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 + Obj.
- 我 给 他 打 电话 了 。Literally, "I give him hit phone."I gave him a phone call.
- 请 快点 给 我 回 电话 。Please return my phone call soon.
- 我 给 你 发 了 一 封 邮件 。I sent you an email.
- 给 我 说 说 这 件 事 。Talk about this matter to me.
- 我 要 给 你 看 我们 的 新 产品 。I want you to take a look at our new product.
- 给 女朋友 买 什么 礼物 呢 ？What gift should I buy for my girlfriend?
- 小 时候 ，妈妈 每天 都 给 我 讲 故事 。When I was young, every day my mother would tell me stories.
- 你 应该 给 他 道歉 。You should apologize to him.
Chinese speakers use 给 (gěi) 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 "gei" following verbs.
- "Gei" following verbs
- Expressing "with" with "gen"
- Using "dui"
- Complements with "dao," "gei" and "zai"
Sources and Further Reading
- Chinese: An Essential Grammar, Second Edition (pp. 170) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 1 (3rd ed) (pp. 154) →buy
- New Practical Chinese Reader 1 (新实用汉语课本1) (pp. 143) →buy
- New Practical Chinese Reader 1 (新实用汉语课本1)(2nd ed) (pp. 165) →buy
- Chinesegrammar.info: When 给 (gěi) comes directly after verbs in Mandarin Chinese (verb-给 compounds)