得到 (dé dào)
得到(dé dào) is a verb phrase that means “to obtain,” “to get,” or “to acquire.” It is used to indicate the act of gaining or receiving something, whether it’s physical or abstract.
It is typically followed by an object to indicate what is obtained.
得到(dé dào) is a separable word with verb-complement construction, so it can form 得不到.
我终于得到了工作。 (Wǒ zhōngyú dé dào le gōngzuò.)
I finally obtained the job.
今年的工作顺利完成，每个人都得到了奖励。(Jīnnián de gōngzuò shùnlì wánchéng, měi gèrén dōu dédào le jiǎnglì.)
This year’s work was successfully completed, and everyone received rewards.
他得到了一比遗产。(Tā dédào le yī bǐ yíchǎn.)
He received an inheritance.
孙女的到来让她得到很大的安慰。(Sūnnǚ de dàolái ràng tā dédào hěn dà de ānwèi.)
The arrival of her granddaughter brought her great comfort.
我的工作得到了老板的支持。(Wǒ de gōngzuò dédào le lǎobǎn de zhīchí.)
My work received support from the boss.
得了(dé le) is a different construction in Mandarin Chinese. It is formed by combining 得 (dé) with 了 (le).
It is often used to express a change in condition or state, often with a sense of completion or finality.
得了(dé le) is commonly used in the context of illnesses or diseases, indicating that someone has contracted or “got” an illness.
The object of 得+了 is often a specific person or thing.
他得了流感。 (Tā dé le liúgǎn.) He got the flu.
这次比赛我得了第二名。(Zhè cì bǐsài wǒ dé le dì èr míng.)
I got second place in this competition.
这对夫妻得了一对双胞胎。(Zhè duì fūqī dé le yī duì shuāngbāotāi.)
This couple had a pair of twins.
As a verb
When 得了(dé le) is used as a verb, it indicates that there’s no need to continue discussing a matter. In spoken language, it’s often placed at the beginning of a sentence and can be repeated as “得了, 得了.” Sometimes, it carries a sense of dissatisfaction.
得了，得了，别说了，我知道了。(Dé le, dé le, bié shuō le, wǒ zhīdào le.)
Alright, alright, stop talking; I understand.
得了，你让他走吧，大家都有错。(Dé le, nǐ ràng tā zǒu ba, dàjiā dōu yǒu cuò.)
Let it go; everyone is at fault.
得了吧，这件事你也不对。(Dé le ba, zhè jiàn shì nǐ yě bù duì.)
Drop it; you’re also in the wrong about this matter.
As an auxiliary word
When 得了(dé le) is used as a particle, it means “that’s enough” or “that’s it.” It’s commonly used at the end of declarative sentences to express affirmation.
这个比赛你来参加得了。(Zhège bǐsài nǐ lái cānjiā dé le.)
You can participate in this competition.
这件事我来办得了。(Zhège shì wǒ lái bàn dé le.)
I can handle this matter.
他做了很多准备，这次出差就让他去得了。(Tā zuò le hěn duō zhǔnbèi, zhè cì chūchāi jiù ràng tā qù dé le.)
He has prepared a lot; let him go on this business trip.
得了(dé liǎo) is often used in rhetorical questions or declarative sentences to convey that a situation is very serious. It means “really serious” or “awful.”
When “得了” serves as the predicate in a sentence, it’s commonly used in rhetorical questions. Its negation, 不得了(bù dé liǎo), is often used in declarative sentences, which is also frequently used to express astonishment and a high degree of intensity.
你带那么多孩子去河边玩，要是出事了怎么得了？(Nǐ dài nàme duō háizi qù hébiān wán, yào shì chūshì le zěnme dé liǎo?)
Taking so many kids to play by the river, what if something goes wrong? How will you manage?
你现在不努力学习，以后怎么得了？(Nǐ xiànzài bù nǔlì xuéxí, yǐhòu zěnme dé liǎo?)
If you don’t study hard now, how will you succeed in the future?
这个孩子一天只吃一顿饭，怎么得了？(Zhège háizi yī tiān zhǐ chī yī dùn fàn, zěnme dé liǎo?)
This child only eats one meal a day; how can this be okay?
要是不注意安全，后果可不得了。(Yàoshi bù zhùyì ānquán, hòuguǒ kě bù dé liǎo.)
If you don’t pay attention to safety, the consequences can be very serious.
现在的学生们都不得了，聪明着呢。(Xiànzài de xuéshēngmen dōu bù dé liǎo, cōngmíng zhe ne.)
The students nowadays are all incredible; they’re so smart.
这条裙子漂亮得不得了。(Zhè tiáo qúnzi piàoliang dé bùdéliǎo.)
This dress is incredibly beautiful.
“得到” (dé dào) is a verb phrase used to indicate obtaining or acquiring something, while “得了” (dé le) can serve as both a verb and a particle. As a verb, “得了”(dé le) is used in rhetorical questions or at the beginning of sentences to suggest there’s no need to discuss a matter further. As a particle, “得了”(dé le) is used at the end of declarative sentences to express affirmation or to convey that something is sufficient. On the other hand, “得了” (dé liǎo) is used to emphasize that a situation is very serious or intense, often in rhetorical questions or declarative sentences, and its negation, “不得了” (bù dé liǎo), is used to express astonishment and a high degree of intensity.