Archive for the ‘Verbs’ Category

When using verbs in Chinese, 去 is occasionally required to supplement the chosen verb and hence “complete the phrase”. 

The trouble for foreigners studying Chinese is reconciling the use of an additional verb with the intended action.  For instance,

我会去看电影 (I’ll go to watch a movie) 

 我会看电影 (I’ll watch a movie) 

In the latter example, 去 is omitted.  Also omitted is the inference that the speaker must travel to complete the desired action.  The implication is that the object of the sentence (in this case the movie) is in close proximity to the speaker, such that no intermediary travel is required.

To further illustrate,

我会爬长城 (Implies that the Great Wall is sufficiently close to the speaker to begin climbing)

我会去爬长城 (Suggests some travel is required before climbing can begin)

Ultimately, the inclusion of 去 so as to make a two component verb phrase makes the speaker’s intention and whereabouts clearer.

Carefully note however, that most directional movement verbs (来/到/etc) don’t require 去 as an adverbial to complete the phrase.  Thus, some self-experimentation is required to fully discover the use of 去 as an intermediary verb. 

Good luck!

Michael and Jing