Classical Chinese
Grammar Abbreviations

We here collect, for general reference purposes, the grammar function abbreviations which were used in the annotations to texts included in the Ancient China in Context series. See the separate Grammar Topics page for such general topics as sentence position and verb aspect.

Most of these abbreviations are mnemonic (S for subject, P pronoun, V verb, O object). A few, of necessity, are arbitrary (Q for qualifier, but G for a qualifier placed after the word it qualifies).



Grammar exists. Words behave in certain ways and not in other ways, and those patterns of behavior can be described. The above abbreviations are a device for recording those patterns of behavior. They are meant to be small enough to write into a Chinese text you are studying.

Remember that the words in a sentence are not sending you signals that will allow you to decode the sentence, especially if you were born two thousand years too late, and don't know either the language or the culture in which the language subsists. No. The sentence never heard of you, and it has other things in mind anyway. Learn Chinese grammar by memorizing (and thus internalizing) the texts, whatever ones are available to you. Understand Chinese grammar by coming back to this page now and then.

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26 Feb 2002 / Contact The Project / Exit to Resources Page