Actions in a row
Linking actions together in a sentence is very straightforward and to the point. Because of this, there is no new word or phrase needed!
In Chinese, it's very easy to describe two actions in a row. Simply place one verb phrase after another, in this structure:
Subj. + [Verb Phrase 1] + [Verb Phrase 2]
No connecting word is needed. A common mistake in the early stages of learning Chinese is to try and link verbs with 和 (hé). This is incorrect; 和 (hé) is for linking nouns. Just use one verb phrase after another and the sequence of events is clear.
- 我 要 回家 吃饭。 I want to go home and eat.
- 你 要 去 超市 买 东西 吗？Are you going to the supermarket to buy things?
- 他 不 想 去 图书馆 看 书。He doesn't want to go to the library and read.
- 你 打 电话 告诉 他 了 吗？Did you call and tell him?
- 我们 要 坐 飞机 去 美国。We are going to take an airplane to go to the USA.
- 你们 可以 上 网 买 机票 吗？Can you use the Internet to buy airplane tickets?
- 老板 下周 去 北京 开 会。Next week the boss will go to Beijing to have a meeting.
- 中国人 都 要 回家 过 年。Chinese people all go back home for Chinese New Year.
- 周末 我 喜欢 自己 买 菜 做饭。 I like to buy food to cook for myself on the weekend.
- 早上 我 先 刷 牙 洗 脸，再 吃 早饭。In the morning, I first brush my teeth and wash my face, and then I eat breakfast.
Note that the English translations of these sentences use the word "and," but there is no equivalent to it in Chinese.
- Expressing "and" with "he"
- Events in quick succession with "yi... jiu"
- Sequencing with "xian" and "zai"
Sources and further reading
- A Practical Chinese Grammar For Foreigners (外国人实用汉语语法) (pp. 477-484) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 1 (3rd ed) (pp. 207-8) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课下册） (pp. 384-5) [ →buy]
- 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） (pp. 125) [ →buy]