Expressing "with" with "gen"
Using 跟 (gēn) to express "with" is so simple and helpful, after studying it briefly, it will always be with you! 跟 (gēn) is a very common word that will help complete many sentence structures.
The preposition 跟 (gēn) is commonly used to express "with." Just remember that the "with" phrase comes before the verb.
Subj. + 跟 + Person + Verb + Obj.
The word 一起 (yīqǐ) is used a lot with 跟 (gēn), expressing the idea of "doing something together with somebody." It may seem kind of redundant, but it's totally normal in Chinese to use both.
Subj. + 跟 + Person + 一起 + Verb + Obj.
Certain Chinese verbs use 跟 (gēn) a lot, so be on the lookout for them (examples below)!
- 你 要 跟 我 一起 去 吗 ？ Do you want to go with me?
- 我 跟 两 个 同事 去 北京 。 I'm going with two co-workers to Beijing.
- 我 跟 我 朋友 喝 啤酒 。 I drink beer with my friend.
- 他 跟 他 家人 一起 吃饭 。 He eats with his family.
- 不要 跟 我 说话 ！ Don't talk to me!
- 中秋节 你 想 跟 我 回 老家 吗 ？ Do you want to go back to my hometown with me during Mid-Autumn Festival?
- 下 个 月 你 要 跟 你 的 男朋友 去 欧洲 吗 ？ Are you going to go to Europe with your boyfriend next month?
- 他 想 跟 他 的 女朋友 结婚 吗 ？ (This is one of those verbs that often appears with 跟) Does he want to marry his girlfriend?
- 你 的 老师 喜欢 跟 你 聊天 吗 ？ (This is one of those verbs that often appears with 跟) Does your teacher like to talk with you?
- 你 想 跟 他 的 家人 见面 吗 ？ (This is one of those verbs that often appears with 跟) Do you want to meet his family?
Note: One of the most common beginner mistakes is to fail to use 跟 (gēn) with 见面 (jiànmiàn), "to meet." It might help to think of 见面 (jiànmiàn) as "to meet with (somebody)," the "with" cluing you into the fact that you need a 跟 (gēn) in there.
Check out the examples below:
- 我 要 见面 你 。
- 我 要 跟 你 见面 。I want to meet (with) you.
- 我 昨天 见面 他 了 。
- 我 昨天 跟 他 见面 了 。I met with him yesterday.
- 你 什么时候 见面 她 ？
- 你 什么时候 跟 她 见面 ？When are you going to meet (with) her?
- 明天 我 要见面 我 男朋友 的 家人。
- 明天 我 要 跟 我 男朋友 的 家人 见面 。Tomorrow I am going to meet my boyfriend's family.
- 你 有没有 见面 过 Obama?
- 你 有没有 跟 Obama 见过面 ？Have you ever met Obama?
Later on you'll learn more about why this is the case, but for now just memorize the correct pattern.
Sources and further reading
- Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar: A Practical Guide (p.84, p.88)→buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 1 (pp.166-167) →buy