Expressing "and" with "he" (advanced)

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You probably learned early on that 和 (hé) is used as an "and" word to connect nouns and noun phrases, but not sentences or clauses. This rule is fine for a while but eventually you will begin encountering what appears to be non-nouns linked by 和. This article addresses how you may see 和 used in other ways.

It's worth mentioning that none of these uses of 和 needs to be "learned." You could do just fine only using 和 to connect nouns and noun phrases, and native speakers may prefer not to use 和 in some of the examples sentences given below. Still, uses like these do exist.

Linking Verbs with 和

Verb 1 + 和 + Verb 2

Rather than give absolute rules, it's more helpful to give trends, because it's very difficult to provide a rule for using 和 with non-nouns which is never broken. There are just too many gray areas.

In most cases, the following trends apply when 和 is used to connect verbs:

  1. The two verbs are very similar in nature. This could include characteristics such as level of formality, structure, and scope. Often you'll find that the verbs even overlap a little in meaning or are frequently used together. Thus "唱歌和跳舞" is natural (both are separable verbs, equally informal, frequently used together), whereas "玩游戏和跑" (the structure of the two is very different) is quite awkward.
  2. Both verbs share the same object (e.g. "管理和运营着家公司") or are both modified by the same adverbial phrase (e.g. "进一步地了解和交流").
  3. Normally (but not always) both verbs are disyllabic (two-syllable verbs), such as 维护, 修理.
  • 政府 每年 都 会 维护 修理 这些 建筑 。
  • 我们 需要 进一步 地 了解 交流。
  • 他 十八岁 的 时候 就 管理 运营 着 一 家 公司。
  • 这 种 材料 可以 无限 地 回收 利用。
  • 预防 治理 污染 需要 所有 人 共同 的 努力。

Linking Adjectives with 和

Adj. 1 + 和 + Adj. 2

In most cases, at least one of the following trends apply when 和 is used to connect adjectives:

  1. The two adjectives do not act as the predicate of the sentence, but instead act as an attributive (coming before a noun), object (coming after a verb), or other sentence element.
  2. There will be some kind of modification before the adjectives; they won't just be used "bare"
  • 我 就是 喜欢 她 任性 调皮,怎么了?做宾语)
  • 她 那么 单纯 天真,你 怎么 可以 这样 对 她?有修饰成分)
  • 她 安静 甜美 的笑容让我觉得温暖。做定语)
  • 这种 恐惧 担心 不 是 没有 道理。有修饰成分,做主语)
  • 你 什么时候 才 可以 像 他 那样 冷静 理性?有修饰成分)

Incorrect uses of 和

Don't forget that in addition to 和, there are all kinds of other ways to express the "and" meaning, such as the words , 并且, and 还有, or the patterns 又⋯⋯又⋯⋯ or 既⋯⋯又⋯⋯.

The following sentences don't follow the trends laid out above, and are thus not good sentences.

  • 你自私和冷漠,怎么会有人喜欢你?!The adjectives are acting as the predicate, and have nothing modifying them.)
  • 你这么自私和冷漠,怎么会有人喜欢你?!Adding a modifier to the adjectives sounds much better.)
  • 我去了超市和买了水果。You could look at these actions as two separate clauses or verbs with separate objects. Either way, it's bad.)
  • 我去了超市,并且买了水果。Here we treated the verbs as separate clauses and used 并且 to connect them.)
  • 你需要买和装杀毒软件。Although the verbs share an object, they're both monosyllabic verbs. While perhaps not blatantly incorrect, this sentence just sounds weird to most Chinese.)
  • 你需要购买和安装杀毒软件。They still share the same object, but now the monosyllabic verbs have been converted to disyllabic verbs. Problem solved!)

See also

Sources and further reading