Using "dui" with verbs
When using 对 (duì) as a preposition, it is used to indicate "to" or "towards" an object or target. As with all prepositions, some care should be taken when using this particle, as usage of 对 doesn't always totally "make sense" or correspond to English at all.
Subj. + 对 + Person + Verb
Note that you shouldn't be plugging in just any old verb here.
- 宝宝 对 我 笑 了 。The baby smiled at me.
- 小狗 在 对 你 叫 。The dog is barking at you.
- 你 不 应该 这样 对 父母 说话 。You shouldn't talk to your parents this way.
- 他 总是 对 老师 撒谎 。He always lies to his teachers.
- 不要 对 孩子 发脾气 。Don't lose your temper at the child.
In English we say "To someone or for someone." In Chinese, the pattern is:
对 + Party + 来说 ，⋯⋯
The predicate part of the pattern can be a verb or an adjective.
Note that subject can be also placed before 对.
- 学好 中文 对 外国人 来说 不 容易 。It is not easy to learn Chinese well for foreigners.
- 对 孩子 来说 ，这个 问题 太 复杂 了 。This question is too complicated for kids.
- 对 你 来说 ，家庭 重要 还是 工作 重要 ？Is family or work more important to you?
Certain verbs, specially psychological verbs, are often used with 对, which means 对 is needed if you want to add an Obj in the structure, such as 对...感兴趣 ("to be interested in..."). In this case, 对 means "in, on, about," etc. The short list below will give a few more verbs used with 对. Check it out!
- 对⋯⋯感兴趣 (gǎn xìngqù) to feel interested in
- 对⋯⋯负责 (fùzé) to be responsible for
- 对⋯⋯满意 (mǎnyì) to feel satisfied about
- 对⋯⋯好奇 (hàoqí) to feel curious about
- 对⋯⋯失望 (shīwàng) to feel disappointed about
- 我 儿子 对 学 外语 很 感 兴趣 。My son is very interested in learning foreign language.
- 你 应该 对 自己 的 工作 负责 。You should be responsible for your job.
- 老板 对 你 不 太 满意 。The boss has not been very satisfied with you.
- 观众 对 比赛 结果 非常 失望 。Everyone is very disappointed with the result of the game.
- 我 的 小 女儿 对 所有 动物 都 很 好奇 。My younger daughter is curious about all the animals.
Sources and further reading
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 2 (3rd ed) (pp. 153) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 2, Part 1 (pp. 151) →buy
- Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar: A Practical Guide (pp. 84, 88) →buy
- Boya Chinese Elementary Starter 1 (博雅汉语初经起步篇) (pp. 198) →buy
- Chinese Grammar - Broken down into 100 items - Basic and Intermediate Levels (汉语语法百项讲练 - 初中级) (pp. 313) [ →buy]
- 卓越汉语－公司实战篇 (pp. 11-2, 134) [ →buy]