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What function is 被 performing in the sentence: “现在,成龙的老板让他找回被偷的每个生肖雕像。”
Translates to: Now, Jackie Chan's boss asks him to retrieve every zodiac statue that has been stolen.


I'm aware of 被's usage as obj + 被 + subj + verb; however, I don't see how the aforementioned structure applies in the quote, if it does at all. In the sentence, “成龙的老板让他找回” or ”他找回“ is supposedly used as the subject to which a successive verb acts on, but I don't see a verb after 被 as 偷 is seemingly being used in an attributive sense and neither quote above seems like a proper subject, with each being parts of complete sentences and not nouns.

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  • Passive voice: being stolen. Stolen goods: 被偷的東西。
    – joehua
    Sep 6, 2022 at 19:39

4 Answers 4

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I'm aware of 被's usage as [subj + 被 + doer ]

No, it is [object + 被 + subject + verb] or [object + 被 + (omitted subject) + verb]

Example:

雕像被賊人偷走 or 雕像被(賊人)偷走

[雕像][被偷] = [object][was stolen] (it is a sentence)

[被偷的][每个生肖雕像] = [object][that was stolen] (it is a noun phrase)

“现在,成龙的老板让他找回被偷的每个生肖雕像。”

现在 = now

成龙的老板 = Jacky's boss

让他 = order him to

找回 = find and retrieve

被偷的每个生肖雕像 = every zodiac statue that was stolen

(被偷的每个生肖雕像 is the object for the verb 找回. 找回 what? 找回[被偷的每个生肖雕像])

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  • I think the OP has it right about the structure "subj + 被 + doer + verb". It's indeed how 被字句 is constructed.
    – dan
    Sep 7, 2022 at 0:33
  • Tang Ho- Sorry about the late response. If you're confused about 找回's usage (I was interpreting your comment: "找回 what?" as such) due to its role as a verb, and placement prior to 被, then we share the same question. Am I misinterpreting you or the role of 找回 in the sentence? I thought that since 被 requires a subsequent verb 找回 should be placed following it, as it seems to be without as the sentence currently stands. 谢谢。
    – b_rop
    Oct 7, 2022 at 20:52
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subj + 被 + doer + verb

You are actually quite right. E.g. 我被他打了, where 我 is the subject of the sentence.

被偷的(stolen) is an attributive phrase modifying the noun word 雕像. Think about it this way: 雕像(subject)被他(doer)偷(verb)了 -> 被他偷的雕像 -> 被偷的雕像. This way you would be able to see how your structure works here.

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  • I think I might understand. The phrase [stolen goods]被偷 is being used in an attributive sense for the statues, modifying them to suggest that they were stolen. Is this a correct interpretation? 谢谢。
    – b_rop
    Oct 7, 2022 at 20:56
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我们的钱被偷掉了。
Our money was stolen.

她的钱包被偷了。
Her purse was pinched.

Someone took the statues, they didn't walk away on their own. They were stolen, 被偷。

现在,成龙的老板让他找回被偷的每个生肖雕像。
Now Jackie Chan's boss wants him to get back all the Zodiac sculptures that were 被 stolen 偷.

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生肖雕像
the sculptures of animals that were stolen
生肖雕像 refers to sculptures of the animals in the 12 Chinese zodiac
生肖 means one of the animals in the 12 Chinese zodiac

verbobject
the object that ware verb-ed (past participle)
the verb-ed (past participle) object

objectverb
the object was verb-ed (past participle)

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