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4.9: Lesson 3 Grammar - Expressing possession with 有 (yǒu)

  • Page ID
    65628
  • 有 (yǒu) can be used in various ways, but the most basic meaning of this verb you need to know is "to have."

    Structure 

    Subj. + 有 + Obj.

    Examples 

    • 我有钱。
      Wǒ yǒu qián.
      I have money.
       
    • 你有房子吗?
      Nǐ yǒu fángzi ma?
      Do you have a house?
       
    • 她没有车。
      Tā méi yǒu chē.
      She doesn't have a car.
       
    • 他有女朋友吗?
      Tā yǒu nǚpéngyou ma?
      Does he have a girlfriend?
       
    • 我们有三个女儿。
      Wǒmen yǒu sān gè nǚ'ér.
      We have three daughters.
       
    • 我们家有两个公司。
      Wǒmen jiā yǒu liǎng gè gōngsī.
      Our family has two companies.
       
    • 你有一百块钱吗?
      Nǐ yǒu yī bǎi kuài qián ma?
      Do you have 100 kuài RMB?
       
    • 你的老师有 iPad 吗?
      Nǐ de lǎoshī yǒu iPad ma?
      Does your teacher have an iPad?
       
    • 我爸爸没有工作。
      Wǒ bàba méi yǒu gōngzuò.
      My dad doesn't have a job.
       
    • 今天你有课吗?
      Jīntiān nǐ yǒu kè ma?
      Do you have classes today?

    Negating 有 (yǒu) 

    The verb 有 (yǒu) is negated in a special way.  Rather than placing 不 () before it as with other verbs, you must use 没 (méi) to negate the verb 有 (yǒu).  The negative form of 有 (yǒu) then, is 没有 (méiyǒu). 

    Structure 

    没 + 有 (+ Obj.)

    Note: because of the special relationship between 没 (méi) and 有 (yǒu), the pinyin for 没有 is normally written without a space: "méiyǒu."

    Examples 

    • 我没有问题。
      Wǒ méiyǒu wèntí.
      I don't have any questions.
       
    • 我们现在没有钱。
      Wǒmen xiànzài méiyǒu qián.
      We don't have money now.
       
    • 他没有工作吗?
      Tā méiyǒu gōngzuò ma?
      Does he not have a job?
       
    • 他们没有爸爸妈妈 。
      Tāmen méiyǒu bàba māma.
      They don't have parents.
       
    • 我们在北京没有房子。
      Wǒmen zài Běijīng méiyǒu fángzi.
      We don't have a house in Beijing.
       
    • 你爸爸没有手机吗?
      Nǐ bàba méiyǒu shǒujī ma?
      Does your dad not have a cell phone?
       
    • 你们在上海没有朋友吗?
      Nǐmen zài Shànghǎi méiyǒu péngyou ma?
      Do you not have friends in Shanghai?
       
    • 我的老师现在没有男朋友。
      Wǒ de lǎoshī xiànzài méiyǒu nánpéngyou.
      My teacher doesn't have a boyfriend now.
       
    • 他们都没有电脑吗?
      Tāmen dōu méiyǒu diànnǎo ma?
      Do they all not have computers?
       
    • 这个周末你们都没有时间吗?
      Zhège zhōumò nǐmen dōu méiyǒu shíjiān ma?
      Do you all not have time this weekend?

    Remember that trying to negate 有 (yǒu) with 不 () is a classic mistake that many people make in the early stages of studying Chinese:

    • 我不有车。 << BAD EXAMPLE, NEVER SAY IT THIS WAY!
      Wǒ bù yǒu chē.
      [Note: Never use 不 with 有!]
       
    • 我没有车。 << GOOD EXAMPLE
      Wǒ méiyǒu chē.
      I don't have a car.
      [Note: Always use 沒 with 有.]

    Never use 不 () with 有 (yǒu).

    The Short Form of 没有 (méiyǒu) Is 没 (méi

    没有 (méiyǒu) can be shortened to 没 (méi) without altering its meaning.

    • 我没钱。
      Wǒ méi qián.
      I don't have money.
       
    • 你没男朋友吗?
      Nǐ méi nánpéngyou ma?
      Do you not have a boyfriend?
       
    • 你们没车吗?
      Nǐmen méi chē ma?
      You don't have a car?
       
    • 老板现在没时间。
      Lǎobǎn xiànzài méi shíjiān.
      The boss doesn't have time right now.
       
    • 我没工作,我老公也没工作。
      Wǒ méi gōngzuò, wǒ lǎogōng yě méi gōngzuò.
      I don't have a job. My husband doesn't have a job either.

    [adapted from AllSet Learning Chinese Grammar Wiki, Creative Commons License BY-NC-SA 3.0]

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    Any Questions? 

    If you have any questions about this grammar point, please ask in the class forums!