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3.10.5: Negative commands with "buyao"

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    Use 没有 (méiyǒu) to negate past actions (to say that someone didn't do something, or something didn't happen).


    Usually verbs can be negated with 不 (bù), but that construction is used for habitual or present actions. If the verb is about an action in the past, though, 没有 (méiyǒu) should be used:

    Subj. + 没有 / 没 + Verb

    Note that you can shorten 没有 (méiyǒu) to just 没 (méi).


    • 没有 去 上班。Wǒ méiyǒu qù shàngbān.I didn't go to work.
    • 他们 没有 说话。Tāmen méiyǒu shuōhuà.They didn't speak.
    • 没有 喝 你 的 啤酒。Wǒ méiyǒu hē nǐ de píjiǔ.I didn't drink your beer.
    • 没有 看到 你。Tā méiyǒu kàndào nǐ.She didn't see you.
    • 没有 吃 早饭。Wǒ méiyǒu chī zǎofàn.I didn't eat breakfast.
    • 宝宝 哭。有 has been omitted here.Bǎobao méi kū.The baby didn't cry.
    • 你 昨天 回家 吗?Nǐ zuótiān méi huíjiā ma?You didn't go back home yesterday?
    • 老板 今天 来 吗?Lǎobǎn jīntiān méi​ lái ma?The boss didn't come today?
    • 老师 今天 生气 。Lǎoshī jīntiān méi shēngqì.The teacher didn't get angry today.
    • 妈妈 晚上 做饭。Māma wǎnshang méi zuòfàn.Mom didn't cook food this evening.

    Go Easy on the 了 (le)

    One thing you need to remember when using 没有 (méiyǒu) is that 了 (le) is not normally used with 没有 (méiyǒu). 了 (le) marks completed actions, while 没有 (méiyǒu) is used for actions that didn't happen (so of course they're not completed). These two don't work together. This is a very common mistake for beginner learners of Chinese.

    • 没有 。Wǒ méiyǒu zuò le.
    • 没有 做。Wǒ méiyǒu zuò.I didn't do it.

    This page titled 3.10.5: Negative commands with "buyao" is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by .

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