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2012-06-25 10:04 ChineseTime

Use of 把

1. When can I use 把 sentences?
 
把 can be used when you want to deal with or to dispose of a particular object.
A verb in the 把 construction changes the form, situation or direction of the object. Verbs in 把 constructions are in complex forms. They are usually verbs of method of action plus other elements.
 
把 can be used when you want to specify that the result of an action affects a particular object, but not the action itself. This is because some resultative complements have ambiguous references and can refer either to the main verb of the sentence or to the object. For instance:
tā       hē        wán      jiŭ       le
他       喝          完        酒      了。
HE  DRINK FINISH WINE  LE
 
The resultative complement 完 (to complete) can refer either to the object 酒 or
to the verb 喝, so the meaning of that sentence can be either "He has drunk up all the wine," (and there is no wine left) or "He has finished drinking (the wine)," (but there is still plenty of wine left). If you use the 把 construction, the meaning is clearer:
tā            bă      jiŭ         hē         wán       le
他            把       酒         喝           完        了
HE          BA     WINE   DRINK FINISH  LE
He has drunk up all the wine.

The above example shows that the element 完 (attached to the main verb 喝) refers to the direct object of the sentence, but not to the main verb.
When a sentence has both a direct and an indirect object connected by a verb plus a complement, the 把 construction is used. Let’s compare the following patterns:

 As you can see, the resultative complements 成 (to become) INTO; 到 (to arrive)
TO [a place]; 给 (to give) TO [a person], 在 (to be) AT, IN, ON, UNDER and the
combined directional complements 回去 /来 (back) BACK TO can all be used in the above 把 sentences.
 
2. How can I form a sentence with 把?

As you can see from the above examples, the objects which you want to dispose of are placed after 把, and are followed by the clauses which indicate how you want to dispose of them.

3. What are the commonly used attached verb elements in the 把 construction?
 
The elements which can be attached to the main verbs in 把sentences are: (Place the mouse on the following words to view the examples and click on the words to read the explanations.)
 
1) Resultative complements
2) Directional complements
3) 得 (complement of degree) constructions
4) 一下 (or 一 verb)
5) Time/action measures
6) The particle 着


4. Apart from a subject of a sentence, what other elements can be placed before 把?
The following should be placed before 把:
 
Modal verbs or auxiliary verbs such as 想, 要, 能, 会, 可以 and 应该
Adverbs such as 常常, 总是, 都, 也and 已经
Negatives. The negative form for 把 sentences is 没有 or 别. 不 can only be used in  hypothetical conditional sentences. For example
yàoshi nĭ bù bă jīntiān de hàn  zi          xué  hăo wŏ  jiù bu gĕi nī   chī   fàn                  
要   是  你   不把 今天  的 汉    字                学    好,  我   就 不  给  你  吃   饭。
IF        YOU  NOTBA TODAY DE CHINESE WORDS STUDY WELL  I   JIU NOT  GIVE YOU EAT MEAL
If you don't learn today's Chinese characters, I won't give you a meal.

5. Where should the negation 不 be placed if the 得 (complement of degree) construction is used a 把 sentence?
 
The negative 不 is normally placed before adverbs in 得 (complement of degree) sentences. For example:
zuótiān            tā  fángjiān         zhĕnglĭ de  bù      hăo
昨天                他   房间               整理      得   不        好。
YESTERDAY HE ROOM           TIDY      DE NOT GOOD
He didn't tidy the room well yesterday.
 
If 把 is involved in 得 (complement of degree) sentences, 没 should be placed before 把, instead of putting the negative 不 before the adverb 好:
zuótiān           tā    méi    bă fángjiān       zhĕnglĭ dehĕn         hăo
昨天                他    没       把  房间               整理     得   很          好。
YESTERDAY HE  NOT  BA   ROOM          TIDY   DE   VERY GOOD
 
This sentence places more emphasis than previous one on the object 房间.

The following words can be placed either before 把 or before main verbs.
 
Adverbs which are used to describe actions such as 认真地...
Co-verbs (or prepositions) such as 为, 从, 跟...一起...
  
There are two patterns for the 把 construction, as demonstrated in the following sections.(on the next page)

6. Sometimes a 把 sentence contains only a simple main verb and the particle 了. Does that mean that any simple verb + 了 can be used in 把 sentences?
 
No, it doesn't always work in this way. 了has two functions here:
 
Its meaning is similar to the resultative complements 完 (to complete) 好 (to be satisfactory) 走 (to be away) and 掉 (to get rid of)
It still plays the role of the particle for completed action. You will often see this usage in colloquial language,
tā      bă     jiŭ       hē      le
他    把      酒         喝      了。
HE  BA   WINE DRINK LE
He has finished up the wine.
 
The full form of the above sentence will be  
他把酒喝完了 or 他把酒喝掉了。
 
 
7. Is it right that the 把 construction can only be used for real objects, and not for abstract objects?
 
No, it can be used for both real as well as abstract objects,
 
Physical object:          
tā      bă      nà      bĕn     shū   kàn       wán   le
她      把      那       本         书     看            完     了。
SHE  BA THAT  BEN   BOOK READ FINISH LE
She has finished reading that book.
Abstract object:          
nĭ       bă   zhè   jiàn    shì          bàn    yí xià
你      把   这       件      事             办     一 下。
YOU BA THIS JIAN MATTER  DEAL YIXIA
Could you deal with that matter?

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