Say It Right Series

得 and 的, why are these two still a problem for me?

Posted by xiaophil February 11, 2010 in the Group I Have a Question.

Tags: 得 and 的,得,的

You would think that the distinction of these two particles would have been clear in my head a long time ago, but alas, no.

What specifically troubles me is the distinction between verb+得 and verb+的.

I understand the function of 得 a sentence like 他说得很快.  It seems to me, although perhaps I'm false in looking at it this way, that putting 得 in front of a verb is like creating a gerund in English, i.e. adding 'ing' to a verb to create a noun. Thus, the example I just gave could be translated awkwardly as "His speaking is very quick."

But sometimes I run into a verb+的 sentence that I can't see why 的 was chosen and not 得.  Take the following example from nciku:

说的是很土的北京话。(He speaks with a broad Beijing accent.)

I can't for the life of me see the difference.   Can anyone spell it out for me?

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