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Say It Right Series

地 vs 得

Posted by xiaoxiaotom February 18, 2010 in the Group General Discussion.

Tags: , , adverb

I still try to figure out the different uses of de (地) and de (得). Of course I know that 地 precedes a verb and 得 follows a verb. However the difference in meaning is not absolutely clear to me. Some people have told me that the meaning is the same (他很好地说 and 他说得很好), but the second is more frequently used. My teacher told me some nuances:

1. 地 can only be used with a two syllable adverb

2. 地 stresses the meaning of future / plans

However, lately I had to say something that maybe explains some more differences. I think these two sentences differ a lot in meaning. But I am not sure.The two sentences are:

我意外地要去出差。That in my opinion would be the correct way to say: Unexpectedly I have to go on a business trip.

However if you use the other construction:

我要出差出得意外, the meaning would rather be: I will go on a business trip that is unpredictable.

So the stress would be completely different. One would be the circumstances of the going on the trip and the other would be the description of the trip itself. Now my questions to more proficient users are:

1. Are my translations / observations correct?

2. Can the differences be generalised?

Thanks for any comments!!

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