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  1. 他很難過哭起來了

  2. 他很難過哭起來了

Which one is correct? 1 makes sense because 得 is describing the extent of how 難過 he is, but 2 also seems to make sense because 地 is just before the verb 哭. So I'm really confused about this. Thanks.

4 Answers 4

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I've made a few modifications to the sentence to show the differences between the two.

  1. sense/act + 得 + outcome
  • 他難過"得"哭了起來" = He felt bad and started to cry. ("哭了起來" is a result of the feeling "難過".)
  1. adj + 地 + v (note: "adj + 地" = "adverb")
  • 他"難過地"哭起來了 = He started to cry sadly. ("難過地" is an adverb that modifies the verb "哭".)
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Both work here but are subtly different, in many situations they are not interchangable. (It helps me to remember that in most of chinese they are pronounced completely differently, and the mixing up of the three "de" is completely a modern mandarin problem).

Difference is something like "He is so sad he began to sob." vs "He started very sadly sobbing."

So, in this situation they are almost the same in meaning. They are different structures though (◐‿◑)

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Both OK.

Something like this:

  1. 他很難過得哭起來了 = 他很难过,所以哭了.

  2. 他很難過地哭起來了 = 他哭得很难过.

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I'll add one remark here. Notice the original question is about "很難過得哭起來" vs "很難過地哭起來". If we drop 很 in both phrases then as others have remarked both are grammatical. However, if an adjective has already been modified by a degree adverb like 很, then it normally cannot be modified by another degree complement (程度补语) such as "得哭了起来". This would be considered redundancy. Hence only "很難過地哭起來" is grammatical, while "很難過得哭起來" feels completely unnatural to me.

To confirm this we can compare the occurrences of these phrases in corpus. I will use the BCC corpus literary text database.

You can clearly see that while (degree adverb) + (adjective) + 地 is often used to modify verbs, the pattern (degree adverb) + (adjective) + 得 + (degree complement) is almost never used.

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