Expressing "and" with "he" (advanced)

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 used. 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

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. 管理和运营一家公司) 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 two-syllable verbs, such as 维护, 修理.


Verb 1 + 和 + Verb 2


  • 政府 每年 都 会 维护 修理 这些 建筑 。Zhèngfǔ měi nián dōu huì wéihù xiūlǐ zhèxiē jiànzhù.Every year the government maintains and fixes these buildings.
  • 我们 需要 进一步 地 了解 交流。Wǒmen xūyào jìnyībù de liǎojiě jiāoliú.We must further improve in understanding and communicating.
  • 他 十八岁 的 时候 就 管理 运营 着 一 家 公司。Tā shíbā suì de shíhou jiù guǎnlǐ yùnyíng zhe yī jiā gōngsī.When he was eighteen years old, he managed and operated a company.
  • 这 种 材料 可以 无限 地 回收 利用。Zhè zhǒng cáiliào kěyǐ wúxiàn de huíshōu lìyòng.This type of material can be endlessly recycled and reused.
  • 预防 治理 污染 需要 所有 人 共同 的 努力。Yùfáng zhìlǐ wūrǎn xūyào suǒyǒu rén gòngtóng de nǔlì.Preventing and regulating pollution requires everyone to work together.

Linking Adjectives with 和

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

  1. The two adjectives often act as an attributive (coming before a noun), object (coming after a verb), or other sentence element.
  2. If the two adjectives act as the predicate of the sentence, there will be some kind of modifier before the adjectives; they won't just be used "bare"


Adj. 1 + 和 + Adj. 2


  • 我 就是 喜欢 她 任性 调皮,怎么了?Acting as objectsWǒ jiùshì xǐhuan tā rènxìng tiáopí, zěnme le?I just like her headstrong and mischievous. What's wrong with that?
  • 她 安静 甜美 的 笑容 让 我 觉得 温暖 。Acting as an attributiveTā ānjìng tiánměi de xiàoróng ràng wǒ juéde wēnnuǎn.Her quiet and sweet smile makes me feel warm.
  • 这种 恐惧 担心 不 是 没有 道理。Acting as subjects, and with modifier 这种Zhè zhǒng kǒngjù dānxīn bù shì méiyǒu dàolǐ.Such worries and fears are not unreasonable.
  • 你 什么时候 才 可以 像 他 那样 冷静 理性?with modifier 那样Nǐ shénme shíhou cái kěyǐ xiàng tā nàyàng lěngjìng lǐxìng?When will you be as calm and rational as he is?
  • 她 那么 单纯 天真,你 怎么 可以 这样 对 她?Acting as predicate, with with modifier 那么Tā nàme dānchún tiānzhēn, nǐ zěnme kěyǐ zhèyàng duì tā?She is so innocent and naive, how can you treat her like this?

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⋯⋯. Below are some sentences that don't follow the trends laid out above, and are thus not good sentences.

In this first group, the "bare" (unmodified) adjectives don't sound good when using 和:

  • 自私 冷漠,怎么 会 有 人 喜欢 你 ?!zìsī lěngmò, zěnme huì yǒu rén xǐhuan nǐ?!
  • 这么 自私 冷漠 , 怎么 会 有 人 喜欢 你 ?!Nǐ zhème zìsī hé lěngmò, zěnme huì yǒu rén xǐhuan nǐ?!You're so selfish and cold, how could anyone like you?

In this second group, using 和 to group two totally different verbs with different objects sounds bad. It's actually better to just drop the 和 completely!

  • 去 了 超市 买 了 水果qù le chāoshì, mǎi le shuǐguǒ.
  • 我 去 了 超市 , 买 了 水果 。Wǒ qù le chāoshì, mǎi le shuǐguǒ.I went to the supermarket and bought fruit.

Finally, in this last group the verbs share an object, and they're both monosyllabic verbs. While perhaps not blatantly incorrect, this sentence just sounds weird to most Chinese. Using 和 with two-syllable verbs rather than one-syllable verbs sounds more natural:

  • 你 需要 杀毒 软件 。Nǐ xūyào mǎi zhuāng shādú ruǎnjiàn.
  • 你 需要 购买 安装 杀毒 软件 。Nǐ xūyào gòumǎi ānzhuāng shādú ruǎnjiàn.You need to purchase and install anti-virus software.

See also

Sources and further reading



:INVALID"INVALID" is not in the list (HSK0, HSK1, HSK2, HSK3, HSK4, HSK5, HSK6) of allowed values for the "HSK" property.