Lesson 7: A Simple Guide to Chinese Adverbs Word Order

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In the previous post, we have learned how to construct a basic Chinese sentence. Today, we will learn how to build up other information using adverbs.

 

1. BASIC SENTENCE STRUCTURE

The basic form of Chinese sentence structure is Subject + Verb + Object.

Subject                 Verb               Object

我                          吃                  火锅。

Wǒ                        chī                  huǒ guō.

I                             eat                  hotpot.

 

2. ADVERB OF TIME

Adverb of time is generally placed right after the subject. Sometimes you might find them in the beginning, but not at the end of the sentence.

Subject      Adverb of Time        Verb Phrase

我                 昨天吃                      火锅。

Wǒ               zuó tiān chī                huǒguō.

I                        ate hotpot yesterday.

 

3. ADVERB OF PLACE

Adverb of place is usually written after the subject and before the verb phrase. There is an exception for some verbs (e.g. 坐,住,走,躺,站), which come after the verb phrases.

Subject          Adverb of Time       Adverb of Place          Verb Phrase

我                     昨天                         在家里                      吃火锅。

Wǒ                  zuó tiān                   zài jiālǐ                       chī huǒguō.

I                                        ate hotpot at home yesterday.

 

4. ADVERB OF MANNER

Adverb of manner refers to how an action in performed. Note that you can also form adverbs by adding 地 and 得 beside the adjectives.

Subject Adverb of Time Adverb of Manner Adverb of Place Verb Phrase

我               昨天               高高兴兴地                   在家里        吃火锅。

Wǒ         zuó tiān              gāo gāoxìng xìng de      zài jiālǐ      chī huǒguō.

I                              ate hotpot happily at home yesterday.

 

5. ADVERB OF FREQUENCY

Just like adverb of time, we put the adverb of frequency after the subject.

Subject    Adverb of Frequency     Adverb of Place      Verb Phrase

我                   偶尔                          在家里                      吃火锅。

Wǒ                 ǒu’ěr                          zài jiā lǐ                     chī huǒguō.

I                   occasionally                           eat hotpot at home.

 

6. DURATION OF TIME

Last but not least, we can add the duration of time after the verb phrase to indicate the length of time that an action occurs.

Subject Adverb of Time Adverb of Place Verb Phrase Duration of Time

我             昨天                在家里              吃火锅吃了        三个小时。

Wǒ           zuó tiān          zài jiālǐ             chī huǒguō chīle  sān gè xiǎoshí.

I                      ate hotpot at home yesterdayfor three hours.