5.12: Lesson 4 Grammar - Verbs preceded by 给 (gěi)
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The word 给 (gěi) literally means "to give" but is frequently used in Chinese to indicate the target of a verb. The target is who or what the verb is aimed or directed at.
Subj. + 给 + Target + [Verb Phrase]
Xiànzài bùyào gěi tā dǎ diànhuà.
Don't give him a phone call now.
Qǐng kuàidiǎn gěi wǒ huí yóujiàn.
Please hurry up and reply to my email.
Tā shuō tā huì gěi wǒ xiě xìn de.
He said he would write letters to me.
Nǐ kěyǐ gěi dàjiā dú yīxià ma?
Could you please read it for everybody?
Wǒ gěi nǐ fā duǎnxìn le. Nǐ zěnme bù huí?
I sent you a text. Why didn't you reply?
Tā de fěnsī chángcháng gěi tā jì lǐwù.
Her fans often send her gifts.
Xiǎo shíhou, māma měi tiān dōu gěi wǒ jiǎng gùshi.
When I was young, my mother would tell me stories every day.
Bàba yīnggāi gěi érzi dàoqiàn.
The father should apologize to his son.
Shéi néng gěi wǒ jiěshì yīxià?
Who can explain this to me?
Lǎobǎn ràng wǒ míngtiān gěi kèhù jièshào wǒmen de xīn chǎnpǐn.
My boss asked to present our new product to the client tomorrow.
Chinese speakers use 给 in some interesting ways, similar to how English speakers use "to give," as in "to give someone a phone call" or "to give someone a reply."
Although the structure above is the best one to learn first, some verbs frequently use 给 but have the 给 coming after the verb, rather than before. It's best to think of these as exceptions to the rule above. You will learn more about these exceptional verbs later on.
[adapted from AllSet Learning Chinese Grammar Wiki, Creative Commons License BY-NC-SA 3.0]
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