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.
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 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 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 对 学 外语 很 感 兴趣 。My son is very interested in learning foreign languages.
- 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 is not very satisfied with you.
- 观众 对 比赛 结果 非常 失望 。The audience 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 animals.
Sources and further reading
- HSK Standard Course 2 (pp. 76) →buy
- 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]