Using "zhe" when "verbing away"

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A repeated verb followed by the particle 着 (zhe) is used to show that an action has be repeated for a period of time, and as a result a new situation has arisen which the speaker wishes to comment on.


Verb + 着 + Verb + 着 + 就 + Comment + 了


  • 说着 说着 我 就 发现 自己 也 糊涂 了。Shuōzhe shuōzhe wǒ jiù fāxiàn zìjǐ yě hútú le.I was talking and talking, and then I confused myself.
  • 我 今天 一直 都 在 看 语法 的 书, 看着 看着,就 睡着 了。Wǒ jīntiān yīzhí dōu zài kàn yǔfǎ de shū, kànzhe kànzhe, jiù shuìzhe le.Today, I was constantly studying the grammar books. As I was studying, I fell asleep.
  • 我 在 北京 的 胡同 里 走 着 走 着 就 走丢 了。Wǒ zài Běijīng de hútòng lǐ zǒuzhe zǒuzhe jiù zǒu diū le.As I was walking in one of Beijing's back roads, I got lost.

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Sources and further reading