Related Reading: HSK 2024 Test Dates & Details
The particle 所 (suǒ)
As a structural particle, “所” does not have a specific meaning. It means we do not need to translate it when we interpret some sentence with “所”.
But structural particles are always like marks, they are used to indicate styles of language use. “所” is a typical particle used in written language or on formal occasions.
The basic structure of “所” is “所 + verb + 的 + noun”.
As you can tell from the structure with one of the three De’s, “所+verb” part works as a modifier of the noun.
- In the eyes of some companies, the health of employees is not what they care about, only the economic benefits are what they care about.
- The content discussed in today’s meeting is very valuable, and it is the result I expect that everyone can participate in the discussion.
- I hope you can write down what you have seen, heard, and thought today.
To be honest, even if you deleted “所” from the Chinese sentences above, meanings would not be changed at all. However, you can imagine “所” as a spotlight, and it can help you tell what is the speaker wants to focus.
In addition, you would also see “有所 + verb” and “无所 + verb” a lot. The complete structure is “对 … 有/无所 + verb”, and it is a formal way to express “对 … 有 /没有…”.
- 这件事让我对新生活有所期待。(It made me look forward to a new life.)
- 但愿我的话对你有所启发。(I hope my words can inspire you.)
- 他对未发生的事情完全无所顾虑。(He has no worries about what hasn’t happened.)
When to Use the 所 Structure
Use 所 to nominalize:
- Verbs – Ex. 学习 -> 学习所学
- Clauses – Ex. 他告诉我的 -> 他所告诉我的
The nouns formed using 所 can function as:
- Prepositional objects
This structure is very handy for making long ideas concise and compact.
How to Form 所 Sentences
The basic structure is:
[Subject] + [Predicate] + 所 + [Noun phrase formed from verb or clause]
这个方法所带来的好处很多。 Zhège fāngfǎ suǒ dàilái de hǎochù hěn duō. The benefits this method brings are numerous.
Key Grammar Rules
Here are some key grammar rules for using 所:
- Add 所 directly before verbs/clauses to nominalize them
- Use 的 (de) to make the new noun phrase definite
- 所 can nominalize action verbs and clauses, but not stative verbs
- Don’t overuse 所 – keep sentences clear and natural
Look at these example sentences:
✅ 我们所讨论的计划已被采纳。 Wǒmen suǒ tǎolùn de jìhuà yǐ bèi cǎinà. The plan we discussed has already been adopted.
✖ 我所是中国人。 Wǒ suǒ shì zhōngguórén.
Tips for Using 所 Correctly
- Memorize the sentence structure: [Subject] + [Predicate] + 所 + [Noun phrase]
- Add 的 after the noun phrase to make it definite
- Avoid nominalizing stative verbs like “to be”
- Use 所 in moderation – it sometimes sounds overly formal
If you are going to give a speech or write a report, you can use “所” to highlight what you want to cause attention. We hope this clarifies this grammar point from HSK5!