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jiàn miàn
v. meet
Discussion of 见面/見面
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见面 represents a category of special verbs. 见面 can be used together as one word (Example 1), or they can be separated in a sentence (Example 2,3). We call this type of verbs “separable verbs”. There are many other verbs of the same type. The most frequently used ones may include: 帮忙、跳舞、睡觉、结婚、听话、打架、发火、生气、住院、留学, etc.
Example 1. 人们第一次见面时通常握手。 [phr] People usually shake hands when they first meet.
Example 2. 你们一共见过几面?[phr] How many times have you met each other in total?
Example 3. 我和他再也见不了面了。[phr] I'll never be able see him again.
* Attention: Some aspects of separable verbs that are different from other typical verbs:
A) Separable verbs cannot be followed by an object. How do we add an object to such a verb then? We insert it in-between, or we use a preposition to introduce it into the sentence (Example 3, 和 someone 见面)
B) Separable verbs cannot be followed by particles such as 着、了、过. We have to insert them in-between (Example 2,见过面)
C) Separable verbs cannot be followed by a complement. Likewise, we have to insert the complement in-between (Example 3, 见不了)
D) Separable verbs have different reduplicated forms. For example:
Separable verbs of two syllables: AB —> AAB, e.g. 见面—> 见见面
Typical verbs of two syllables: AB —> ABAB, e.g.帮助 —> 帮助帮助
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