Expressing "for" with "gei"

The preposition 给 (gěi) can mean "for," as in, "everything I do, I do it for you." You can also think of it as meaning "give," like to give a service or to give something to someone. In this case, the default position of the character is before the verb, although it sometimes comes after, depending on the verb.


The meaning of 给 is very similar to (wèi) in Chinese, but 给 is more informal than 为, and there are many cases where it's simply based on convention and general practice to decide to use one or the other.

Subj. + 给 + Recipient + [Verb Phrase]

Note that the "recipient" in the pattern above is usually a person but isn't necessarily a person. It could be an animal, company, or any number of other types of recipients.


  • 客人 倒茶Gěi kèrén dàochá.Pour tea for the guests.
  • 妈妈 在 孩子 们 做饭Māma zài gěi háizi men zuòfàn.Mom cooks for the kids.
  • 我 儿子 喜欢 小狗 洗澡Wǒ érzi xǐhuan gěi xiǎogǒu xǐzǎo.My son likes giving our dog a bath.
  • 一 双 筷子 。Qǐng gěi yī shuāng kuàizi.Please get a pair of chopsticks for me.
  • 可以 一 杯 咖啡 吗 ?Kěyǐ gěimǎi yī bēi kāfēi ma?Could you buy me a cup of coffee?
  • 可以 拿 一下 行李 吗 ?Kěyǐ gěiná yīxià xíngli ma?Can you take my luggage for me?
  • 这个 周末 我们 儿子 开 生日 派对Zhège zhōumò wǒmen gěi érzi kāi shēngrì pàiduì.We're going to hold a birthday party for our son this weekend.
  • 我 没 带 钥匙 ,你 能 开 一下 门 吗 ?Wǒ méi dài yàoshi, nǐ néng gěikāi yīxià mén ma?I didn't bring the key. Could you open the door for me?
  • 你 想 打扫 房间 吗 ?Nǐ xiǎng gěidǎsǎo fángjiān ma?Would you like to clean the room for me?
  • 如果 你 来 中国 玩 ,我 当 导游Rúguǒ nǐ lái Zhōngguó wán, wǒ gěidāng dǎoyóu.If you come visit China, I'll be your tour guide.

See also

Sources and further reading