Expressing "and" with "he"
When listing out multiple nouns, 和 (hé) is there to help you out. Just remember that 和 (hé) isn't a word you can use to translate just any usage of the English word "and."
The most common way to express "and" in Chinese is with 和 (hé). It's important to note that 和 (hé) is mainly used to link nouns. This is how you should use it exclusively as you get used to it. Don't try to link verbs (or whole sentences) with 和 (hé).
Noun 1 + 和 + Noun 2
- 你 和 我you and I
- 老板 喜欢 咖啡 和 茶。The boss likes coffee and tea.
- 我 的 爷爷 和 奶奶 都 70 岁 。My grandpa and grandma are both 70 years old.
- 他 和 他 女朋友 都 喜欢 中国 菜 。He and his girlfriend both like Chinese food.
- 你 爸爸 和 你 妈妈 都 是 美国 人 吗 ？Are your father and your mother both Americans?
- 手机 和 电脑 都 很 贵 。Cell phones and computers are both expensive.
- 德语 和 法语 都 很 难 吗 ？Are both German and French difficult?
- 今天 和 明天 都 可以 吗 ？Are today and tomorrow both OK?
(If you're unclear why the 都 (dōu) is used in the sentences above, see our article on the adverb 都 (dōu).)
Just to be absolutely clear what we mean by using 和 (hé) with nouns only, here are two English examples of what you should and shouldn't try to express with 和 (hé):
- I went to the store and bought some gum.Don't use 和 (hé) for this "and"! "Went to the store" and "bought some gum" are both verb phrases, not nouns.
- I like to eat cucumbers and cheese.This one is good! "Cucumbers" and "cheese" are both nouns, so you can use 和 (hé) here.
- Expressing "in addition" with "haiyou"
- "In addition" as "lingwai"
- Expressing "not only… but also"
- Combining verbs with "bing"
Sources and further reading
- HSK Standard Course 1 (pp. 74) 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） →buy
- Basic Patterns of Chinese Grammar (pp. 74-5) 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） →buy
- Chinese: An Essential Grammar, Second Edition (pp. 14-5) 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） →buy
- A Practical Chinese Grammar For Foreigners (外国人实用汉语语法) (pp. 126) 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） →buy