Advanced uses of direction complement "-qilai"

We saw in B1 that 起来 (qǐlái), among other things, can be used to express a literal upward movement. 起来 also has some more slightly less intuitive usages, which are figurative extensions of the "movement" idea.

起来 can be used to express collecting things together, where in English we might say "tidy up," or "add up."


Verb + 起来

Note that you will often see this pattern used with 把 sentence.

Subj. + 把 + Obj. + Verb + 起来


  • 13 和 15 起来 是 多少 ?How much is 13 and 15 added up?
  • 衣服 都 起来 了 。He put away his clothes.
  • 我 老婆 钱 都 起来 了 。My wife saves up all our money.
  • 你 的 玩具 都 起来Put your toys away.
  • 你 为什么 要 我 的 手机 起来Why would you hide my cell phone?

起来 can also be used to express more abstract concepts of bringing things together.

  • 如果 我们 团结 起来 ,一定 能 赢 。We will absolutely win this if we unite.
  • 如果 你 工作 和 兴趣 结合 起来,工作 就 会 很 快乐 。 If you combine your work with your interest, working would be fun.
  • 我们 要 所有 的 资源 都 利用 起来We need to put all the resources together.

See also

Sources and further reading