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Advanced uses of "ba"

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Also known as: 把字句 ("bǎ"zìjù), 把 construction, preposition 把, disposal construction and pre-transitive 把.

Once you've gotten the hang of the basic 把 (bǎ) sentence pattern, you can start to use it in some more complex and abstract ways.

Using 把 with 给

This is used in oral Chinese to add emphasis to the verb. The 给 is actually fully optional, but it's good to be familiar with this pattern because it's so commonly used in spoken Chinese.

You'll notice a structural similarity to this 给 used with 把, and the 给 used with 被.

Structure

Subj. + 把 + Obj. + 给 + Verb Phrase

Examples

  • 这 事儿 忘 了 。I forgot about this thing.
  • 周末 我 脏 衣服 洗 了 。On weekends, I wash the dirty clothes.
  • 你 能 这些 都 记住 吗?Will you be able to remember all of this?
  • 我的 手机 摔坏 了 。He dropped my phone and broke it.
  • 妈妈 没 用的 东西 都 扔了 。Mom threw away all of the useless things.


Using 当作 or 看作

When you want to say that something is treated as something else, use this pattern.

Structure

+ Obj.+ 当成 / 看成 / 当作 / 看作 +⋯⋯

So what's the difference between using 当成 / 看成 / 当作 / 看作? Good question. The differences are not huge, but there are a few:

  1. The 成 versions are a bit less formal than the 作 versions.
  2. 看成 / 看作 is often followed by a person or specific thing, whereas 当成 / 当作 is more likely to be followed by something more abstract (like 爱).
  3. The 成 / 作 part of 当成 / 当作 can be dropped in spoken Chinese, whereas the 成 / 作 part of 看成 / 看作 can never be dropped.

Examples

  • 我 一直 看作 我 哥哥。I always see him as my older brother.
  • 我家 当作 了 他 自己 家 。He treated my house like his own.
  • 很 多 留学生 都 自己 的 中文 老师 当作 朋友。Many study abroad students treat their Chinese teachers as their friends.
  • 孩子 可以 家里 的 很多 小 东西 当作 玩具。Kids treat small things in the house as toys.
  • 有的 中国 女生 会 喜欢 当成 爱 。 Some Chinese girls would think about being liked as being in love.
  • 很 多 子女 父母 的 理想 当作了 自己 的 理想。Many kids make their parents' ideals their own ideals.

Take something seriously with 当回事

当回事 is mostly used in colloquial Chinese. It means to take something seriously or to hold something in high regard. It is usually used with the negative 不.

Structure

(别 / 不)把 + Obj.1 + 当回事

  • 他 从来 不 老板 的 话 当回事He never took what his boss said seriously.
  • 你 这个 人 总是 太 自己 当回事 了。You take yourself too seriously.
  • 有的 父母 从 不 孩子 的 一些 小 问题 当回事! Some parents never take their kids' problems seriously.
  • 我们 班 有 几 个 学生 从来 不 老师 的 作业 当回事 Our class has a few students who never take the teacher's homework seriously.

Using 把 with a verb + 成

In this case, 成 can be translated as "into."

Structure

把 + Obj. 1 + Verb + 成 + Obj. 2

Concrete Verb Examples

In the first example, we are using concrete verbs such as 切, 做, 分, etc. Obj. 2 would also be concrete.

  • 请 你 这个 蛋糕 切成六块。Please cut the cake into six parts.
  • 我 知道 怎么 图片 做成视频。I know how to make this picture into a video.
  • 老师 全班 同学 分成了 三个 小组。The teacher broke the whole class' students up into three small groups.

Abstract Verb Examples

In the example below, we are dealing with more abstract verbs. These verbs include 换, 变, 改, 看, 当, 转, etc.

  • 我 每个 月 都 要 这些 美元 换成人民币。Every month, I have to convert some USD into RMB.
  • 自己 的 家 换成了 他的 工作室。She converted her house into her workspace.
  • 你 能 这个 文件 的 格式转成PDF吗?Can you convert this file into a PDF.
  • 韩国 政府 “汉城” 改成了 “首尔”。The South Korean government changed the capital name from Hanseong to Seoul.
  • 请 你 这些 句子翻译成中文。Please translate these sentences into Chinese.

Mistaken Perception Examples

The example below is when somebody mistakes something for something else. This can be either mishearing, misspelling, seeing something as something else, etc. These verbs include 看, 听, 写, 记, etc.

把 + Obj. 1 + Perception Verbs

  • “太“ 看成了“大”。He saw 太 as 大.
  • 你 刚才 “政府” 读成了 “丈夫” 。Just now you read 政府 as 丈夫.
  • 我 常常 “自己” 的 “己” 写成“已经” 的 “已”。Just now you read 政府 as 丈夫.
  • 你 是不是 “派对” 听成了 “排队”?Just now you read 派对 as 排队.
  • 对不起,我 早上的面试 记成了下午。Sorry, I wrote the morning interview down for this afternoon.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books

Websites