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Alternative existential sentences

It's not just 在 (zài) and 有 (yǒu) that can be used to form existential sentences, expressing something's existence in a certain place or location. The word order may be a little different from what you are used to, but these are still fairly ways to make everyday statements such as, "there is a book lying on the desk."

Pattern with 着

跟"着"搭配的动词通常都是状态动词,不能是动作性很强的动词。

Structure

Place + Verb + 着 + [Noun Phrase]

Examples

  • 桌子 上 放 一 本 书 。Zhuōzi shàng fàng zhe yī běn shū .There is a book on the desk.
  • 大厅 里 站 一些 警察 。Dàtīng lǐ zhàn zhe yīxiē jǐngchá.There are several policemen standing in the hall.
  • 教室 里 坐 两 百 多 个 学生 。Jiàoshì lǐ zuò zhe liǎng bǎi duō gè xuéshēng.There are more than two hundred students sitting in the classroom.
  • 地下室 里 堆 很 多 旧 东西 。Dìxiàshì lǐ duī zhe hěn duō jiù dōngxi.The basement is piled with lots of old stuff.
  • 楼下 停 几 辆 车 。Lóuxià tíng zhe jǐ liàng chē.A few cars are parked downstairs.

Pattern with 是

是字句对事物的判断具有排他性,主语是表示方位或处所意义的词语。"是"后面的宾语是这个处所范围内唯一的事物。

Structure

Place + 是 + [Noun Phrase]

Examples

  • 洗衣机 里 一些 脏 衣服 。There is nothing in the washing machine other than the dirty clothes.Xǐyījī lǐ shì yīxiē zāng yīfu.There are dirty clothes inside the washing machine.
  • 袋子 里 我 的 午饭 。The only thing in the bag is my lunch.Dàizi lǐ shì wǒ de wǔfàn.My lunch is in the bag.
  • 墙 上 都 他 家人 的 照片 。There is nothing on the wall other than his family's photos.Qiáng shàng dōu shì tā jiārén de zhàopiàn.His family's photos are hanging on the wall.
  • 盒子 里 你 的 礼物 。Other than your gift, there is nothing else in the box.Hézi lǐ shì nǐ de lǐwù.The gifts that I bought for my friends are inside my suitcase.
  • 桌子 上 昨天 没 吃完 的 菜 。The food that was left over from yesterday are the only things on the desk.Zhuōzi shàng shì zuótiān méi chī wán de cài.The food that was left over from yesterday are on the desk.

Note that 是 is used to describe a singular, or one object existing somewhere while 有 can refer to multiple objects/ people.

See also

Sources and Further Reading

Books