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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.

Basic Usage

Structure

Subj. + 对 + Person + Verb

Note that you shouldn't be plugging in just any old verb here.

Examples

  • 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 zhèyang 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 at the child.

Colloquial Saying

In English we say "to someone" or "for someone." In Chinese, the pattern is:

Structure

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."

Special Usage

Certain verbs, especially 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

Some examples:

  • 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 language.
  • 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 has not been very satisfied with you.
  • 观众 比赛 结果 非常 失望Guānzhòng duì bǐsài jiéguǒ fēicháng shīwàng.Everyone 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 the animals.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books