Needed Lists: 1. clutch verbs 2. duplicatable adjectives

I’d love to see a list of the 100 most common clutch verbs and the 100 most common duplicatable adjectives.

I think it would really help to know which of the clutch verbs (verb-object phrases?) can be separated by 了,着,过 and which can never be separated. Also, I’d really like to know which adjectives CAN and which CANNOT be duplicated AA or AABB, e.g. 干干净净, 整整齐齐, etc. And, similarly, which verbs are commonly duplicated, e.g. 休息休息?

May I dare request this as a new learning aid for LTL?

Thank you in advance for replies!

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Such great input.
I never know whether a two-Hanzi verb ist a Verb-objective construction that can be separated or if it’s just a verb that can’t be divided.

I‘ve also wondered about the AABB / ABAB repetition that’s so common in 口语. If I’m not mistaken, as far as I observed, adjectives are repeated as AABB and verbs are repeated as ABAB, right? My favorite that I overheard so far was 奇奇怪怪.

I would find both things that Kelly suggested incredibly helpful as well!

The best thing we currently have are these from our Chinese Grammar Bank @Kelly-Mandarin-HSK_3

Let me know if that’s any use for you :slight_smile:

We are currently preparing another 20 articles for the Grammar Bank - requests always welcomed.


@Max Those are helpful, thanks! Very interesting, I didn’t know that the reduplicated adjectives could be used as verbs as ABAB.

I’d still really like a list of the 100 most common clutch verbs.

But duplicating my adjectives or verbs as often as possible in conversation with native speakers in a hit-and-miss attempt to find out the 100 most common duplicatable adjectives seems a bit haphazard and probably annoying for them to have to correct me each time. Surely there must be some lists somewhere.

Someone has their proofreading hat on…

  1. 小猫的尾巴长长的。 xiǎo māo de wěi bā zhǎng zhǎng de / Kittens have long tails.
    Should it be: chángcháng?
  2. 公交车行驶得慢慢的。 gōng jiāo chē háng shǐ dé màn màn de / The bus moved slowly.
    Isn’t 行驶: xíngshǐ?
  3. 我迷迷糊糊地去上班了。 wǒ mí mí hú hú de qù shàng bān le / I went to work in a daze.
    Is 糊 meant to be neutral tone?
  4. 你来尝一尝我做的饼干。 nǐ lái cháng yī cháng wǒ zuò de bǐng gàn / Please have a taste of the cookies I made.
    Is it first tone for 干?



Great spots thanks Kelly.

1, 2 and 4 you are correct.

3 should be first tone. All have been edited.

Dealing with Hanzi and Tones in these kinds of articles is a minefield - even for natives!

I’ve had them all verified and double checked with the team :slight_smile:

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迷迷糊糊 is a good example to test a dictionary.
hackchinese, Pleco, MDBG work well.

Unfortunately my LEO quite often has wrong tones, and of course Google translator. (I love LEO, because it has all my languages in parallel, D: E, F, It, Chin)
So, to check the tones I don’t use LEO.

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It’s interesting with tones, having spoken with a lot of the LTL (Mandarin speaking team), because they don’t use pinyin, even they aren’t certain which tone goes with which word and need to verify between them as a group.

It makes mistakes with tones and pinyin much easier to make than with characters themselves!

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I think here, you haven’t seen the question in the end, but maybe only looked at the hanzi? My Chinese friend says “hang2 shi3” doesn’t exist, and only xíngshǐ is correct?

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@Sonja-Mandarin-HSK_3 I’m not sure what you mean. I didn’t write the pinyin or sentence, just tacked on a little question at the end.

BTW Sorry for not replying to your letter ages ago. Studying, caring for my mother, travelling and preparing for exams have been full on.

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@Max I’m only discovering that tones are more complex than I originally thought. Several weeks ago, my uni lecturer (phD, native speaker) repeated a word over and over for several minutes, before he decided on the correct tones. He might have been having a blank but he does repeat words several times sometimes.

I found a list here: List of separable verbs - Chinese Grammar Wiki (

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Hi Kelly,
sorry, I forgot to write @Max. I was replying to Max.
Max had written number 2 is correct. That confused me a bit.
You, Kelly had asked
公交车行驶得慢慢的。 gōng jiāo chē háng shǐ dé màn màn de / The bus moved slowly.
Isn’t 行驶: xíngshǐ?
Max wrote number 2 is correct. So, now I wanted to know, whether he meant the sentence was correct and overlooked the pinyin with háng shǐ , or if Max meant that your assumption was correct that it should be 行驶: xíngshǐ.

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I meant Kelly was correct and they’ve been edited :slight_smile: