Comparing "dui" and "duiyu"
对 (duì) and 对于 (duìyú) can be confusing because they overlap quite a bit in usage, but they are not entirely interchangeable.
- 1 对 and 对于 Are Equivalent When Used as Prepositions
- 2 对 Is More Versatile within a Sentence
- 3 对 Can Be Used as a Verb
- 4 对 Can Be Used with Emotional Adjectives
- 5 Common Mistakes
- 6 Example Dialog
- 7 Sources and further reading
对 and 对于 Are Equivalent When Used as Prepositions
When 对 and 对于 are used as prepositions to modify a verb, they are basically the same. As a matter of fact, when used this way 对 is just the simplification of 对于! 对于 sounds a bit more formal.
对／对于 + Object + Verb
In the following example sentences, 对 and 对于 are interchangeable.
- 对(于) 这 种 事情，你 有 什么 看法？As for this kind of thing, what's your perspective?
- 我 对(于) 上海 从来 没 喜欢 过 也 没 讨厌 过。I've never liked or disliked Shanghai.
对 Is More Versatile within a Sentence
Both 对 and 对于 can be placed before or after the subject in a sentence. Unlike 对, however, 对于 cannot be placed after the adverb in the middle of a sentence.
They can both go in the very front:
- 对 这 个 问题，我们 都 很 感兴趣。
- 对于 这 个 问题，我们 都 很 感兴趣。
They can both go right after the subject:
- 我们 对 这 个 问题 都 很 感兴趣。
- 我们 对于 这 个 问题 都 很 感兴趣。
Only one can go right before the predicate:
- 我们 都 对 这 个 问题 很 感兴趣。
- 我们 都 对于 这 个 问题 很 感兴趣。
All of the above examples mean "we are all interested in this problem."
对 Can Be Used as a Verb
As a Verb Meaning "to face"
When 对 is used as a verb, it expresses "to face" or "to point at," and you will often see it in the form 对着. It can also be used in verb phrases which refer to "matching," like 对上 and 对不上.
Subj. + 对着 ／ 对上 ／ 对不上
- 枪口 不 要 对 着 人。Don't point the gun at people.
- 我 喜欢 对 着 镜子 笑。I like to laugh at the mirror.
- 这 两 个 数字 对 上 了 吗？Did the two numbers match up?
- 这 两 本 账 对 不上。These two accounts don't match up.
对 Can Be Used with Emotional Adjectives
To indicate to whom an emotional response is directed, you can use 对 but not 对于.
A + 对 + B + Adj.
- 他 对 工作 很 认真。He treats his work very seriously.
- 我 的 男 朋友 对 我 很 好。My boyfriend is very good to me.
- 我们 都 对于 这个 人 很 怀疑。
- 我们 都 对 这个 人 很 怀疑。We are all very suspicious of this guy.
- 他 对于 工作 很 认真。
- 他 对 工作 很 认真。He's very serious about his work.
- A: 对于 这 件 事，你 怎么 看？What do you think about this?
- B: 我 对 她 很 了解，她 不 会 这么 做 的。I understand her completely. She can't do it like this.
Sources and further reading