Expressing "towards" with "xiang"
向 (xiàng) is a preposition that means "towards" and is used often with certain verbs. These usages need to be learned together with 向.
Used as "Towards"
When used as a preposition, 向 indicates an action that is performed towards a reference point but doesn't have any actual motion towards that point.
向 + Direction / Person + Verb
- 向 东 走 。Walk to the east.
- 向 前 看 。Look forward.
- 向 左 转 。Turn to the left.
- 老师 正 向 我们 走 来 。The teacher is currently walking towards us.
- 火车 已经 开 了 ，她 还 在 向 我 招手 。The train already departed. She kept waving at me.
- 你 必须 向 他 道歉 ！You must apologize to him!
- 这 件 事 你 应该 向 老板 汇报 一下 。You should report this matter to the boss!
Used as "From"
Whereas in English we would say "learn from someone," in Chinese this would be expressed as "learn toward someone," as in the following example (and famous propaganda slogan):
- 向 雷锋 同志 学习 ！Learn from Comrade Lei Feng!
- 我 不 喜欢 向 朋友 借钱 。I don't like to borrow money from friends.
- 你 会 向 陌生人 求助 吗 ？Would you ask strangers for help?
- 我们 都 没 经验 ，是 来 向 你 请教 的 。None of us has experience. We're here to ask you for advice.