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.)
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!