Result complements

Result complements come immediately after verbs to indicate that an action has led to a certain result and make that result clear to the listener. Often the complement is simply an adjective like 好 (hǎo) or a single syllable like 完 (wán).

Using Adjectives

好 (hǎo) implies that something is done to completion or done well. Forming a result complement with 好 has a very similar meaning to forming one with 完. It expresses that the action has been completed successfully.

错 (cuò) is used to express that an action has been performed incorrectly in some way, resulting in a mistake (错). This pattern covers what is often expressed with the adverb "incorrectly" in English.

Other adjectives commonly used as result complements include: 晚 (wǎn), 饱 (bǎo), 坏 (huài), 清楚 (qīngchu), 干净 (gānjìng), 破 (pò).


For the basic structure, you'll almost always see a 了 after the complement:

Subj. + Verb + Adj. + 了 (+ Obj.)

To negate a result complement, use 没 instead of 不:

Subj. + 没 + Verb + Adj. (+ Obj.)


  • 你 吃 吗 ?Nǐ chī hǎo le ma?Are you done eating?
  • 对不起 ,我 记 时间 。Duìbuqǐ, wǒ jì cuò le shíjiān.Sorry, I misremembered the time.
  • 你 来 ,我们 已经 关门 Nǐ lái wǎn le, wǒmen yǐjīng guānmén le.You came too late. We're already closed.
  • 他 玩 哥哥 的 玩具 。Tā wán huài le gēge de wánjù.He broke his older brother's toy.
  • méi chī bǎo.I didn't get full.
  • 他 还 Tā hái méi xiǎng hǎo.He hasn't thought it through yet.
  • 我们 清楚 ,请 再 说 一遍 。Wǒmen méi tīng qīngchu, qǐng zài shuō yī biàn.We didn't hear it clearly. Please say it again.

When using result complements, it's very common to make the object a topic. This means the object is moved to the beginning of the sentence and the subject is often omitted.

Some examples:

  • 这 个 字 了。Zhège zì xiě cuò le.You wrote this character wrong.
  • 杯子 了 。Bēizi shuāi huài le.The cup is broken.
  • 房间 打扫 干净 了 吗 ?Fángjiān dǎsǎo gānjìng le ma?Is your room all cleaned up?

Using One-Syllable Verbs

Besides adjectives, there are a few single-syllable verbs which can also be used as result complements. Some examples include 到 (dào), 见 (jiàn), 懂 (dǒng), 会 (huì), 走 (zǒu), 掉 (diào). There really aren't a lot of these, which is part of the reason why these are usually seen as one verb instead of a verb-complement structure.


For the basic structure, you'll often see a 了 after the complement:

Subj. + Verb + [One-syllable Verb] +了 (+ Obj.)


  • 你们 都 听 懂 了 吗 ?Nǐmen dōu tīng dǒng le ma?Do you all understand?
  • 我 看 了 ,但是 没 看 懂Wǒ kàn le, dànshì méi kàn dǒng.I read it, but I didn't really understand it.
  • 踩 到 了 我 的 脚 。cǎi dào le wǒ de jiǎo.You're stepping on my foot.
  • 我 不小心 撞 到 了 墙 。Wǒ bù xiǎoxīn zhuàng dào le qiáng.I hit the wall by accident.
  • 我 女儿 学 会 了 数数 。Wǒ nǚ'ér xué huì le shǔ shù.My daughter has learned how to count.
  • 我 爸爸 还 没 学 会 用 智能 手机 。Wǒ bàba hái méi xué huì yòng zhìnéng shǒujī.My father hasn't learned how to use a smartphone yet.
  • 老师 拿 走 了 我 的 iPad 。Lǎoshī ná zǒu le wǒ de iPad.The teacher took away my iPad.
  • 小偷 偷 走 了 我 的 钱包 。Xiǎotōu tōu zǒu le wǒ de qiánbāo.The thief stole my wallet.
  • 他 不小心 推 倒 了 一 个 老人 。Tā bù xiǎoxīn tuī dǎo le yī gè lǎorén.He pushed over an old person by accident.
  • 撞 倒 了 我 的 自行车 。zhuàng dǎo le wǒ de zìxíngchē.You knocked over my bike.
  • 扔 掉 了 我 的 袜子 ?Shéi rēng diào le wǒ de wàzi?Who threw away my socks?
  • 卖 掉 了 我 的 旧 手机 。mài diào le wǒ de jiù shǒujī.I sold my old cell phone.

Compared with Potential Complements

Result and Potential Complements
Aff. Potential
Neg. Potential
做 完
听 懂
看 清楚 清楚 清楚
洗 干净 干净 干净

Used in 把 Sentences

Although we have avoided 把 sentences in this article for the sake of simplicity, you may have noticed that sentences which feature result complements often also use 把. This is because 把 sentences and result complements work particularly well together, as they both deal with the result of an action or the "disposal" of an object. Apart from result complements involving perception and psychological verbs, most result compounds work nicely in 把 sentences.

  • 杯子 摔 坏 了 。 bēizi shuāi huài le .I broke the glass.
  • 我 的 电脑 修 好 了 。 wǒ de diànnǎo xiū hǎo le .He fixed my computer.
  • 小偷 我 的 钱包 偷 走 了 。Xiǎotōu wǒ de qiánbāo tōu zǒu le .The thief made off with my wallet.
  • 我们 房间 打扫 干净 了 。Wǒmen fángjiān dǎsǎo gānjìng le .We've cleaned the room.

See also

Sources and further reading