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Chinese Grammar: How To Use Verbs

Verbs express actions, events or states.

In Chinese, like other languages, the verb must be accompanied by the noun or pronoun that is acting.

Verbs in Chinese do not have tense conjugations like English, but rather the verb in Chinese is used for all tenses (present, past and future).

Chinese verb tense examples

Present:

I play soccer.

我 玩 足 球

Wǒ wán zúqiú.

Past:

I played soccer.

我 玩 足 球

Wǒ wán zúqiú.

Future:

I will play soccer.

我 会 玩 足 球

Wǒ huì wán zúqiú.

Negation of Chinese verbs

For negate a verb in Chinese only you must put the word 不 (Bù) before the verb, but exist one exception the verb to have 有(Yǒu) in this case you must put the word 没 (Méi) before the verb to have.

Examples:

I do not want to sleep.

我 不 想 睡 觉

Wǒ bùxiǎng shuìjiào.

I do not have work today.

我 没 有 今 天 的 工 作

Wǒ méiyǒu jīntiān de gōngzuò

Verbs in Chinese

English Chinese PinyinEnglish Chinese Pinyin
to be (permanent) Shìto be (temp./location) Zài
to arrive 到达 Dàodáto owe 应该 Yīnggāi
to have Yǒuto place 放置 Fàngzhì
to do Zuòto put 放置 Fàngzhì
to make 使 Shǐto believe 相信 Xiāngxìn
to speak 发言 Fāyánto talk Shuō
to say Shuōto tell 告诉 Gàosu
to read 阅读 Yuèdúto go
to sleep 睡觉 Shuìjiàoto see Kàn
to understand 了解 liǎojiěto give Gěi
to find 找 到 Zhǎodàoto eat Chī
to call 打电话 Dǎ diànhuàto know 知道 Zhīdào
to come Láito want 想要 Xiǎng yào
to carry 携带 Xiédàito lose 失去 Shīqù
to wear 穿 Chuānto dance 跳舞 Tiàowǔ
to leave 离开 Líkāito buy 购买 Gòumǎi
to open 打开 Dǎkāito answer 回答 Huídá
to live 生活 Shēnghuóto ask Wèn
to bring Dàito close 关闭 Guānbì
to write Xiěto work 工作 Gōngzuò
to think Xiǎngto begin 开始 Kāishǐ
to study 研究 Yánjiūto walk 走路 Zǒulù
to take 采取 Cǎiqǔto run Pǎo
to sing Chàngto need 需要 Xūyào
to play Wánto pay 支付 Zhīfù
to feel 感觉 Gǎnjuéto drink
to cook 做饭 Zuò fànto sell 出售 Chūshòu
to travel 旅行 Lǚxíngto change 改变 Gǎibiàn
to count Shùto win Yíng
to break 打破 Dǎpòto drive 开车 Kāichē
to clean 清洁 Qīngjiéto meet 满足 Mǎnzú
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