When can I not use 给 as a preposition?

December 30, 2010, 08:38 AM posted in I Have a Question

It seems to me that 给 is to prepositions as 个 is to measure words.  What I mean is, even though 个 is not always the correct measure word for some nouns, it often is used anyways.  The same seems to be true with 给.  As of writing this, I don't know if it is always considered correct grammar, but I often hear 给 used as a preposition for when people are doing something directed towards other people.  For example, we are all taught 我跟她说话, but I have also encountered 我跟她说话.

Now this is my question: is there any time that 给 would sound funny as a preposition when people are doing something directed towards other people?

Some examples to ponder:


  1. 我给他吵架
  2. 我给她聊天
  3. 我给她炒鱿鱼
  4. 我用刀给她刺
  5. 我给她告别
  6. 我给她问好
  7. 我给她投诉
  8. 我给她仍求
  9. etc.


Can you guys think of any situations that 给 cannot be used as a preposition this way?

Note: I am not so interested in if these situations are considered poor grammar or not (although I am curious).  I would like to know if different instances of 给 sound natural.  

By the way, this posts stems from this thread.


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January 04, 2011, 05:23 AM


I'll keep my fingers crossed that someone knowledgeable will become interested enough to take a look.

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January 04, 2011, 08:41 AM

Some people do say "我给他说话" in daily conversation. It's very informal and not grammatically correct.

   1. 我给他吵架 (informal ),我跟他吵架 is more common.
   2. 我给她聊天 (informal),我跟她聊天 is more common.
   3. 我给她炒鱿鱼 (wrong), should say 我炒她鱿鱼。don't need a preposition.
   4. 我用刀给她刺 (wrong),should say 我用刀刺向她。
   5. 我给她告别 (correct),我向她告别 is more common.
   6. 我给她问好(correct),我向她问好 is more common.
   7. 我给她投诉(wrong),should say 我向她投诉.

给 sounds natural in these instances. eg, 给他道歉,给他鞠躬,给小朋友讲故事

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January 04, 2011, 01:18 PM

Thanks! I was wondering about this too.