|滿地||ㄇㄢˇ ㄉㄧˋ||mǎn dì||everywhere|
|找||ㄓㄠˇ||zhǎo||to search, to look for|
|靠近||ㄎㄠˋ ㄐㄧㄣˋ||kào jìn||to approach|
|一匹馬||ㄧˋ ㄆㄧ ㄇㄚˇ||yì pī mǎ||a horse|
|經心||ㄐㄧㄥ ㄒㄧㄣ||jīng xīn||with great care|
|跌||ㄉㄧㄝˊ||dié||to fall, to tumble, to trip|
|鬥毆||ㄉㄡˋ ㄡ||dòu ōu||to fight, to brawl|
|想必||ㄒㄧㄤˇ ㄅㄧˋ||xiǎng bì||probably, in all likelihood
|其中||ㄑㄧˊ ㄓㄨㄥ||qí zhōng||among, in the midst|
|若是||ㄖㄨㄛˋ ㄕˋ||ruò shì||if|
|試著||ㄕˋ ㄓㄜ˙||shì zhe.||to try to|
|闖進||ㄔㄨㄤˇ ㄐㄧㄣˋ||chuǎng jìn||to burst in, to intrude into, to break in|
|揍||ㄗㄡˋ||zòu||to hit, to beat up|
|拿走||ㄋㄚˊ ㄗㄡˇ||ná zǒu||to take away|
|大猩猩||ㄉㄚˋ ㄒㄧㄥ ㄒㄧㄥ||dà xīng xīng||gorilla|
|香蕉||ㄒㄧㄤ ㄐㄧㄠ||xiāng jiāo||banana|
My tutor, Vesta, was brainstorming sentences to help me practice 滿地 in my Chinese Lesson Blurb: Using 卻 to Spotlight Contrast. She used the phrase 滿地找牙. You can see from the title what it means.
Let’s break it down some.
滿 ㄇㄢˇ (mǎn) full
地 ㄉㄧˋ (dì) earth, ground
找 ㄓㄠˇ (zhǎo) to search, to look for
牙 ㄧㄚˊ (yá) teeth
Putting 滿 and 地 together as 滿地 means everywhere. So 滿地找牙 can also be translated as looking everywhere for (your) teeth.
When might you use this phrase? Hopefully not very often, but it can be fun to practice sentence structure with, including the use of complements. There are some links in the notes to help explain what complements are in the Chinese language and how we should think about them as language learners.
(ㄕㄣˊ ㄇㄜ˙ ㄕˊ ㄏㄡˋ)(ㄋㄧˇ)(ㄏㄨㄟˋ)(ㄇㄢˇ ㄉㄧˋ ㄓㄠˇ ㄧㄚˊ)
(shén me. shí hòu)(nǐ)(huì)(mǎn dì zhǎo yá)
(when)(you)(will)(looking for teeth everywhere)
When will you be looking everywhere for your teeth?
(ㄖㄨˊ ㄍㄨㄛˇ)(ㄋㄧˇ)(ㄅㄨˋ)(ㄒㄧㄠˇ ㄒㄧㄣ)(ㄎㄠˋ ㄐㄧㄣˋ)(ㄧˋ ㄆㄧˇ)(ㄇㄚˇ)
(rú guǒ)(nǐ)(bù)(xiǎo xīn)(kào jìn)(yì pǐ)(mǎ)
(if)(you)(not)(to be careful)(to approach, to draw near)(one + MW)(horse)
……….(ㄅㄟˋ)(ㄊㄧ)(ㄉㄜ˙)(ㄇㄢˇ ㄉㄧˋ ㄓㄠˇ ㄧㄚˊ)
……….(bèi)(tī)(de.)(mǎn dì zhǎo yá)
……….(passive voice)(to kick)(particle linking verb to adverb)(looking for your teeth all over the floor)
If you are not careful when you approach a horse, you might end up looking for your teeth all over the floor!
(ㄧㄡˇ)(ㄖㄣˊ)(ㄗㄡˇ ㄌㄨˋ)(ㄅㄨˋ)(ㄐㄧㄥ ㄒㄧㄣ)
(yǒu)(rén)(zǒu lù)(bù)(jīng xīn)
(to have)(person)(to walk)(not)(careful)
…..(ㄧㄝˇ ㄒㄩˇ)(ㄏㄨㄟˋ)(ㄉㄧㄝˊ)(ㄉㄜ˙)(ㄇㄢˇ ㄉㄧˋ ㄓㄠˇ ㄧㄚˊ)
…..(yě xǔ)(huì)(dié)(de.)(mǎn dì zhǎo yá)
…..(probably)(will)(to fall, to trip)(particle linking to adverb)(looking for teeth everywhere)
If someone walks along without being careful, he will probably fall and be looking for his teeth everywhere.
