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Qing Wen 请问: request for 所 (as a "structural particle")

Suggested Difficulty (Elementary etc): probably intermediate?
Video or Audio: Either …! Audio seems sufficiently useful if that’s a lot easier to make :slight_smile:
Lesson Idea:
Hi @Constance_Fang and ChinesePod Team!

I think it would be great to learn about how to use and when to use 所 as a structural particle (I believe it’s often followed by 【verb】的 in those cases). – assuming this is even common in modern-day Chinese?

When trying to understand this on my own, I’ve heard terms like “nominalization” and “passive voice,” but I’m not quite sure if that’s all there is to it! Does it actually sound the same as passive voice in English (awkwardly de-emphasizing the agent of the verb)? Is it often just an extraneous particle where only 的 on its own will suffice?
(Two very uninteresting and possibly incorrect example sentences:)

And of course, it looks like this particle has made its way into quite a few common phrases, like 所以, 所在, 所有,所谓 (and it’s interesting if not helpful to my brain, at least, to try to think of those phrases and break them down literally).

What are your thoughts on this topic? :slight_smile:


Btw, the sentence that led to this was:
我们今天所认识的工业在那个时代不存在 (“Industry as we know it today didn’t exist in that era”)
which sounds like a lot more interesting of a sentence in English (if that’s a good translation) than the descriptions I’ve read of 所 would suggest!

Hi Neema,

I see your forum post and I am thinking on this. I want you to know that I am going to get back with you about this! :slight_smile:

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Another sentence I came across that uses 所 in an interesting way:


(尽我所能 seems to literally translate as “exhausting that which can be done by me” and probably means “to the best of my ability”? Btw, is the example a natural Mandarin sentence?)

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