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3.5.2: Expressing possession with "de"

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    In Chinese, possession is marked with the particle 的 (de), placed after the "owner" noun or noun phrase. This particle works in a similar way to apostrophe-"s" in English, but is used much more broadly in Chinese. This article highlights one of its simplest and most common usages.


    Noun 1 + 的 + Noun 2

    This means "Noun 1's Noun 2" (where Noun 2 belongs to Noun 1).

    The structure is super simple. It will take a bit of time before you realize how truly universal this pattern is. It doesn't matter whether the "Noun 1" is a person, place, or thing, or even if it's a pronoun (like "he," "she," or "it"). The structure stays consistent.


    • 老师wǒ de lǎoshīmy teacher
    • 手机nǐ de shǒujīyour cell phone
    • 我们 钱wǒmen de qiánour money
    • 他们 东西tāmen de dōngxitheir stuff
    • 爸爸 车bàba de chēdad's car
    • 你们 菜nǐmen de càiyour food
    • 北京 空气Běijīng de kōngqìBeijing's air
    • 公司 老板gōngsī de lǎobǎnthe company's boss
    • 上海 天气Shànghǎi de tiānqìShanghai's weather
    • 老师 朋友lǎoshī de péngyouteacher's friend

    This page titled 3.5.2: Expressing possession with "de" is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by .

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