In Chinese, many verbs consist of two characters. However, not all two-character verbs function in the same way.
One category of two-character verbs consists of verbs where the two characters cannot be separated. For example, å·¥ä½ (gÅngÌzuÃ², to work), ç¿»è¯ (fÄnyÃ¬, to translate) and ä»ç» (jiÃ¨shÃ o, to introduce).
Another category of two-character verbs consists of verbs where the two characters can become separated. For example, æ¸¸æ³³ (yÃ³uyÇng, to swim; literally “to swim” + “action of swinning”), æ´æ¾¡ (xÇzaÇ, to bath/shower), æé (pÃ¡iduÃ¬, to queue, stand in line), ææ (dÇzhÃ©, to give a discount) and çæ° (shÄngqÃ¬, to get angry).
For example, you can say things like “ä»æ¸¸äºä¸ä¸ªå°æ¶æ³³” (he swam for three hours, see Chinese SE) and “æ´äºæ¾¡, …” can mean “after showering, …”.
The texbook series New Practical Chinese Reader identifies these verbs as “verb plus object” (å¨å®¾å¼å¨è¯). The trouble is, dictionaries just list these words as “verbs” and if there is no example sentence where the verb gets split, you don’t know whether you are dealing with a “normal verb” or “verb plus object”. Native speakers of Chinese just know this, but it is hard to figure out for learners of the language.
Is there a list of “verb plus object” verbs, ideally with example sentences? The list does not need to be comprehensive, but it should go beyond the very basic examples I listed above. A dictionary that identifies “verb plus object” verbs would also be helpful. It needn’t be a Chinese – English dictionary; Chinese – French, Chinese – German, Chinese – Spanish or even Chinese-only would also work.