长 (zhǎng) vs 长得 (zhǎngde) in Chinese grammar
Non-native speakers of Chinese can often get the words 长 (zhǎng) vs 长得 (zhǎngde) mixed up. Both these words are about “growing”, but they have different functions. Let’s look at them one by one.
长 (zhǎng): to grow, to develop
The word 长 itself means “to grow” (note that this is pronounced zhǎng, and not cháng). It can mean “to grow” as in to grow larger or to develop physically, or to grow a particular feature. Let’s have a look at some example sentences:
我长了痘痘。I've got a spot. (lit. I've grown a spot.)
Notice how 长 is about growing or developing features. 长 also combines into varius words related to growth, such as 增长 (zēngzhǎng).
长得 (zhǎngde): present state of growth, to look…
长得 is used to talk about the present state of growth or something, and by extension, how something or someone looks. Adding 得 to 长 is like saying “the result of growth is”: it’s how something appears now. Some example sentences:
Notice how 长得 is about the result of growth or an appearance or state that has developed.
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