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Expressing "towards" with "xiang"

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Chinese-grammar-wiki-xiang4.jpg

向 (xiàng) is a preposition that means "towards," and is used often when expressing or referring to a certain point.

Used as "towards"

Structure

When used as a preposition, "向" indicates an action that is performed towards a reference point, but doesn't have any actual motion towards that point.

向 + Direction / Person + Verb

Examples

  • 东 走 。Xiàng dōng zǒu.Walk towards east.
  • 前 看 。Xiàng qián kàn.Look forward.
  • 左 转 。Xiàng zuǒ zhuǎn.Turn left.
  • 老师 正 我们 走 来 。Lǎoshī zhèng xiàng wǒmen zǒu lái.The teacher is walking towards us.
  • 火车 已经 开 了 ,她 还在 我 招手 。Huǒchē yǐjīng kāi le, tā hái zài xiàng wǒ zhāoshǒu.The train already took off. She kept waving towards me.
  • 你 必须 他 道歉 !Nǐ bìxū xiàng tā dàoqiàn!You must apologize to him!
  • 这 件 事 你 应该 老板 汇报 一下 。Zhè jiàn shì nǐ yīnggāi xiàng lǎobǎn huìbào yīxià.You should report this to the boss!

Used as "from"

Whereas in English we would say "learn from someone," in Chinese this would be expressed as "learn toward someone," as in the following example (and famous propaganda slogan):

  • 雷锋 同志 学习 !Xiàng Léi Fēng tóngzhì xuéxí!Learn from Comrade Lei Feng!

More examples:

Examples

  • 我 不 喜欢 朋友 借钱 。Wǒ bù xǐhuan xiàng péngyou jiè qián.I don't like to borrow money from my friends.
  • 你 会 陌生人 求助 吗 ?Nǐ huì xiàng mòshēngrén qiúzhù ma?Would you ask strangers for help?
  • 我们 都 没 经验 ,是 来 你 请教 的 。Wǒmen dōu méi jīngyàn, lái xiàng nǐ qǐngjiào de.None of us have experience. We're here to ask you for advice.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books