Expressing "must" with "dei"
- Wanting to do something with "yao" (A1)
- Expressing "should" with "yinggai" (A2)
- Expressing "would like to" with "xiang" (A2)
- Expressing "had better" with "zuihao" (B1)
- Declaring the only option with "zhihao" (B2)
- Expressing "have to" with budebu (B2)
- Expressing determination with "feiyao" (C1)
- Expressing “must" with "feidei" (C1)
Learning how to use 得 to mean "must" must be done by those wishing to master Chinese!
Normally when you see 得 it's a particle and is pronounced "de." However, it can also be an auxiliary verb. In this case it's pronounced děi and means "must."
Subj. + 得 + Verb + Obj.
- 时间 不 早 了，我 得 回家 了。It's getting late. I have to go home.
- 你 病 得 太 严重 了，得去 看 医生。You are badly ill. You need to go see a doctor.
- 朋友们 都 在 等，我们 得 走 了。Our friends are waiting, we need to go.
- 这个 方法 不行，你 得 换 个 方法。This way doesn't work. You need to find another way.
- 我 没带 钥匙 ，你 得 回来 帮我 开门。I forgot my keys. You need to come back to help me open the door.
- "Would like to" with xiang
- Wanting to do something with yao
- Auxiliary verb
- Auxiliary verb "hui" for "will"
Sources and further reading
- Yoyo Chinese: "Have to and Don't have to"