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Since learning the adjective + 得很 rule I have only seen it once in writing with a two syllable adjective。 What are the differences in register and/or meaning between 很 + adjective and adjective+得很?

  • Example: 很懒 or 懒得很 – going Feb 20 '14 at 0:35
  • The form 很 + adj is commonly seen in Mandarin, while adj + 得很 is rarely used in Mandarin or official occasion like TV programs, but common in most northern dialects. – 賈可 Jacky Feb 23 at 15:33
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I am not a linguist. As Chinese is my first language, I can describe how I use these 2 words. 很is like English word 'very', its place in a sentence is aways before another adjective. While 得很 is more intense, and it usually follows another adjective. For example: a, 这件东西很好。b,这件东西好得很。Both sentence a and b mean 'This thing is very good.', but sentence b is stronger in feelings.


很 + adjective can be followed by nouns, but adjective + 得很 can not.

For example: 很高的山峰

But we don't say: 高得很的山峰. It is just wrong.

I would say adjective + 得很 alomst always comes (with or without modal particle) at the end of a sentence.

For example:

这屋子 脏得很

你的字, 好得很嘛 。你怎么说不好呢?

  • Thanks, but what about the difference in formality? – tao Feb 19 '14 at 8:56
  • @tao The two can both be formal. Adding to the answer that 得很 can be used to emphasize a property in a large degree. Say 这件东西好得很! can be interpreted like This thing is exceptionally great!. In another way, if 很好 means 5 out of 10, 好得很 can be used for higher scores, like 9/10. – StoneBird Feb 19 '14 at 18:46

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