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Complements with "dao", "gei" and "zai"

One of the cool features of Chinese is complements, and in this article we introduce a few of them.


One kind of complement in Chinese involves putting 到, 给 or 在 after the verb. These are used to indicate direction, target and location, respectively.

  • 到 (dào) indicates that the action has obtained a goal or a certain state. Any verb that uses the complement can also use 到.
  • 给 (gěi) indicates that you have passed something from one person to another.
  • 在 (zài) indicates a person or thing coming to a certain place. It is usually followed by a location or a place.

Subj. + Verb + 到 / 给 / 在⋯⋯


  • 我 昨天晚上 工作 十二点半Wǒ zuótiān wǎnshang gōngzuò dào shí'èr diǎn bàn.I worked until 12:30 last night.
  • 我 今天早上 发了 一封 电子邮件 Wǒ jīntiān zǎoshang fā le yī fēng diànzǐ yóujiàn gěi .I sent an e-mail to you this morning.
  • 请 你 坐 我 旁 边儿Qǐng nǐ zuò zài wǒ pángbiān er.Please come and sit next to me.

See also

Sources and further reading