from DeFrancis' Beginning Chinese Reader p. 329 – Lesson 26, Exercise 2, Item 13

The sentence translates as, "Did you tell him what happened before I came?"

Please provide example sentences that follows this sentence structure.

Is this sentence also grammatically correct: 「你說給他我沒來以前那個事嗎?」Why?


2 Answers 2


"Did you tell him what happened before I came?"

  1. 「你說給他我沒來以前那個事嗎?」
  1. 「我沒來以前那個事你說給他了嗎?」

Both are technically correct

#1. followed the original [SVO] sentence structure - 「你(s)說給(v)他(direct object)我沒來以前那個事(indirect object)嗎?」

#2. changed to [Topic + comment] sentence structure - 「我沒來以前那個事(topic) 你說給他了嗎?(comment)」

  • 說給他(say give him) should be 告訴了他 (told him) or 對他說了 (said to him)

  • 那個事 should be 那件事 - classifier for 事 (event) is 件, not 個

  • 沒來(did not come) -->還沒來 (haven't come)

Correct translation: 「你告訴了他我還沒來以前那件事嗎?」

example sentences that follow this sentence structure

Any SVO (subject + verb + object) sentence would do




你說給他我沒來以前那個事嗎?This sentence, while no obvious grammatical problem, can be made more clear by replacing "說給他" with "告訴他".

我沒來以前那個事你說給他了嗎?Same comment as above. In addition, you can add the word "聽" after "說給他".

But, I think 說給他 equals 告訴他 in certain regions.

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