I'm looking for confirmation of the way I'm parsing a sentence with 的 at the end, and I'd appreciate some background or other examples of this usage.

I found this sentence on tatoeba.org:

I'll certainly go and see him.

The sentence is pretty clear to me, until I get to that 的 at the end. Is it one of the many "emphasis" patterns? I'm familiar with 是...的, but I haven't seen 的 on its own before.

The CEDICT definition of 的 includes, "used at the end of a declarative sentence for emphasis," so it seems like that's what's going on here. What exactly is it emphasizing? When would you use this pattern?

  • 1
    +favorite. this kind of question is so useful. thanks for asking it.
    – magnetar
    Commented Jan 15, 2012 at 21:01
  • I've also been told with that the interrogative 是...的 e.g. 你们是什么时候认识的?the 是 can also be omitted, so 你们什么时候认识的?is the same interrogative pattern. Just as a semi-related bit of info.
    – Ming
    Commented Jun 13, 2014 at 8:43

4 Answers 4


"的" in this case means "certainly", "really", "I am sure that..." as the conclusion says in your question.

For me, such sentences are the same.


You can say "我一定会去看他的". The mood sounds stronger (I think it's not much stronger), but I can't tell you how strong it is (this is a natural language, not math). I would use this when I want to express that "please don't remind me of it any more. I am sure to do that. I won't forget it". For example:

Mom: 别忘了早点回家过年。— Don't forget to come back home early for the Spring Festival holidays.
You: 知道了,妈妈。— I will, mom.
Mom: 一定要早点啊。— make sure [you will come back] early!
You: 我会的。— I am sure I will (mom, you don't need to repeat that. I will. I am sure.)

Also, you don't need to treat "的" seriously. It's used very common.

  • 4
    Wow, a dialogue! Thanks for the great answer.
    – Don Kirkby
    Commented Jan 15, 2012 at 7:03
  • I don't have much to add to Huang's great answer. One thing is that 会 is quite normally associated with final 的. Second is that in writing (especially serious prose, not conversation), I think 的 is more likely to be omitted.
    – Bathrobe
    Commented Jan 15, 2012 at 10:27
  • 1
    +1 for the dialogue!
    – Alenanno
    Commented Jan 15, 2012 at 11:05

I'd like to further this response. You also use 的 in the capacity of "one". Like the brown one. 咖啡色的。

  • 3
    Hello TrustedDeveloper. :) Welcome to the Chinese SE. Do you mind expanding your answer a bit? It's not bad, but maybe it's too short and other users would appreciate it if you wrote more to add info. :)
    – Alenanno
    Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 9:09
  • @Alenanno I have expanded it here Commented Sep 1, 2012 at 15:05
  • 咖啡色的: This 的 is called the Nominalising 的 -- it makes what's not a Noun into a Noun (e.g., 红 is not a N, add 的 to make it a N: 红的 / a red one). Commented Jun 16, 2019 at 6:22
  • @LillianChia Any Chinese linguistics paper sources? Commented Jul 5, 2020 at 12:32
  • Apologies, Daniel Cheung, for late response; have been out of circulation. If, by "reference", you mean published academic writing, then no. Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 11:48

This 的 is called Situational 的 or part of 是……的 with the 是 left out.

Situational 的 = "that's the way things are", for adding to a fact that's not to be gainsaid. I find using "you know"/"let me tell you this" useful sometimes (e.g., 他不吃肉 vs 他不吃肉的 He doesn't eat meat, you know;他不會來 vs 他不會來的 He won't be coming, let me tell you this), but there'll be other English renditions depending on the context.

We could say it's for emphasis.

  • Do you have a reference for this?
    – O0123
    Commented Sep 16, 2020 at 14:33
  • Apologies for late response; have been out of circulation. If, by "reference", you mean published academic writing, then no. Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 11:47

I am new here but I have a sentence in a Chinese grammar book that also ends a sentence with 时. The sentence in English is :

“Finals beginning with -i or -u when not preceded by any initials, should be changed respectively into “y” and “w.”

The Chinese for this grammar point was written as:

以 -i 或 -u 开头的韵母,前面没有声母时, 必须吧 -i 改写为 “y”; 吧 -u 改写 为 ”w.”

时 means “when“ in the part 前面没有声母时 ? It seems to literally mean ”in front of there isn’t a final when,” but I find the placement of “when” at the end of a sentence to be atypical because I thought in Chinese time words go earlier in the sentence. Hope I didn’t confuse things more.

  • Hi, answers to this question must help the questioner to confirm the way they're parsing a sentence withat the end. Unfortunately, this answer does not attempt to help the questioner answer their question.
    – dROOOze
    Commented Jul 5, 2020 at 3:21
  • 2
    Welcome to the site, Gary. I think you've confused 时 with 的. They look very similar.
    – Don Kirkby
    Commented Jul 5, 2020 at 3:22

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