Using "dui" with verbs

When using 对 (duì) as a preposition, it means "to" or "towards" an object or target. As with all prepositions, you've got to watch out when using this word, as usage of 对 in Chinese doesn't always totally "make sense" or correspond to English at all.

Basic Usage


Subj. + 对 + Person + Verb

Note that you shouldn't be plugging in just any old verb here; the ones that work with 对 are limited.


  • 宝宝 笑 了 。Bǎobao duì xiào le.The baby smiled at me.
  • 小狗 在 叫 。Xiǎogǒu zài duì jiào.The dog is barking at you.
  • 你 不 应该 这样 父母 说话 。Nǐ bù yīnggāi zhèyàng duì fùmǔ shuōhuà.You shouldn't talk to your parents this way.
  • 他 总是 老师 撒谎 。Tā zǒngshì duì lǎoshī sāhuǎng.He always lies to his teachers.
  • 不要 孩子 发脾气 。Bùyào duì háizi fā píqi.Don't lose your temper with the child.

Colloquial Expression 对……来说

In English we often start sentences with "to someone" or "for someone" when sharing that person's perspective. In Chinese, the pattern is:

对 + Person + 来说 ,⋯⋯

While this pattern was too common to omit from this page, it's covered in more depth as part of phrases using "laishuo."

Usage with Specific Verbs

Certain verbs, especially psychological verbs, are often used with 对, which means 对 is needed if you want to add an object into the structure. I good example is 对……感兴趣 ("to be interested in..."). In this case, 对 means "in," "on," "about," etc., and the object doesn't have to be a person. The short list below will give a few more verbs frequently paired with 对.


  • 对⋯⋯有兴趣 (yǒu xìngqù) to have an interest in...
  • 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 with...
  • 对⋯⋯失望 (shīwàng) to be disappointed in/with...
  • 对⋯⋯好奇 (hàoqí) to be curious about...


Some example sentences:

  • 我 儿子 学 外语 很 感 兴趣Wǒ érzi duì xué wàiyǔ hěn gǎn xìngqù.My son is very interested in learning foreign languages.
  • 你 应该 自己 的 工作 负责Nǐ yīnggāi duì zìjǐ de gōngzuò fùzé .You should be responsible for your job.
  • 老板 你 不 太 满意Lǎobǎn duì nǐ bù tài mǎnyì.The boss is not very satisfied with you.
  • 观众 比赛 结果 非常 失望Guānzhòng duì bǐsài jiéguǒ fēicháng shīwàng.The audience is very disappointed with the result of the game.
  • 我 的 小 女儿 所有 动物 都 很 好奇Wǒ de xiǎo nǚ'ér duì suǒyǒu dòngwù dōu hěn hàoqí.My younger daughter is curious about all animals.

See also

Sources and further reading