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The "also" adverb "ye"

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The English adverb "too" or "also" is expressed in Chinese as 也 (yě). In Chinese, it always needs to come before the verb (or adjective).

也 (yě) with Verb Phrases

Structure

Since it is an adverb, 也 (yě) is inserted after the subject, before the verb or verb phrase.

Subj. + 也 + Verb / [Verb Phrase]

Examples

  • 喜欢。 xǐhuan. I also like it.
  • 是 学生 。 shì xuésheng. I am a student too.
  • 有 一个 儿子。 yǒu yī gè érzi. She also has a son.
  • 他们 是 法国 人 吗? Tāmen shì Fǎguó rén ma? Are they also French?
  • 想 学 中文。 xiǎng xué Zhōngwén. I also want to study Chinese.
  • 他们 会 去吗? Tāmen huì qù ma? Are they also going?
  • 我 妈妈 喜欢 吃 饺子。 Wǒ māma xǐhuan chī jiǎozi. My mother likes to eat boiled dumplings too.
  • 孩子 可以 喝酒 吗? Háizi kěyǐ hējiǔ ma? Can kids drink alcohol too?
  • 想 来 我 家 吗? xiǎng lái wǒ jiā ma? Do you want to come to my house too?
  • 觉得 这 个 老师 不 好。 juéde zhège lǎoshī bù hǎo. She also thinks this teacher isn't good.

Let's take one more look at two different English sentences which mean the same thing, but can result in bad Chinese if you translate word-for-word.

  • 喜欢 xǐhuan. I also like it.
  • 喜欢 Wǒ xǐhuan . I like it too.

Note that the translation for the first sentence is "I also like it." The translation of the second sentence is "I like it too," which is equally correct in English, but translated word-for-word into Chinese, the 也 (yě) comes at the end of the sentence, which is 100% wrong in Chinese.

A Note on the Negative Form

Please note that in English, we replace the word "too" with "either" in negative sentences. For example:

  • A:I like cats.
  • B:I like cats too.
  • A: I don't like cats.
  • B: I don't like cats either.

In Chinese, regardless of whether the sentence is positive ("I like them too") or negative ("I don't like them either"), 也 (yě) is used the same way. Just make sure you put the 也 (yě) before the 不 (bù) or other negative part that comes before the verb.

  • 喜欢。 bù xǐhuan. I don't like it either.
  • 知道。 bù zhīdào. I don't know either.
  • 有。 méiyǒu. He doesn't have it either.
  • 想 来 我 家 吗? bù xiǎng lái wǒ jiā ma? You don't want to come to my house either?

也 (yě) with Adjectives

Structure

也 (yě) can also be used with adjectives. Remember that for simple "noun + adjective" sentences you normally need to include an adverb like 很 (hěn) before the adjective. In that case, just put the 也 (yě) before the adverb.

Subj. + 也 (+ Adv.) + Adj.

Examples

  • 高。 hěn gāo. You are also tall.
  • 胖。 hěn pàng. He is also fat.
  • 我 爸爸 帅。 Wǒ bàba hěn shuài. My dad is also handsome.
  • 湖南 菜 辣。 Húnán cài hěn là. Hunan food is very spicy too.
  • 这 种 酒 好喝。 Zhè zhǒng jiǔ hěn hǎohē. This kind of alcohol is also good.
  • 这 个 地方 漂亮。 Zhège dìfang hěn piàoliang. This place is also pretty.
  • 昨天 很 冷 , 今天 冷。 Zuótiān hěn lěng, jīntiān hěn lěng. Yesterday was cold, and today is also cold.
  • 他 生气 了 ? 我 生气! Tā shēngqì le? Wǒ hěn shēngqì! He got angry? I'm also angry!
  • 这 个 问题 麻烦。 Zhège wèntí hěn máfan. This problem is also very troublesome.
  • 我 觉得 这 个 餐厅 好 。 Wǒ juéde zhège cāntīng hěn hǎo. I think that this restaurant is also good.

Expressing "Me too" with 也 (yě)

It can be tricky to know how to say "me too" when you first study 也 (yě), as you can't say "wǒ yě" all by itself. That's not a complete sentence; you can't just leave 也 (yě) hanging there with nothing after it.

The all-purpose correct sentence is "wǒ yě shì," which literally means, "I am too," but can also stand in for "me too."

Structure

The correct structure uses the verb 是 (shì):

  • The 是 fills in for whatever was just said. shì. I am too. / Me too.
  • Always put something after 也! It never ends a sentence..

Examples

The "me too" structure works with other subjects, as well. But for these simple examples, we'll stick to the classic 我 (wǒ) subject.

  • A: 我 是 美国人 。 Wǒ shì Měiguó rén. I am an American.
  • B: shì.Me too. / I am too.

For this next one, you'll notice that the "me too" reply repeats the original verb 喜欢 (xǐhuan) instead of using 是 (shì). Both ways are possible.

  • A: 我 喜欢 看 书 。Wǒ xǐhuan kàn shū. I like to read.
  • B: 喜欢xǐhuan.Me too. / So do I.

You'll notice that some of those English translations use "so do I." The Chinese works exactly the same; they're just translated that way to produce more natural-sounding English.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books