Circumstances of event

Chinese grammart online: Circumstances of the event

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Circumstances of the event are additional information that replenish our knowledge on WHEN, WHERE, HOW – simply under what circumstances – the particular event (which we were informed about before) happened.  

See an example – First we learn that something happened:

我买一本书。

<Wǒ mǎi le yī běn shū.>

I to buy le one ben book.

I HAVE BOUGHT A BOOK. – more in finished action

or

我去中国。

<Wǒ qù guo Zhōngguó.>

I to go guo (to) China.

I HAVE BEEN TO CHINA.  – more in experience in the past 

 

Sentences that inform us about past event for the first time are usually constructed using le and guo.

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But after WE KNOW THAT THE EVENT HAS HAPPENED and we want to know more about it, we ask (and answer) using shi… de.

A1:我买了一本书。

<Wǒ mǎile yī běn shū.>

I to buy le one ben book.

I HAVE BOUGHT ONE BOOK. (the information is being brought to our knowledge)

 

B1:在哪里买

<Shì zài nǎli mǎi de?>

To be in where to buy de?

WHERE WAS IT BOUGHT?

 

A2:在书店买

<Shì zài shūdiàn mǎi de.>

To be in a bookstore to buy de.

IT WAS BOUGHT IN A BOOKSTORE.

 

Another examples:

A1: 你们在哪里认识

<Nǐmen shì zài nǎli rènshi de?>

You to be where to get to know de?

WHERE DID YOU GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER?

 

B1: 我们在北京认识

<Wǒmen shì zài Běijīng rènshi de.>  

We to be in Beijing to get to know de.

WE GOT TO KNOW EACH OTHER IN BEIJING.

Play CG-CircumstancesOfEvent

Of course that even during the first mentioning of the event we can include additional informations…

我昨天在书店买一本书。

<Wǒ zuótiān zài shūdiàn mǎi le yī běn shū.>

I yesterday in a bookstore to buy le one ben book.

YESTERDAY I BOUGHT A BOOK IN A BOOKSTORE.

We just need to distinguish whether we inform about the event for the first time (le, guo), or if we add some details to the information that we have already heart of before (shi… de).

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Except for circumstances of the past event we can use this construction when talking about long-lasting characteristic:

做什么

<Tā shì zuò shénme de?>

He to be to do what de?  

WHAT DOES HE DO FOR A LIVING.

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This theme is also linked to finished action and experience in the past.

This construction is used in the dialogue This Time.

EXCERCISES: OKOLNOSTIen