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Expressing "for" with "gei"

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Chinese-grammar-wiki-gei.jpg

The preposition 给 (gěi) can mean "for," as in, "everything I do, I do it for you." You can also think of it to mean "give," like to give a service or to give an Obj.. In this case, the default position of the character is before the verb, although it sometimes comes after, depending on the verb.

Structure

The meaning of 给 is very similar to (wèi) in Chinese, but 给 is more informal than 为, and there are many cases where it's simply based on convention and general practice to decide to use one or the other.

Subj. + 给 + Recipient + [Verb Phrase]

Note that the "recipient" in the pattern above is usually a person, but isn't necessarily a person. It could be an animal, or company, or any number of other types of recipients.

Examples

  • 客人 倒茶Gěi kèrén dàochá.Pour a cup of tea for the guest.
  • 妈妈 在 孩子 们 做饭Māma zài gěi háizi men zuòfàn.Mom is cooking for the kids.
  • 我 儿子 喜欢 小狗 洗澡Wǒ érzi xǐhuan gěi xiǎogǒu xǐzǎo.My son likes to give a bath to our dog.
  • 一 双 筷子 。Qǐng gěi yī shuāng kuàizi.Please give me a pair of chopsticks.
  • 可以 一 杯 咖啡 吗 ?Kěyǐ gěimǎi yī bēi kāfēi ma?Could you please buy me a cup of coffee?
  • 可以 拿 一下 行李 吗 ?Kěyǐ gěiná yīxià xíngli ma?Can you take my suitcase for me?
  • 这个 周末 我们 儿子 开 生日 派对Zhège zhōumò wǒmen gěi érzi kāi shēngrì pàiduì.We're going to hold a birthday party for our son this weekend.
  • 我 没 带 钥匙 ,你 能 开 一下 门 吗 ?Wǒ méi dài yàoshi, nǐ néng gěikāi yīxià mén ma?I don't have the key. Could you please open the door for me?
  • 你 想 让 我 打扫 吗 ?Nǐ xiǎng ràng wǒ gěidǎsǎo ma?Are you asking me to clean your room for you?
  • 如果 你 来 中国 玩 ,我 当 导游Rúguǒ nǐ lái Zhōngguó wán, wǒ gěidāng dǎoyóu.If you come to visit China, I'll be your tour guide.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books

Dictionaries