的 vs 得 vs 地

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Rule of thumb

Just remember:

  • 的NOUN
  • 地VERB

Which means:

  • if the phrase involves a NOUN, use 的:我的书,我写的书
  • otherwise, if the verb is AFTER de, use 地:快快地说
  • Everywhere else, just use 得:说得快,做得完,玩得忘了时间,好得多,好得很,好得不得了,好得不行

This can be remembered with a MNEMONIC:


  • White is referring to 的, which has a radical on the left meaning "white". Nun sounds like noun.
  • Earthy is referring to 地, which also means earth. Herb rhymes with verb.

In more technical terms

With de/de/de, just remember these rules:

  • Anything + 的 + NOUN:我的书,我写的书
  • Adjective + 地 + VERB:快快地说
  • VERB + 得 + Adjective/Result:说得快,做得完,玩得忘了时间
  • ADJECTIVE + 得 + Degree:好得多,好得很,好得不得了,好得不行

Grammar Points with 的

▶️ Code Structure Structure (Translated) Example Example (Translated)
▶️ 1.04.2 (的) ’s 她是我 (的) 老师。 She is my teacher.
▶️ 1.15.1 是……的 describing the past 你们是怎么来的? How is it that you got here?
▶️ 2.03.1 ……的 that which 这个杯子是昨天买的(杯子)。 This cup is the one (cup) that was bought yesterday.
▶️ 2.11.1 ……的 that which 我​妈​妈​做​的​饭​非​常​好​吃。​ The food that mom makes is very delicious.

Headline text

Grammar Points with 得

▶️ Code Structure Structure (Translated) Example Example (Translated)
▶️ 2.12.1 V+得+A ...ly 我​跑得​很​快。 I run very quickly.
▶️ 3.06.1 V+得+Result (result complement) 我看得见。 I can see.
▶️ 3.16.2 V+得+Fact so… that… 弟弟高兴得忘了时间。 Brother was so happy that he lost track of time.
▶️ 3.10.1 A+得多 much …-er 我比他高得多。 I'm much taller than him.

In HSK 5 you'll also learn 高得很,高得不得了, which work the same way.

Grammar Points with 地

In HSK 3, you learned:

▶️ Source Structure Structure (Translated) Example Example (Translated)
▶️ HSK Standard Course Lesson 18 Vocabulary A地V ...ly 只要经过一段时间,就会慢慢地习惯。 If you give it some time, you will eventually get used to it.

External links