Chinese Grammar: Using 住 after a verb
You guys probably already knew that the word 住 means “to live” in Chinese. It’s useful because it’s the fundamental way to ask "where do you live?" : "你 住 在 哪？" However, do you know that if you use 住 after the verb, it has an entirely different meaning? Wondering how to use this pattern? Let us show you!
This is a handy pattern in spoken Chinese. In fact, you'll frequently hear the Chinese using it to express a specific situation or to stay/keep a particular state. You can use 住 after a verb also to describe a lever or a state of something/somebody. Generally, it has two usages if we depend on the sense it conveys.
To indicate a sense of firmness. In this case, you can consider it as “firmly/tightly” in English as a complement to express the result.
To demonstrate the ability to complete a certain action it describes. You can translate it “be able to” in English as a potential complement.
Verb + 住
Examples Indicating the firmness:
Examples Indicating the ability:
You can use 不 to negate this pattern, indicating that you have no abilities to do something.
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