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Complement with "dao"

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One kind of complement in Chinese involves putting 到 after the verb. 到 (dào) is used to indicate that the action has obtained a goal or a certain state.

Structure

Verb (+ 一直) + 到 + Time / Event

You will sometimes see 一直 (yīzhí) proceeding 到, which serves the purpose of the emphasis on the "ongoing duration."

Note that the verbs are mostly single-syllable verb.

Examples

  • 你们 要 玩 几 点 ?Nǐmen yào wán dào jǐ diǎn?When will you be done playing?
  • 我们 在 酒吧 一直 半夜 。Wǒmen zài jiǔbā yīzhí liáo dào bànyè.We were chatting in the bar until midnight.
  • 你 弟弟 要 在 我们 家 住 什么 时候 ?Nǐ dìdi yào zài wǒmen jiā zhù dào shénme shíhou?How much longer is your younger brother going to stay in our house?
  • 昨天 的 会 一直 晚上 九点 。Zuótiān de huì yīzhí kāi dào wǎnshang jiǔ diǎn.Yesterday's meeting lasted until 9 pm.
  • 我 邻居 今天 吵架 了 ,一直 警察 过来 。Wǒ línjū jīntiān chǎojià le, yīzhí chǎo dào jǐngchá guòlái.My neighbors had a fight today, which lasted until the police came.
  • 我们 晚上 去 吃火锅 了 ,一直 火锅店 关门 。Wǒmen wǎnshang qù chī huǒguō le, yīzhí chī dào huǒguō diàn guānmén.We went to eat hotpot tonight and we didn't finish until the place was closed.
  • 他 昨天 一天 都 在 打游戏 ,一直 他 妈妈 回家 。Tā zuótiān yī tiān dōu zài dǎ yóuxì, yīzhídào tā māma huí jiā.He was playing computer games all day yesterday. He didn't stop until his mother came home.

If the is a verb phrase proceeding 到, use this structure:

[Verb Phrase] (+ 一直) + Verb + 到 + Time / Event

Some examples:

  • 你 知不知道 我们 等 你 半夜 ?Nǐ zhī bu zhīdào wǒmen děng nǐ děng dào bànyè?Do you know we waited for you until midnight?
  • 我 女儿 昨天 晚上 写作业 十二 点 半 。Wǒ nǚ'ér zuótiān wǎnshang xiě xiě zuòyè dào shí'èr diǎn bàn.My daughter didn't finish her homework until 12:30 last night.
  • 她 给 男朋友 打电话 手机 没 电 。Tā gěi nánpéngyou dǎ diànhuàdào shǒujī méi diàn.She called her boyfriend and they kept talking until her phone was out of battery.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books