Chinese Language Learning – Is the Chinese Grammar Wiki article for 把 wrong?

The wiki article is [here](

I originally posted a much shorter version of this question [here](, in the 快问快答 thread. I got some interesting answers but I think it deserves its own post.

I recently started studying the 把 construction. I noticed that pretty much every resource seems to think that 把 sentences are SOV. I checked the grammar wiki to see if there was more detailed information; the wiki agrees that 把 sentences are SOV and they provide this example sentence and explanation:

>放书在桌子上 。**⇐ Incorrect, according to the wiki**

>”The problem is that the above Chinese sentence is not grammatical. *You can’t put an object right after a verb, and then put other modifiers of the verb after the object.*”

>把书放在桌子上 。**⇐ The only grammatical alternative, according to the wiki**

By most accounts, this explanation on the grammar wiki appears to be wrong, and 放书在桌子上 is perfectly fine. But not by *all* accounts.

Some say that both of these are correct:



If both are correct, what’s the difference?

Someone else said (in agreeance with the wiki) that the only two grammatical choices are:




What’s right? What’s wrong? Which word order carries what nuance?

My beginner take on 把 constructions is that they are actually standard Chinese sentences in SVO order. It seems to me that what makes the 把 construction unique is that 把 is used as an abstract dummy verb that cues specificity (a specific object known to both speaker and listener) and disposition (the state or position of the object changes in some way).

Compare these two sentences:



Aren’t these both correct? If so, then grammatically, they’re nearly identical. Both are SVO. In the first one, the verb is 买 to express “buy,” and in the second one, the verb is 把 to express specificity and disposition.

I don’t know who or what to believe, but I suspect the Chinese Grammar Wiki is wrong on this one.

If I’m right, then 放一本书在桌子上 means “put a book on the table,” and 把一本放在桌子上 means “put ***the*** book on the table.


EDIT: a typo

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