(ㄉㄤ)(ㄌㄧㄤˇ ㄍㄜ˙)(ㄖㄣˊ)(ㄉㄡˋ ㄡ)(ㄕˊ)
(dāng)(liǎng ge.)(rén)(dòu ōu)(shí)
(at)(two + MW)(people)(to fight, to brawl)(time)
…..(ㄒㄧㄤˇ ㄅㄧˋ)(ㄑㄧˊ ㄓㄨㄥ)(ㄧ ㄍㄜ˙)(ㄖㄣˊ)(ㄏㄨㄟˋ)
…..(xiǎng bì)(qí zhōng)(yī ge.)(rén)(huì)
…..(in all likelihood)(in the midst)(one + MW)(person)(will)
……….(ㄅㄟˋ)(ㄉㄚˇ)(ㄉㄜ˙)(ㄇㄢˇ ㄉㄧˋ ㄓㄠˇ ㄧㄚˊ)
……….(bèI)(dǎ)(de.)(mǎn dì zhăo yá)
……….(by)(to hit)(particle linking verb to adverb)(looking for teeth all over the floor)
When two people get into a brawl, in all likelihood one person will get his teeth knocked out all over the floor.
(ㄖㄨㄛˋ ㄕˋ)(ㄧㄡˇ)(ㄖㄣˊ)(ㄕˋ ㄓ˙)(ㄧㄠˋ)
(ruò shì)(yǒu)(rén)(shì zhe.)(yào)
(if)(to have)(person)(to try)(to want)
…..(ㄔㄨㄤˇ ㄐㄧㄣˋ)(ㄨㄛˇ ㄇㄣ˙)(ㄐㄧㄚ), (ㄊㄚ ㄇㄣ˙)(ㄗㄨㄟˋ ㄏㄠˇ)
…..(chuǎng jìn)(wǒ men.)(jiā), (tā)(zuì hǎo)
…..(to break in)(our)(home), (he)(had better)
……….(ㄓㄨㄣˇ ㄅㄟˋ)(ㄅㄟˋ)(ㄗㄡˋ)(ㄉㄜ˙)(ㄇㄢˇ ㄉㄧˋ ㄓㄠˇ ㄧㄚˊ)
……….(zhǔn bèi)(bèi)(zòu)(de.)(mǎn dì zhǎo yá)
……….(to prepare)(by)(to beat, to hit)(particle to connect to adverb)(to look for teeth all over the floor)
If someone is thinking of trying to break into our home, he had better be prepared to be looking for his teeth all over the floor!
(ㄖㄨˊ ㄍㄨㄛˇ)(ㄋㄧˇ)(ㄕˋ ㄕˋ ㄎㄢˋ)(ㄋㄚˊ ㄗㄡˇ)
(rú guǒ)(nǐ)(shì shì kàn)(ná zǒu)
(if)(you)(try to see)(to take away)
…..(ㄉㄚˋ ㄒㄧㄥ ㄒㄧㄥ)(ㄉㄜ˙)(ㄒㄧㄤ ㄐㄧㄠ)
…..(dà xīng xīng)(de.)(xiāng jiāo)
……….(you)(very, quite)(probably)(right away)(to have)(by)
……………(ㄉㄚˋ ㄒㄧㄥ ㄒㄧㄥ)(ㄉㄚˇ)(ㄉㄜ˙)(ㄇㄢˇ ㄉㄧˋ ㄓㄠˇ ㄧㄚˊ)
……………(dà xīng xīng)(dǎ)(de.)(măn dì zhǎo yá)
……………(gorilla)(to hit, to strike, to attack)(connecting particle)(look for teeth everywhere)
………………..(ㄉㄜ˙)(ㄨㄟ ㄒㄧㄢ ㄒㄧㄥ)
………………..(de.)(wēi xiān xìng)
………………..(adjective marker)(risk, dangerous nature)
If you try to take a gorilla’s banana away from him, you will have quite the risk of looking for your teeth everywhere.
❶ In English, kicking by the horse is implied, but in the Chinese, grammar requires the use of a verb. The grammatical structure is:
(verb) + 得 (complement)
This is over simplifying it some, since English does not have a similar grammatical device. I discussed this at length with my tutor and read a couple of articles which I link to below. Reading them and looking things up in my own English grammar handbooks helped some, but the advice in one article seems best: Don’t think about it too hard and listen to how native speakers use this 得.
❷ Just as in English you can use maybe, might, or possibly as synonyms, 也許 is another Chinese word that can be used instead of always repeating 可能.
❸ Using 要 here indicates that someone wants to try to do something, but is not necessarily engaged in the action yet.
❹ It will be easier to understand this sentence if you recognize that all of this [被大猩猩打得滿地找牙的] is the (adjective ) + (adjective marker) describing what the risk is.
The character 有 was used to say the person doing this has a risk of that happening. If 會, which means will, had been used instead, the statement would have been what would happen instead of what might happen.