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5.12: Lesson 4 Grammar - Verbs preceded by 给 (gěi)

  • Page ID
    65646
  • 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.

    Structure 

       Subj. + 给 + Target + [Verb Phrase]

    Examples 

    • 现在不要给他打电话。
      Xiànzài bùyào gěi tā dǎ diànhuà.
      Don't give him a phone call now.
       
    • 请快点给我回邮件。
      Qǐng kuàidiǎn gěi wǒ huí yóujiàn.
      Please hurry up and reply to my email.
       
    • 他说他会给我写信的。
      Tā shuō tā huì gěi wǒ xiě xìn de.
      He said he would write letters to me.
       
    • 你可以给大家读一下吗?
      Nǐ kěyǐ gěi dàjiā dú yīxià ma?
      Could you please read it for everybody?
       
    • 我给你发短信了,你怎么不回?
      Wǒ gěi nǐ fā duǎnxìn le. Nǐ zěnme bù huí?
      I sent you a text. Why didn't you reply?
       
    • 她的粉丝常常给她寄礼物。
      Tā de fěnsī chángcháng gěi tā jì lǐwù.
      Her fans often send her gifts.
       
    • 小时候,妈妈每天都给我讲故事。
      Xiǎo shíhou, māma měi tiān dōu gěi wǒ jiǎng gùshi.
      When I was young, my mother would tell me stories every day.
       
    • 爸爸应该给儿子道歉。
      Bàba yīnggāi gěi érzi dàoqiàn.
      The father should apologize to his son.
       
    • 谁能给我解释一下?
      Shéi néng gěi wǒ jiěshì yīxià?
      Who can explain this to me?
       
    • 老板让我明天给客户介绍我们的新产品。
      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."

    Alternative Structure

    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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    Any Questions? 

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