Grammar Comment - The ba form (from a newbie)

May 29, 2009, 09:17 PM posted in General Discussion

Hi - I'm a newbie and I'm having trouble undertsanding the 'ba' form, such as when you change from:

Subj + Verb + Obj


Subj + "ba" + Obj + Verb (+ particle or whatever)

What is the difference between:

wo che cha le


wo ba cha che le?

Any help would be appreciated!  Thanks

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May 29, 2009, 10:04 PM

Here are a couple of links which I've found pretty helpful.

That being said, I'm still a little confused about it myself. Frankly, I have yet to encounter a sentence that couldn't be expressed without 把 (ba), and nobody has given me a compelling reason to use it. Also, there is a lesson here at ChinesePod about it. Hope this helps.

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May 29, 2009, 10:59 PM


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May 30, 2009, 01:36 AM

Hey guys - my rough memory is that its required to use this construction in some circumstances.  One example is when you have a directional compliment at the end, like chu1lai2.  So, say you wanted to say take the receipt out (like, out of your pocket).  You'd say:

ni3 ba3 fa1piao4 na2 chu1lai2.

You couldn't say:

XXX ni3 na2 fa1piao4 chu1lai2 XXX

Or , say you wanted to say, place that on top.  You'd say

Ni3 ba3 zhe4ge4 fang4 zai4 shang4 mian4

You couldn't say

XXX Ni3 fang4 zhe4ge4 zai4 shang4mian4.XXX

I think there are similar rules for other situations, though I can't remember any specifically at the moment.  I usually just think of it as, if I'm throwing some complex stuff at the end of the sentence explaining what I'm doing with the object, I better use ba3.