Result complements "dao" and "jian"
|Is similar to|
|Is used for||Expressing result|
Two of the most common result complements in Chinese are 到 (dào) and 见 (jiàn). Both can be used in similar statements.
Result complements are a huge topic in Chinese grammar, but you can approach them in stages. The structure you come across the most is a verb with 到 (dào):
Subject + Verb + 到 + Object
What 到 does is indicate that the outcome of the verb is achieved - what its result is. Without a result complement, the sentence would describe only the action itself. To illustrate, 想 "to think" is the action of thinking, whereas 想到 "to think (of something)" is a the result of that process.
The complement 见 is very similar to 到, and it is used in the same way:
Subject + Verb + 见 + Object
However, 见 is generally only used after verbs involving sense, like 听 and 看, whereas 到 can be attached to a large variety of verbs.
- 你 听 见 了 吗？Did you hear it?
- 你 看 见 那 个 帅哥 了 吗？Did you see that handsome boy?
- 我 买 到 了 一 些 龙虾。I bought some lobsters.
- 没 想 到 你 那么 迷信! I didn't think you were so suspicious!
- 小 时候 没 学过 乐器, 我 感到 很 遗憾。When I was younger, I didn't learn how to play an instrument. Now I regret it.
- 我一走进家门，就闻 到了 美味的 鸡汤! I could smell the delicious chicken soup as I walked into home.
As in the last sentence, this structure can be negated using 没.
Sources and further reading
- Short-term Spoken Chinese: Threshold Vol. 2 (汉语口语入门篇下) (pp. 92) →buy
- Basic Patterns of Chinese Grammar (pp. 109) →buy
- 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） (pp. 205-6)→buy