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Expressing "about" with "guanyu"

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关于 (guānyú) means "about." It can be used in a few ways, often marking a topic of a statement or modifying a noun.

Used for Topic-Marking

Structure

As an adverb/adverbial clause, it can only be placed at the beginning of the sentence.

关于 + Obj. ,⋯⋯

Examples

  • 关于 中国 历史,我 知道 的 不 多。Guānyú Zhōngguó lìshǐ, wǒ zhīdào de bù duō.As for Chinese history, I don't know a lot.
  • 关于 这 次 考试,我 还 有 几 个 问题 要 问。Guānyú zhè cì kǎoshì, wǒ hái yǒu jǐ gè wèntí yào wèn.As for this exam, I still have a few questions that I need to ask.
  • 关于 这个 问题,你们 还是 问 他 吧。Guānyú zhège wèntí, nǐmen háishì wèn tā ba.As for this question, you'd better ask him.
  • 关于 你 的 建议,老板 还 在 考虑 。Guānyú nǐ de jiànyì, lǎobǎn hái zài kǎolǜ.As for your suggestion, the boss is still thinking it over.
  • 关于 调查 结果,我们 也 不 太 清楚 。Guānyú diàochá jiéguǒ, wǒmen yě bù tài qīngchu.As for the result of that investigation, we don't know much either.

Used as Part of a Modifier

As an attributive modifier, 关于 (guānyú) is placed before the noun phrase (rather than after, as in English), and you should always add a 的.

Structure

关于 ⋯⋯ 的 + Noun

Examples

  • 网上 有 很 多 关于 这 件 事情 的 评论 。Wǎngshang yǒu hěn duō guānyú zhè jiàn shìqing de pínglùn.There are lots of comments about this matter online.
  • 他 写 过 很 多 关于 男女 平等 的 文章 。Tā xiě guo hěn duō guānyú nánnǚ píngděng de wénzhāng.He wrote many articles about gender equality.
  • 汉语 有 很 多 关于 饮食 的 成语 。Hànyǔ yǒu hěn duō guānyú yǐnshí de chéngyǔ. There are lots of idioms about food in Chinese.
  • 我 昨天 看 了 一 部 关于 动物 保护 的 纪录片 。Wǒ zuótiān kàn le yī bù guānyú dòngwù bǎohù de jìlùpiàn.I saw a documentary about animal protection yesterday.
  • 这 是 一 份 关于 中国 奢侈品 市场 的 报告 。Zhè shì yī fèn guānyú Zhōngguó shēchǐpǐn shìchǎng de bàogào.This is a report about the Chinese luxury market.

The Unspoken "About"

The word "about" often follows verbs in English, such as "talk about" or "ask about." In Chinese, however, this "about" meaning is built into the verb and no additional "about" word is needed, much like we don't say "discuss about" in English.

A few examples:

  • 我们 聊聊 你 的 新 工作 吧 。Wǒmen liáoliao nǐ de xīn gōngzuò ba.Let's talk about your new job.
  • 今天 开会 要 说说 公司 下 个 月 的 培训 。Jīntiān kāihuì yào shuōshuo gōngsī xià gè yuè de péixùn.Today, we need to hold a meeting about the company training next month.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books