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This Reddit post brought up a Digi Mandarin article talking about how you can connect verbs and adjectives using 和, which contradicts other grammar sources. I was particularly tripped up by the sentence:

峨眉山的景色非常的迷人秀丽。
Mount Emei’s scenery is very charming and beautiful.

In particular I'm unfamiliar with the 非常的 grammar pattern. (At first, I just thought it was a typo, but after some Googling, it seems grammatical.) I feel like this is an irregular grammar pattern, and doesn't readily generalize, so I'm not expecting to be able to say 钢琴又大又重 ("the piano is big and heavy") using this pattern: 钢琴非常的重. I'm not sure what to make of this.

Question: What is the underlying grammar structure behind 峨眉山的景色非常的迷人和秀丽, and how would we generalize it?

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    的 and 和 are redundant in this sentence. "峨眉山的景色非常迷人秀丽" is perfectly correct and clear.
    – monalisa
    Mar 7 at 1:08
  • 1
    和 here actually makes the sentence look bad.
    – joehua
    Mar 7 at 10:47

2 Answers 2

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This is a typical abuse of auxiliary words in Chinese since great impact of Western languages from last century. Originally, Chinese did have 的 as marker for adjectives and 和 as a coordinator. But they're not used so often. In this sentence, it's unnecessary. Adding them makes it very awkward. This type of sentences are avoided in formal writing.

That been said, 和 is grammatical here. It's unnatural partly because this usage is rather new. Today it's not commonly used in the spoken languages and not fully internalized in the written language. Before the western impact from last century, 和 is normally only used to connect noun phrases in subject or object position.

的 is somewhat grammatically questionable, or at least orthographically debated. Normally, 状语 is used before a predicating verb or adjective, and 地 is a marker for 状语. By that standard, some scholars think that we should use 地 in cases like this. However, some scholars think that this rule shouldn't be applied to 程度副词, where people use 的 by habit. There are some regions in China where the local dialect distinguishes 的 and 地. For example, in my dialect, I tend to say it as 非常地(dì)迷人 instead of 的 (dí), though 非常 is a literary word for us and thus not usually used colloquially. I learned that there are other regions where people have different intuition than mine and think that it's 非常的迷人. This debate hasn't yet been settled, but 非常迷人 is considered correct by people from all regions. I have once discussed this question with my editor friend, and she said she always delete 的 or 地 in this case, whichever is used. (Words like 真的 are a different story since they're highly lexicalized.)

After deleting 和 and 的, it's completely grammatical, but we can take another step to make it even better by working on its prosody. 峨眉山的景色非常迷人秀丽 still reads a bit awkward. We have two adjectives here, 迷人 and 秀丽. The first one ends in level tones (平声) and the second in oblique tones (仄声). When they're juxtaposed like this, ending sentence with 平声 sounds much better. Thus

峨眉山的景色非常秀丽迷人。

峨眉山的景色 is the subject-topic, 非常秀丽迷人 is the predicate-comment. 非常 adverbially modifies the complex adjective-predicate 秀丽迷人.

We can also use 而 here. 和 is awkward but 而 is not (this sense is inherited from Classical/Literary Chinese). The tricky thing is that 而 can be used in many other relationships than simply juxtaposing (并列). On the one hand, it could be 递进. Thus the second adjective is better to have a stronger degree. Luckily in this case, thinking 迷人 is stronger than 秀丽 is reasonable. On the other hand, it could be cause and result. Again, luckily in this case, 秀丽 being the cause and 迷人 being the result is logical. Though due to the existence of 非常, the former relationship fits better. There could be other suitable relationships but I think I've made my point here. Thus

峨眉山的景色非常秀丽而迷人。

is a good sentence. One last point to note about this is that 而 is formal or literary, not commonly used in the colloquial languages.


The grammatical analysis of 钢琴非常的大和重 is the same. Again, the problem lies in prosody. Standardized Mandarin has a tendency to use disyllabic words. 大 and 重 cannot be simply juxtaposed since it's monosyllabic. Let aside the question of 的 and 地, both 钢琴非常的大和重 and 钢琴非常大和重 sound very awkward, breaking the regular pattern of prosody. 又……又…… is a very suitable choice here. But if you want to force in a 程度副词, making disyllabic Adjective Phrases and juxtaposing them could be a solution. For example,

钢琴很大很重。

Or we can add a punctuation:

钢琴很大、很重。

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  • My apologies if this is not the appropriate place to ask this, but is there somewhere other than the stackexchange where I can find your work? Have you written any books?
    – Buddy L
    Mar 7 at 22:09
  • @BuddyL Thanks for your interest in my work but unfortunately I don't have it.
    – lilysirius
    Mar 8 at 0:55
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In particular I'm unfamiliar with the 非常的 grammar pattern.

非常的 seems irregular because 非常 is the common form of this adverb.

非常秀丽迷人 (regular adv + adj structure) --> 非常的秀丽迷人 (stress the adverb)

的 and 和 are not needed in "峨眉山的景色非常秀丽迷人"

  • 峨眉山的景色 (topic)

  • 非常 (adv)

  • 秀丽迷人 (adj)

~

  • 峨眉山的景色 (subject)

  • 是 (v)

  • 非常 (adv)

  • 秀丽迷人的 (adj)

Using 和 to connect two adjectives is optional

秀丽迷人 (regular multi-adjective form)

秀丽,迷人/ 秀丽和迷人 (stress individual adjective)

Example of using 而(also) instead of 和(and):

高雅大方 (regular) --> 高雅而大方 (stress individual adjective)

清脆利落 (regular) --> 清脆而利落 (stress individual adjective)

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