Archive for the ‘Reduplicated adjectives (AA)’ Category

In Chinese there are several different forms of adjectives.

The forms can be divided into four types: AA, ABB, ABAB and AABB.  AA form is 高高的 [gao1 gao1 de] (tall); ABB form is 亮晶晶 [liang4 jing1 jing1] (shining); ABAB form is 雪白雪白 [xue3 bai2 xue3 bai2] (snow-white); an AABB form is 高高兴兴 [gao1 gao1 xing4 xing4] (happy).

This article will only highlight the AA form adjectives. When we use AA form adjectives, the degree of the adjective will be relatively increased or the description which is presented by this adjective will be more impressive.

As a result, we don’t need any other degree adverbs to modify the adjective again. For example: 高[gao1] (tall) can be modified by the adverb 非常 [fei1 chang2] (very), to make 非常高 which means very tall. However, the AA form 高高的 cannot be modified with 非常, 非常高高的 is wrong.

When AA form is an adjective which represents the situation of objects, the AA form will express a feeling of loving approval. For example: 她大大的眼睛很漂亮. (Her big eyes are very pretty).

The most important thing is not all single adjectives can be extended into AA form.

One example is 对的, which cannot be extended into 对对的 because there an absolute benchmark for what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’.

Michael and Jing