Taiwanese Mandarin differs slightly from Mainland Mandarin. (Don't be surprised if a Beijinger tells you these patterns are 100% wrong.) A characteristic of Taiwanese Mandarin is the extensive usage of 有 as in the examples that follow.
NOTE: we're talking about regional usage of Mandarin Chinese here, not other Taiwanese dialects/topolects. It's good for upper intermediate learners to know about these patterns simply because at this level you don't want to be confused by the basic grammar of a Taiwanese speaker's Mandarin.
Some verbs, especially when followed by certain complements, indicate completeness. When 有 is used with these verbs, it's a clear reference to the past.
Subj. + 有 + [Verb Phrase]
- 我们 有 听懂 你 的 话 。We understood what you said.
- 我们 都 有 听到 宝宝 哭 。We all heard the baby cry.
- 我 有 看到 他们 吵架 。I saw them fighting.
When 有 is put in front of action verbs in Taiwanese Mandarin, it can indicate that the verb is still continuing.
- 他 有 学 ，而且 很 喜欢 。He's studying it and he likes it very much.
- 我 有 吃 ，但是 不太 饿 。I am eating, but I'm not too hungry.
Adjectives after 有
Adjectives can also follow 有. This pattern is used for statement about the past, and a 到 must follow the adjectives.
Subj. + 有 + Adj. + 到
- 昨天 搬家 ，真的 有 累 到 。I was moving yesterday and I was so tired.
- 他 突然 要 分手 ，我 真的 有 伤 到 。He asked to break up out of nowhere. I was so hurt.
- 你们 突然 大叫 着 跑 出来 ，我 真的 有 吓 到 ！You guys suddenly came running out screaming loudly. I was so scared!
Adj. not in the past tense using 有
Some adjectives can follow 有 when not referring to past events.
Subj. + 有 + Adj.
- 大家 都 有 激动 。Everyone is excited.
- 我 有 紧张 吗 ？Do I look like I'm nervous?
- 你 说话 有 不 礼貌 。The way you speak is impolite.
Used with Verb + 过
Subj. + 有 + Verb + 过 + Obj.
- 我 有 去 过 中国 。I have been to China.
- 我 有 学 过 这 个 词 。I have studied this word.
- 你 有 见 过 那 个 人 吗？Have you seen that person before?
- 你 有 自己 做 过 饭 吗 ？Have you ever cooked for yourself?
在 after 有
In Standard Mandarin, using 在 before a verb is similar to adding -ing after a verb in English. When used with 有 in front of it, it is usually referring to habitual action, or an action that can be stopped. This is not referring to the past, but rather a continuing action.
Subj. + 有 + 在 + Verb
- 你 有 在 做 兼职 吗？Are you doing a part time job?
- 我 有 在 考虑 跟 她 分手 。I am considering breaking up with her.
- 我 妈妈 有 在 吃素 。My mom eats vegetarian.
Sources and further reading
- A Practical Chinese Grammar For Foreigners (外国人实用汉语语法) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Chinese: An Essential Grammar, Second Edition (pp. 59-60) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Chinese Grammar Without Tears (简明汉语语法学习手册) (pp. 73-4) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 2 (3rd ed) (pp. 83- 4) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 2, Part 1 (pp. 345-7) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 2, Part 2 (pp. 49-51) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar: A Practical Guide (pp. 76-7, 230-2) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- New Practical Chinese Reader 2 (新实用汉语课本2) (pp. 175-6) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） (pp. 188) [ →buy]