Friday, April 8, 2011
Sentence Pattern 3
SENTENCE PATTERN 3.
tāmen shì yí duì ēnàide fūqī。
They are a very affectionate couple.
的de, always pronounced with a neutral tone, is not used as a possessive marker alone. It performs as an adjective marker. 恩爱ēnài afection itself is a noun, but becomes adjectivized by the addition of 的: 恩爱的ēnàide affectionate.
对 is what the Chinese call 量词 measure words, otherwise known as classifiers. There are two types of measure words. One type of measure words are words that occur between a specifier or number and a noun. In the above sentence:
一(numeral) + 对(classifier) + 恩爱的夫妻 (noun phrase).
Here is an example with the same sentence from above slighlty modified to illustrate the use of a classifier between a specifier and a noun:
zhè duì ēnàide fūqī wǒ dōu rènshi。
I have already known this affectionate couple.
这(specifier) + 对(classifier) + 恩爱的夫妻 (noun phrase)