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Negation of "you" with "mei"

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The verb 有 (yǒu) is negated differently from ordinary verbs. Rather than placing 不 (bù) before it as with other verbs, you must use 没 (méi) to negate the verb 有 (yǒu).

Structure

Nearly all verbs can be negated with 不 (bù). The verb 有 (yǒu) is an exception, and must be negated with 没 (méi).

没 + 有 (+ Obj.)

Examples

  • 没 有 问题。 méi yǒu wèntí. I don't have any questions.
  • 我们 现在 没 有 钱。Wǒmen xiànzài méi yǒu qián. We don't have money now.
  • 没 有 工作 吗? méi yǒu gōngzuò ma? Does he not have a job?
  • 他们 没 有 爸爸妈妈。 Tāmen méi yǒu bàba māma. They don't have parents.
  • 我们 在 北京 没 有 房子。Wǒmen zài Běijīng méi yǒu fángzi. We don't have a house in Beijing.
  • 你 爸爸 没 有 手机 吗?Nǐ bàba méi yǒu shǒujī ma? Does your dad not have a cell phone?
  • 你们 在 上海 没 有 朋友 吗?Nǐmen zài Shànghǎi méi yǒu péngyou ma? Do you not have friends in Shanghai?
  • 我 的 老师 现在 没 有 男朋友。 Wǒ de lǎoshī xiànzài méi yǒu nánpéngyou. My teacher doesn't have a boyfriend now.
  • 他们 都 没 有 电脑 吗?Tāmen dōu méi yǒu diànnǎo ma?Do they all not have computers?
  • 这 个 周末 你们 都 没 有 时间 吗?Zhège zhōumò nǐmen dōu méi yǒu shíjiān ma?Do you all not have time this weekend?

Remember that trying to negate 有 (yǒu) with 不 (bù) is a classic mistake that many people make in the early stages of studying Chinese:

  • 车。Never use 不 with 有! yǒu chē.
  • 车。Always use 没 with 有.méi yǒu chē.I don't have a car.

Never use 不 (bù) with 有 (yǒu).

The Short Form of 没有 (méiyǒu) is 没 (méi)

没有 (méiyǒu) can be shortened to 没 (méi) without altering its meaning.

  • 钱。 méi qián. I don't have money.
  • 男朋友 吗? méi nánpéngyou ma? Do you not have a boyfriend?
  • 你们 车 吗? Nǐmen méi chē ma? Do you not have a car?
  • 老板 现在 时间。 Lǎobǎn xiànzài méi shíjiān. The boss doesn't have time right now.
  • 工作,我 老公 也 工作。 méi gōngzuò, wǒ lǎogōng yě méi gōngzuò. I don't have a job. Neither does my husband.

See also

Sources and further reading

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