Is there 的, 地 and 得 confusion among native speakers as well or am I missing some subtleties of the language?
The correct word to use in this context is indeed 得; however, because all three of these characters have the same pronunciation in Mandarin (
de), they are very often confused by native speakers. This is similar to how some English speakers often confuse "there", "their", and "they're".
For more information on the grammatical differences among the three, refer to this previous question: 的-地-得, when do you use which?
[As an aside, while these three characters have the same pronunciation in Mandarin, they differ in other Chinese varieties such as Cantonese (的
dak), so this mistake does not occur as often with speakers of those topolects and replacing one with the other would end up sounding obviously wrong.]
This is a question which is hard to explain for whom is not a linguistic. But also it's one key point to find out whether one is well educated in Chinese.
Basically, I can use it well, but like I've said, hard for me to explain. according to my understanding, the rules are like below.
- verb + 得 + adjective
- adjective + 地 + verb
- noun + 的 forms a adjective. And this can be only used to modify a noun, like 红的 (adjective) + 苹果(noun).
So, for your examples, 跑(verb) + 得 + 很快(adjective) is correct, all the others are incorrect. Furthermore, 很快(adjective) + 地 + 跑(verb) expresses the same meaning as 跑得很快.
Hope this helps.