I want to make some notes on the general grammar of Chinese, and standard Chinese uses SVO or subject-verb-object. How do I say this in Chinese?

Google translate gives:


But other sites mention otherwise:


  • Note, it is called 主词(subject)动词(verb)受詞(object) in Taiwan.
    – r13
    Jun 29, 2022 at 15:24

2 Answers 2


I think it is commonly called 主谓宾 (short for 主语,谓语,宾语), where is the subject, is the action/verb by the subject and is the object that is acted upon.

For example, in this sentence - I ate an apple:

  • I: 主语
  • ate: 谓语
  • an apple: 宾语
  • 2
    "an apple" is the 宾语 I think.
    – wznmickey
    Jun 29, 2022 at 3:46
  • @wznmickey No, an is used to quantify the quantiy of apple, I think it is called 定语.
    – jdhao
    Jun 29, 2022 at 9:44
  • 2
    @jdhao Surely the two words together serve as the object in the sentence, so "an apple" is 宾语.
    – iBug
    Jun 29, 2022 at 15:48
  • @iBug I am not an expert on this topic, maybe you are right. Some references would be great :)
    – jdhao
    Jun 29, 2022 at 16:38
  • 1
    Also, the terminology for 谓语 is predicate. In English we may say "SVO order", which is probably because a predicate is always a verb. There exists non-predicate verb (surely).
    – iBug
    Jun 29, 2022 at 17:10

This can be called 主谓宾 or 主动宾语序:

Subject–verb–object word order (主动宾语序) Source

subject-verb-object SVO or subject-predicate-object sentence pattern (e.g. in Chinese grammar) Source

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