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 Phrase]
- 现在 不要 给 他 打 电话 。Don't give him a phone call now.
- 请 快点 给 我 回 电话 。Please return my phone call soon.
- 你 可以 给 大家 读 一下 吗 ？Could you please read it for everybody?
- 我 给 你 发 了 一 封 邮件 。I sent you an email.
- 他 说 他 会 给 我 写信 。He said he would write letters to me.
- 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.
- 爸爸 应该 给 儿子 道歉 。The father should apologize to his son.
- 给 我们 介绍 一下 你 的 男朋友 吧 。Talk about this matter to me.
- 她 的 粉丝 常常 给 她 寄 礼物 。Her fans often send her gifts.
- 谁 能 给 我 解释 一下 这 是 为什么 ？Talk about this matter to me.
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 "for" with "gei"
- Expressing "with" with "gen"
- Using "dui"
- Verbs followed by "gei"
- Complements with "dao"
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)