like calling what you have hit the target only after shooting.

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  • Sorry to differ. I think "v+ 到" in all example sentences simply implies the actions are complete. The sense of "successfully happens" is indicated by the modifiers "终于", "所以", and 原来.
    – r13
    Mar 27 at 20:01

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