Verbs preceded by "gei"
The word 给 (gěi) literally means "to give" but is frequently used in Chinese to indicate the target of a verb. The target is who or what the verb is aimed or directed at.
Subj. + 给 + Target + [Verb Phrase]
- 现在 不要 给 他 打 电话 。Don't give him a phone call now.
- 请 快点 给 我 回 邮件 。Please hurry up and reply to my email.
- 他 说 他 会 给 我 写 信 的 。He said he would write letters to me.
- 你 可以 给 大家 读 一下 吗 ？Could you please read it for everybody?
- 我 给 你 发 短信 了 ，你 怎么 不 回 ？I sent you a text. Why didn't you reply?
- 她 的 粉丝 常常 给 她 寄 礼物 。Her fans often send her gifts.
- 小 时候 ，妈妈 每天 都 给 我 讲 故事 。When I was young, my mother would tell me stories every day.
- 爸爸 应该 给 儿子 道歉 。The father should apologize to his son.
- 谁 能 给 我 解释 一下 ？Who can explain this to me?
- 老板 让 我 明天 给 客户 介绍 我们 的 新 产品 。My boss asked to present our new product to the client tomorrow.
Chinese speakers use 给 in some interesting ways, similar to how English speakers use "to give," as in "to give someone a phone call" or "to give someone a reply."
Although the structure above is the best one to learn first, some verbs frequently use 给 but have the 给 coming after the verb, rather than before. It's best to think of these as exceptions to the rule above, and you can learn more about these exceptions by reading about verbs followed by "gei".
- Verbs followed by "gei"
- Expressing "for" with "gei"
- Expressing "with" with "gen"
- Using "dui" with verbs
Sources and further reading
- Chinese: An Essential Grammar, Second Edition (pp. 170) 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 1 (3rd ed) (pp. 154) 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） →buy
- New Practical Chinese Reader 1 (新实用汉语课本1) (pp. 143) 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） →buy
- New Practical Chinese Reader 1 (新实用汉语课本1)(2nd ed) (pp. 165) 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） →buy