I am learning about de in Chinese a little, 的 (de) vs. 得 (de) vs. 地 (de).

  1. Noun + 的 + Noun
  2. Attribute + 的 + Noun
  3. Verb + 得 + State
  4. Adj + 地 + Verb
  5. Adj + 地 + Adj

So combining all of these together, how would you use all of them (or most of them) in a complex phrase? Here is one without the verbs.

my particularly precious book

It seems like it might be something like:

wǒ de tè bié       de zhēn guì de shū
my    particularly    precious    book

Do I have this right? Can you provide an even more complex example than that, where even more de are used, or do they somehow omit the de when you get lots of adjectives?

my particularly precious insanely bright red book
my nice big brother's particularly precious book

How would those be translated (with Pinyin)? The first is noun + many adjectives + noun, and the second is noun + (adjectives + noun + possessive) + (adjectives + noun), so not really sure how it would be.

  • 今天 的 作业 你 做 得 不好,因为 你 没 认真 地 听课。Jīntiān de zuòyè nǐ zuò de bù hǎo, yīnwèi nǐ méi rènzhēn de tīngkè. You didn't do today's homework well because you didn't listen attentively in class. This is an example sentence with credit to all set learning page on the three de's. I don't think more than three is very natural, except maybe very 複句/複合句 complex sentences that are the equivalent of paraphraphs in english.
    – zagrycha
    Oct 30, 2022 at 19:05

2 Answers 2


Using 的 when the word is an adjective. For example, a red book => 一本紅色「的」書. Here we use 的 since red is an adjective, and it is used to describe the book.

Using 得 when the word is a verb but with an adverb. For example, I read slowly => 我讀「得」很慢. Here we add 「得] after the verb 讀 to describe better the situation that you read slowly instead of "I read something slowly (我讀something很慢)."

Using 地 when the word is an adverb describing a verb. For example, I rapidly finished my dishes => 我快速地吃完飯. Here we use 地 after the word 快速 (rapid) to state the adverb.

  • Can you please add literal glosses to your examples?
    – Lance
    May 12, 2023 at 4:31

Multiple adjective + noun


  • 他是勇敢的人,他是盡責的人,他是不畏艱難的人 (they are basically three individual sentences)

  • 他是勇敢的,盡責的,不畏艱難的人 (omit the first two 人, we only need one object in the sentence that all adjectives apply to)

  • 他是勇敢,盡責,不畏艱難的人 (also omit the first two 的, the last 的 applied to all the adjectives in the sentence)

Multiple adverb + verb


(apply the same logic as above)

  • 他勇敢地救火,他盡責地救火,他不畏艱難地救火

  • 他勇敢地,盡責地,不畏艱難地救火

  • 他勇敢,盡責,不畏艱難地救火

Multiple adverb + adj


(apply the same logic as above)

  • 他異常地勇敢,他異常定地盡責, 他異常地忠心

  • 他異常地勇敢,異常定地盡責, 異常地忠心

  • 他異常地勇敢,盡責, 忠心

  • 他是一個"勇敢的","盡責的",又不畏"艱難的"
    – r13
    Oct 31, 2022 at 0:29

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