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A use case of the particle 的 de that I've always found odd is the way it can be added at the end of a sentence where 會/会 huì is the main verb. I've seen this explained as a form of 'emphasis', but I've never been too clear about what kind of emphasis this is. So, my basic question is: does this final 的 add anything in terms of meaning?

Let's clarify the question with some examples. If I want to say "I will go to Beijing", I think I can say this with the verb 會:

我會去北京。 - I will go to Beijing. (1a)

We can add a time adverbial so that the sentence feels more complete:

我明天會去北京。 - I will go to Beijing tomorrow. (1b)

With these sentences, I've found that it is very common to stress that the action will happen for sure by using 一定. This is a form of emphasis similar to adding adverbs like 'certainly' or 'definitely' in English:

我一定會去北京。 - I will certainly go to Beijing. (1c)
我明天一定會去北京。 - I will certainly go to Beijing tomorrow. (1d)

Now my understanding is that we can always add a final 的 with this type of 會 sentence. If this is correct, then we can say:

我會去北京的。 (2a)
我明天會去北京的 。(2b)
我一定會去北京的。 (2c)
我明天一定會去北京的。 (2d)

My questions: are these four sentences correct? Is the final 的 needed at all? Or does it change the meaning or tone of the sentence in any way?

An additional question: can we use this final 的 when 會 is used to express a skill rather than a future action? Consider the following sentence:

他會說三種語言。 - He can speak three languages. (1e)

Can we add a final 的 here?

他會說三種語言的。(2e)

2 Answers 2

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1. 會 + Subj - 會 means "willing to".

  • Q: 休假你會去哪玩? - Where will you go on vacation? (Note the questioner expects an informative answer.)

  • A: 我會去北京. - I will go to Beijing. (Note this sentence is a plain/informative statement rather than a promise.)

2. 會 + Subj + 的 - 會 is a promise - will do, and 的 emphasizes/strengthens. assures the carry-out of the promised subject.

  • Q: 休假時你一定要來北京. - You must come to Beijing during vacation. (Note the questioner expects a definite answer with assurance.)

  • A: 我(一定)會去(北京). I (absolutely) will go (to Beijing) for sure. (Note the promising tone of this sentence.)

Sentence check: Your sentences are fine.

  • A: 我會去北京的。 (2a) - Q: see (2)

  • A: 我明天會去(北京)的 。(2b) - Q: 你明天一定要來北京.

  • A: 我一定會去北京的。 (2c) - Q: see (2)

  • A: 我明天一定會去(北京)的。 (2d) - Q: 明天你一定要來北京.

The last:

他會說三種語言。 - This sentence is a plain/informative statement, that does not require emphasis, so "的" shall not be added. However, if the question is:

  • Q: 他會說外語嗎? (The questioner expects an informative, or a definite answer.)

  • A: 他會三種外語. (informative answer).

  • A: 他會三種的外語. (informative answer).

  • A: 他會, 三種. (definite with emphasis/assurance).

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  • Great answer. It seems that the emphasis added by the final 的 is very similar to 一定 then. Can we say that 我一定會去 and 我會去的 are more or less the same? One more question: how would this compare, in terms of meaning or usage, to the similar construct with 要? As in 我一定要去 or 我一定要去了? Jan 17, 2023 at 10:33
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    我會去的 - I'll go (a promise with uncertainty); 我一定會去 - I surely will go (a promise with assurance); 我一定會去的 same as the previous sentence with a double/emphasis on assurance. I think you can make a good question on 要 and 一定要, but in general, it is similar to 會 and 一定會.
    – r13
    Jan 17, 2023 at 13:06
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The 的 you are talking about is a shortened form of the 是……的 format to add emphasis (the 是 is very frequently left out where emphasis is clear from context).

You are right that this structure is usually to add details and clarification to something that has already happened, and you are already talking about (additional info rather than new info if you will). Keep in mind that tense doesn't exist in chinese, with the right context your 會 could still fit.

However are you sure that this was the intended meaning of the sentences you read? Could it have been simply using 的 as a mood word at the end of the sentences to show certainty? This structure is far more common to combine with 會 to show certainty of what will happen.

If you have some example texts you saw we could be more clear, context is king in chinese over any standard structures.

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  • I didn't have any particular sentence in mind. This is a pattern I've often come across but it's something I only passively understand and I'd like to know how to use it correctly when I speak or write in Chinese. Typical examples are things like 他會知道的 or 我會同意的 that I've heard or read quite often. Jan 17, 2023 at 10:45
  • I wonder if it is really correct to analyse this 的 as being part of the 是...的 pattern. The problem I see is that it doesn't seem to be possible to insert a 是 at any place in these sentences, so it's like a different kind of use from the function of 是 as a 'nominaliser'. You've referred to it as 'mood word'. Can you think of any use of this mood word 的 with verbs other than 會? Jan 17, 2023 at 10:47
  • @ÁngelJoséRiesgo yes this mood word can be added to almost any sentence that is a statement, as it is simply showing certainty in what you are saying. Both of your examples I would read this way, emphasizing certainty that He WILL understand, that I DO approve. etc.
    – zagrycha
    Jan 19, 2023 at 10:48
  • @ÁngelJoséRiesgo Note that when 是 is used for emphasis its not a matter of a proper spot to insert it, but inserting it next to the emphasized term. I agree it probably doesn't belong here as previously mentioned.
    – zagrycha
    Jan 19, 2023 at 10:54

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