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Sentences are the smallest units in language that can independently express at idea. Words and phrases in sentences can be divided into sentence elements based on their use. There are six kinds of sentence elements in Chinese:
1. Subject
2. Predicate
3. Object
4. Attributive
5. Adverbial adjunct
6. Complement
●  The Attributive
An attributive is a word or phrase that decorates or modifies another term. The modified word may be either the subject or object. For instance,
妈妈要去上班了。(His mother is going to work.) (The pronoun is the attributive and is placed before the subject 妈妈.)
这只 狗是Holly的。(This dog is Holly’s.)
(The attributive 这只 is before the subject.)
我买了一只西瓜。(I bought one watermelon.)(The numeral-measure word phrase 一只 is the attributive and is before the object.)
那是明天考试的试卷。(That is tomorrow’s text paper.) (The noun 明天 is the attributive and is before the object.)
An attributive should be placed before the modified word. Any kind of notional word or phrase can act as an attributive. The structural particle is often placed after an attributive. In the examples above there are instances of a noun, a pronouns, and a numeral-measure word phrase acting as an attributive. Below are examples of other kinds of words acting as the attributive.
那辆车上有许多空座位。(There are lots of  empty seats in that car.) (The adjective acts as the attributive.)
他有三个弟弟。(He has three younger brothers.) (The numeral acts as the attributive.)
Some attributives must be followed by the structural particle 的, some attributives cannot be followed by 的, and some may optionally be followed by 的.
◆ Do not use 的 in the following circumstances:
When the attributive is a noun and describes a quality of a person or thing
制定节日 (A designated holiday)
销售经理 (A sales manager)
The attributive is a noun in a set combination
南京大学 (Nanjing University)
首都机场 (Beijing Airport)
When the attributive is a pronoun: and it expresses a family relationship or an organizational unit; it is 这 or and appears in front of a numeral or measure word; or it is 什么 or 多少 and appears in front of a noun
这把椅子(This chair.)
那几个人 (Those people.)
多少钱 (How much money?)
什么意思 (What do you mean?)
When the attributive is an adjective:
红叶(red leaves)
长城(the Great Wall)
◆ The structural particle 的 must be used in the situations below:
The attributive is a noun expression a possessive relation, time, or place
我的鞋子(My shoes.)
去年的日历(Last year’s calendar)
后面的人(The people behind)
Adjectives acting as attributives when emphasizing decoration of the modified word, disyllables decorating monosyllables, duplicated forms:
可怜的人(A poor man)
高高的建筑(A tall building)
Verbs acting as attributives
辩论的话题(The subject debated)
Subject-predicate phrases acting as attributives
专家用的办法 (A method used by experts)
Coordinative phrases acting as attributives
这个月和下个月的钱(The money for this month and next month)
Endocentric phrases acting as attributives
很漂亮的裙子(A really beautiful skirt)
Phrases of locality, appositive phrases, set phrases, and prepositional phrase acting as an attributive
我自己的钱(My own money)
◆   can be optionally used in the following situations:
Dissyllabic pronouns acting as an attributive decorating monosyllabic collective units
咱们(的)孩子 (Our child)
Dissyllabic adjectives acting as an attributive modifying another dissyllabic word
快乐的童年 (happy childhood)
Measure word phrases that borrow a noun to express the idea of a large number
一层一层(的)山 (Layer upon layer of mountains
The endocentric phrases 很多 and 不少
很多(的)鱼(Lots of fishes)
不少(的)资金(Many fouds)