When can we omit the particle "的"?

There are always many "的" in a Chinese sentence, I know that sometimes we can omit some of them. However, I am really confused about the rules. When should I use "我的妈妈" and when should I use "我妈妈"?And are there any differences between the two expressions?

asked 8 years, 2 months ago


2 Answers

The above answer is good, however, I'd like to point out that in some cases the 的 cannot be omitted even in expressing personal relationship:

The meaning of these expressions will change when 的 is omitted:


  • 小王的叔叔 Wang’s Uncle
  • 小王叔叔 Uncle Wang


  • 中国的朋友 A friend of China
  • 中国朋友 A Chinese friend


Be careful about it.

answered 8 years, 2 months ago


0     Oh it makes me more confused. Could you provide some conclusions about this rule? -- Stony Wood 8 years, 2 months ago


"的" is often omitted when a pronoun is subordinated to a noun expressing personal relationship or after a noun in certain patterns.E.g.

  • 我(的)妈妈 My mother
  • 林家 the Lin’s home

But when you are saying "她是我的妈妈", it seems to emphasize "She is my mother not your mother", while "她是我妈妈" simply means "she is my mother". There's slight difference between the two.


Moreover, if more than one "的" appears in a sentence, the first 的 after the pronoun is usually omitted. E.g.

  • 我(的)朋友的生日 My friend’s birthday

It also depends on which part you'd like to emphasize. In this expression, the relationship between 朋友 and 生日 is more emphasized than that between 我 and 朋友. 

answered 8 years, 2 months ago


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