Verb Overlap Construction is a construction repeating the same verb and followed by a complement in a sentence that shows the presentation of an action or a state. “了” or “得” are often used before the complement part.
(Subject) + Verb + Object + Verb + (得/了) + Complement
他踢足球踢得可好了。(Tā tī zúqiú tī de kě hǎo le.) He plays football pretty well.
他跑步跑得不快。(Tā pǎobù pǎo de bú kuài.) He runs not fast.
妹妹看书看了一天。(Mèimei kàn shū kànle yì tiān.) The younger sister has been reading for one day.
他们读书读傻了。(Tāmen dú shū dú shǎ le.) Reading makes them silly instead of being wise.
Verbs used in this structure can be action words like “踢” “走” “吃” “打” etc., mental verbs like “爱” “想” “恨” etc. and the directional verbs “来” and “去.”
弟弟吃饭吃得很饱。(Dìdi chī fàn chī de hěn bǎo.) The younger brother ate and was full.
他们去商店去了很久。(Tāmen qù shānɡdiàn qùle hěn jiǔ.) They have gone to the store for a long time.
我恨你恨得想立刻杀了你。(Wǒ hèn nǐ hèn de xiǎnɡ lìkè shale nǐ.) I hate you so much that I want to kill you right now.
他想吃包子想了很多天。(Tā xiǎnɡ chī baozi xiǎnɡle hěn duō tiān.) He wants to eat Baozi for several days.
他来学校来得很早。(Tā lái xuéxiào lái de hěn zǎo.) He came to school very early.
我们去那里只去了几次。(Wǒmen qù nàlǐ zhǐ qùle jǐ cì.) We came there only a few times.
The complement part often indicates the state of an action, result, frequency, quantity or time duration.
他玩游戏玩累了。(Tā wán yóuxì wán lèi le.) He has been tired of playing games.
他们听故事听入迷了。(Tāmen tīnɡ ɡùshi tīnɡ rùmí le.) They had got caught up in the story.
你想问题想得太复杂了。(Nǐ xiǎnɡ wèn tí xiǎnɡ de tài fùzá le.) You think too much on this question.
>> “累了” “入迷了” “太复杂” indicate the state.
他写汉字写得很难看。(Tā xiě Hànzì xiě de hěn nánkàn.) He writes Chinese characters ugly.
只有你去劝她才劝得动。(Zhíyǒu nǐ qù quàn tā cái quàn de dònɡ.) Only you can persuade her.
小华骑自行车骑得腿都酸了。(Xiǎo Huá qí zìxínɡchē qí de tuǐ dōu suān le.) Xiao Hua feels tired on his legs because of riding the bicycle.
>> “很难看” “动” “腿都酸了” indicate the result.
我去那里去了三次。(Wǒ qù nàlǐ qùle sān cì.) I’ve been there three times.
他打我打了两下。(Tā dǎ wǒ dale liǎnɡ xià.) He hit me twice.
>> “三次” “两下” indicate frequency.
妹妹吃饺子吃了三碗。(Mèimei chī Jiaozi chīle sān wǎn.) The younger sister has eaten three bowls of Jiaozi.
他买鸡肉买了二十斤。(Tā mǎi jīròu mǎile èrshí jīn.) He has bought twenty Jin chicken meat.
>> “三碗” “二十斤” indicate quantity.
我们找工作找了一个多月，还没找到。(Wǒmen zhǎo ɡōnɡzuò zhǎole yí ɡè duō yuè, hái méi zhǎodào.)
We have been looking for a job for over one month but we haven’t find one yet.
你看这个电影已经看了两个小时了，还没完吗？(Nǐ kàn zhèɡe diànyǐnɡ yǐjīnɡ kànle liǎnɡ ɡè xiǎoshíle, hái méi wán mɑ?) You have been watching this movie for two hours, isn’t it still finished?
>> “一个多月” “两个小时” indicates time duration.
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