Topicalisation

by 卡梅尔 on September 4, 2011

The following is taken from “Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar” by Claudia Ross and Jing-heng Sheng Ma (2006 Routledge) and I thank them for a making a very good book 😉

Topicalisation

In Mandarin, a noun phrase may be identified as the topic of a sentence when it occurs at the beginning of the sentence. If another noun phrase in the sentence has the same reference as the topic, it is typically omitted. In the following sentences, the first noun phrase is the topic. The omitted phrase is indicated as ( ).

那个饭馆,服务不好。
Nàgè fànguǎn, fúwù bù hǎo.
That restaurant, the service is not good.

( )美国大学,学费很贵。
( )Měiguó dàxué, xuéfèi hěn guì.
(In) American universities, tuition is very expensive.

中国长城,我听说( )冬天最美。
Zhōngguó chángchéng, wǒ tīng shuō ( ) dōngtiān zuìměi.
The Great Wall of China, I hear (it) is prettiest in the winter.

汉字,我怎么写( )也写不好。
Hànzì, wǒ zěnme xiě ( ) yě xiě bù hǎo.
Chinese characters, no matter how I write them I don’t write (them) well.

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