Expressing "towards" with "xiang"
向 (xiàng) is a preposition that means "towards" and is used often when expressing or referring to a certain point.
Used as "towards"
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
- 向 东 走 。Walk to the east.
- 向 前 看 。Look forward.
- 向 左 转 。Turn left.
- 老师 正 向 我们 走 来 。The teacher is walking towards us.
- 火车 已经 开 了 ，她 还在 向 我 招手 。The train already took off. She kept waving towards me.
- 你 必须 向 他 道歉 ！You must apologize to him!
- 这 件 事 你 应该 向 老板 汇报 一下 。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):
- 向 雷锋 同志 学习 ！Learn from Comrade Lei Feng!
- 我 不 喜欢 向 朋友 借钱 。I don't like to borrow money from my friends.
- 你 会 向 陌生人 求助 吗 ？Would you ask strangers for help?
- 我们 都 没 经验 ，是 来 向 你 请教 的 。None of us have experience. We're here to ask you for advice.