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Verbs that take double objects

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There are some common verbs in Chinese that can take two objects. In this article, we will look at how they are used.

Structure

As in English, some verbs in Chinese take two objects. A typical example for English is "to bake someone a cake," and there are countless more. The structure in Chinese is:

Subj. + Verb + [Indirect Obj.] + [Direct Obj.]

If you don't know what direct and indirect objects are, don't worry; the terms can be thought of as "object 1" and "object 2." The main point is that there are two of them, and the first one is the recipient (e.g. the person the cake is given to), while the second one is the thing that the action happens to (e.g. the cake that gets baked).

Examples

  • 老师,我 可以 一 个 问题 吗?Lǎoshī, wǒ kěyǐ wèn yī gè wèntí ma?Teacher, may I ask you a question?
  • 大家 都 “怪叔叔”Dàjiā dōu jiào "guài shūshu."Everyone calls him "Uncle Weirdo."
  • 我 想 告诉 一 个 好 消息Wǒ xiǎng gàosu yī gè hǎo xiāoxi.I want to tell you the good news.
  • 他们 多少 钱Tāmen gěi le duōshao qián?How much money did they give you?
  • 女朋友 很 多 sòng le nǚpéngyou hěn duō huā.He gave his girlfriend lots of flowers.
  • 我 想 送给 一 本 Wǒ xiǎng sòng gěi yī běn shū.I want to give you a book.
  • 爸爸 要 送给 一 个 很 贵 的 生日 礼物Bàba yào sòng gěi yī gè hěn guì de shēngrì lǐwù.My dad is going to give me a very expensive birthday gift.
  • 你 可以 两 千 块 钱 吗?Nǐ kěyǐ jiè liǎng qiān kuài qián ma?Can you lend me 2000 kuai?
  • 老板 刚 发给 上个月 的 工资Lǎobǎn gāng fā gěi shàng gè yuè de gōngzī.The boss just gave me my pay for last month.
  • 这 个 人 很 多 Zhège rén piàn le hěn duō qián.This person cheated me out of a lot of money.

Sources and further reading

Websites

Books