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zhí jiē
adj. direct
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In English, if a word is used as an adverbial adjunct in a sentence, that word is most likely to be an adverb. However, for the Chinese language, an adjective can also assume the position of the adverbial adjunct in a sentence. The correspondence between parts of speech (n., v., adj., adv.,...) and sentence elements (subject, object, adverbial adjunct...) does not exist in the Chinese language.In many authoritative Chinese dictionary, "直接" is marked as an adjective only.

"直接" is an adverbial adjunct in some example sentences. But it doesn't change its attribute of being an adjective. How do we know it's an adjective? -- because an adjective can be used to modify a noun directly (and an adverb cannot). For example:

直接领导 [phr] direct leader

In the example, "直接" is the attributive modifier to the noun -- "领导".

Why don't we consider "直接" as both an adjective AND an adverb? We cannot do so, because of the definition of "adverb", which is widely accepted by the Chinese linguistic academic circles -- One of the grammatical features of adverbs is: they cannot be used as a modifier of a noun.

Of course, the linguistic study of the Chinese language has a relatively short history compared to other languages, e.g. English, in the world. You might encounter other resources (dictionaries, textbooks, etc.) where "直接" is marked as adverb. That's because there are still many disputes considering how to determine parts of speech among Chinese scholars. Discrepancy is perfectly normal.
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