"We have a little black dog."


November 21, 2017



Is it incorrect to write 我有一只黑小狗?

December 25, 2017


"我们有一只黑色小狗" was marked wrong for not having the 的 , the answer being given as "我们有一只黑色的小狗". While I can see that's correct, is it absolutely necessary to have the 的 in there. I thought it could be omitted.

November 21, 2017


It can only be omitted in some cases. Most importantly:

  • For possessives: 的 is optional if the possessor is a personal pronoun and the possessee is either a person with close personal relationship to the personal pronoun (e.g. 我(的)妈妈) or an institution that the personal pronoun is part of (e.g. 我们(的)公司)
  • for adjective attributes: 的 is optional if the adjective is only one syllable and not modified by any adverbs (so 黑(的)狗 or 黑狗, but not *黑色狗). Also, if there are two one-syllable adjectives, I would use 的 at least on the one that is further away from the noun (in other words, I think 黑小狗 sounds a bit odd; I prefer 黑(色)的小狗).
November 21, 2017


Excellent ! Thanks AbunPang. I knew the rule for possessives, but I didn't know that rule for adjectives. Good to know. Sounds and feels right too.

November 21, 2017


Thanks for the help!

September 19, 2018


Thanks, that's really useful

January 7, 2019


If the adjective is more than one character, I think 的 is required.

December 9, 2017


Is it okay to just say 黑的小狗?

May 24, 2018


小黑狗 is better.

July 20, 2018


一条狗 is also correct.

July 19, 2018


小狗 is also puppy, right? Would it be correct to use that translation here? Is there a way to know which is meant ("puppy" or "small dog"), other than context?

October 4, 2018


Where does 小 need to go in this sentence? I used "我们有一只小黑色的狗" but was marked wrong.

February 26, 2018


I'm also curious, although the discussion above suggests that if you could put 小 first, it would be "一只小的黑狗“.

May 22, 2018


The accepted answer here is useful https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/9190/what-are-the-rules-in-chinese-for-adjective-order-when-multiple-adjectives-descr

I don't have a chinese keyboard installed on this device so I'm afraid it's pinyin only. Adjectives with 'de' must be further away than those without. So 'heisede' must come before 'xiaogou'. (And as a single syllable adjective 'xiao' does not need 'de'.)

June 3, 2018


Can't you just say 黑的小狗 and omit the 色?

September 6, 2018


Can't you omit the 色的?我们有一只黑小狗 or would that change the meaning to an "evil dog" or something like that?

October 22, 2018
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