Chinese Sentence Structure and Word Order VI

This grammar section is divided into a few sub-sections, and will be described through a few week activities:

SP1. Basic Pattern
SP2. Direct and Indirect Objects
SP3. Prepositional Phrases
SP4. Location and Time Phrases
SP5. Adverbs
SP6. Negation
SP7. Duration
SP8. Noun
SP9. Question
SP10. Particle

SP6 : Negation

  • Negation typically occurs before the verb and any prepositional phrase.

    Subject + Negation + Predicate (Adjective / Verb / Prepositional Phrase)

    Example:

    1. He is not Chinese.
    shì zhōng guó rén
    Subject Negation Predicate
    He not is Chinese
    2. He is not tall.
    gāo
    Subject Negation Predicate
    He not tall
    3. I don’t have money.
    méi yǒu qián
    Subject Negation Predicate
    I no have money
  • Negation usually occurs after an adverb.

    Subject + Adverbs + Negation + Predicate

    Example:

    1. They all cannot speak Japanese.
    men dōu huì shuō
    Subject Adverbs Negation Predicate
    I all not know to speak Japanese
    2. He neither smokes nor drinks.
    chōu yān jiǔ
    Subject Negation Predicate Adverbs Negation Predicate
    He not smoking also not drinking wine
  • Certain adverbs may either precede or follow negation. The order of an adverb influences the meaning of the sentence.

    Subject + Adverbs + Negation + Predicate

    or
    Subject + Negation + Adverbs + Predicate

    Example:

    1.  He might not be at home.
    dìng zài jiā
    Subject Negation Adverbs Predicate
    He not definitely at home
    2. He is definitely not at the home.
    dìng zài jiā
    Subject Adverbs Negation Predicate
    He definitely not at home
  • The common words that are used to negate verbs and verb phrases in Chinese are and 没 / 没有.
  • Here are a few most commonly used negation phrases:

    不会,不好,不行,不能,不是,不够,不该,不敢,没有,没什么,没关系

  • Try to make a few sentences with the above negation phrases.
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3 thoughts on “Chinese Sentence Structure and Word Order VI”

  1. 啊, ‘不’ ‘没’ are the words that often confuse me.
    which is the correct answer or may be there are different meaning :
    Please explain, 谢谢。
    - 他没来。
    - 他不来。

    1. Hi bubun,
      Both are correct, but with slightly different meaning.

      他没来 : means He didn’t come.
      (他没(有)来。)
      e.g:
      昨天的舞会,他有没有来?
      他没来。

      他不来(了) : means He is not coming.
      (他不(会)来(了))
      e.g:
      明天的舞会,他会来吗?
      他不来。

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