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I'm already familiar with the complement of state. (verb + 得 + adjective pattern) like,

他走得快。

But sometimes I see adverbs of manner go before the verb. For example,

我们快走。

Are these two patterns the same? Is "我们快走" the same as "我们走得快"?

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No, they are different. The difference between "我们快走" and "我们走得快" is explained by the examples below.

我们快走 is an urgent request/command, the same as "Let's go/leave, quick".

  • 天快下雨了,我们快走. - It is going to rain, let's go, quick.

  • 房主快回來了,我们快走 - The homeowner is coming back soon, let's leave, quick.

Which is very different than the descriptive phase "我们走得快", which means "we walked left" or "left early".

  • 因為我们走得快所以逃過了這場大雨 - Because we walked fast, so we escaped the severe rainfall.

  • 所幸我们走得快所以沒遭大劫 - It is lucky to have left early, so we didn't suffer the life-threatening event.

Note that 我们(děi)快走 is similar to 我们快走, but differs in the sense of "demand" vs "command" - We must/shall walk/leave fast.

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  • 1
    應為我们走得快 makes no sense to native speakers. You might have wanted to say 因为我们走得快, which is different from your phrase by both writing & pronunciation. Please make correction and next time double check what you write, to avoid misleading others.
    – ALife
    Jun 29 at 2:56
  • @ALife Thanks for picking out the mistake.
    – r13
    Jun 29 at 3:53
  • You are welcome.
    – ALife
    Jun 29 at 4:00
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Grammatically, the biggest difference is their structures are not the same.

The structure of 走得快 is "verb-complement(动补)". It means 走 is the verb in this phrase and 快 is an adjective as the complement. 得 is just a mark to show its structure is v-c.

The structure of 走得快 is "verb-complement(动补)". It means 走 is the verb in this phrase and 快 is an adjective as the complement. 得 is just a mark to show its structure is v-c.

The structure of 快走 is "adverbial-verb(偏正)". It means 快 is the adjective(yes, adjective) adverbial in this phrase and 走 is the verb which is the centre of the phrase.

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The first 我们走得快 is usually used to describe how someone is walking quickly.

The second 我们快走 is usually used to describe the action of walking (away) quickly.

我们快走 means, telling someone to "lets walk away / get away fast", and, 我们走得快, means, telling someone, "we got away fast". Both sentences do not necessarily mean physically walking or running "fast", though it could be, depending on the context. - @Wayne_Cheah

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  • I think it's the other way round? Jun 26 at 7:40
  • What I meant was 我们快走 means, telling someone to "lets walk away / get away fast", and, 我们走得快, means, telling someone, "we got away fast". Both sentences do not necessarily mean physically walking or running "fast", though it could be, depending on the context. 你们快快走 is more like 我们快走., with an emphasis of urgency in the former. Jun 26 at 7:56
  • "...asking someone to walk faster," would be 我们走快一点 Jun 26 at 8:10
  • I believe 走得快,走得慢 describe the speed of walking, fast or slow.
    – joehua
    Jun 26 at 10:54
  • @joehua -- yes, like I said, in 我们走得快, the context would indicate whether it means the "speed of physical walking", or, "getting away from an undesirable, dangerous situation quickly"; something like, in the proper context, "escaped by the skin of my teeth", which describes a situation from which one has barely managed to escape, like, 我们走得快, 不然就没命了, which may or may not involve walking away quickly, depending on the context as it could also mean driving away quickly in a car. Jun 26 at 11:35

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