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Help with topic prominent structure

Hi ChinesePod team, my question is this:

So I read that Mandarin is topic-prominent whereas English is topic-comment. I really have no idea what that means, can someone help explain that?

Hi Alanna,

Topic-prominent languages are languages that have their syntax revolving around the topic, whereas subject-prominent languages focus on the subject. Topic-comment is considered more as a structure that languages follow to emphasize the topic of a sentence. Chinese is a typical example of a topic-prominent language.

For example:

  • subject-prominent
    I’ve already been to this store.

  • topic-prominent
    This store, I’ve already been.
    (This store is the topic we are emphasizing)


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