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Expressing "and" with "he"

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When listing out multiple nouns, 和 (hé) is there to help you out. Just remember that 和 (hé) isn't a word you can use to translate just any usage of the English word "and."

Structure

The most common way to express "and" in Chinese is with 和 (hé). It's important to note that 和 (hé) is mainly used to link nouns. This is how you should use it exclusively as you get used to it. Don't try to link verbs (or whole sentences) with 和 (hé).

Noun 1 + 和 + Noun 2

Examples

  • you and I
  • 老板 喜欢 咖啡 Lǎobǎn xǐhuan kāfēi chá.The boss likes coffee and tea.
  • 我 的 爷爷 奶奶 都 70 岁 。Wǒ de yéye nǎinai dōu qīshí suì.My grandpa and grandma are both 70 years old.
  • 他 女朋友 都 喜欢 中国 菜 。 tā nǚpéngyou dōu xǐhuan Zhōngguó cài.He and his girlfriend both like Chinese food.
  • 你 爸爸 你 妈妈 都 是 美国 人 吗 ?Nǐ bàba nǐ māma dōu shì Měiguó rén ma?Are your father and your mother both Americans?
  • 手机 电脑 都 很 贵 。Shǒujī diànnǎo dōu hěn guì.Cell phones and computers are both expensive.
  • 德语 法语 都 很 难 吗 ? Déyǔ Fǎyǔ dōu hěn nán ma?Are both German and French difficult?
  • 今天 明天 都 可以 吗 ? Jīntiān míngtiān dōu kěyǐ ma?Are today and tomorrow both OK?

(If you're unclear why the 都 (dōu) is used in the sentences above, see our article on the adverb 都 (dōu).)

Just to be absolutely clear what we mean by using 和 (hé) with nouns only, here are two English examples of what you should and shouldn't try to express with 和 (hé):

  • I went to the store and bought some gum.Don't use 和 (hé) for this "and"! "Went to the store" and "bought some gum" are both verb phrases, not nouns.
  • I like to eat cucumbers and cheese.This one is good! "Cucumbers" and "cheese" are both nouns, so you can use 和 (hé) here.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books