What word to use in what situation when saying "and"?
I was, again, browsing through my grammar book for the word "and", thinking that it'd be just one simple character to link all sentences (oh the naivety! This is Mandarin afterall! haha) and I came across four:
- 和 （he2)
- 跟 (gen1)
- 同 (tong2)
- 与 (yu3)
tingyunAugust 11, 2009, 05:40 PM
I'll put down my understanding, but you are probably much better off finding an explanation in a book. I'm sure something I'm about to say won't be quite right...
和 is the right one for listing off nouns - ie I own a ball and a bat.
和, 跟 can both be used sort of like the english word "with" - ie, I'm going to talk with you, play with you. They can also both be used before yi2yang4 一样 to link the two subjects that are the same.
I think 跟 is the right one to use in the sense of going with - ie 你跟我走吧
同 means more like "the same" - in that sense has some similiarities with 样, and can even combine into with it into 同样. So, use it to say something like - we work at the -same- company- 我们在同一个公司工作。
与 is a more formal word, that tends to come up in writing rather than spoken language. It closely resembles the use of 跟. There are alot of words like this - more formal versions appropriate for writing. here's some examples (this part you can trust, because I remembered where in one of my books they discussed this, and looked it up):
没有 (do not possess) 无
还没有(haven't done) 未
和 (at the end of list) 及
sebireAugust 11, 2009, 09:10 PM
Doodlemonster, I once had a teacher that once told me that in general, Chinese people are quite lazy - why include pronouns and conjunctions etc. when you don't have to? Basically, where we would use an “and” to link sentences, just don't bother. e.g. 我今天看了书，打了网球。（dunno if those 了s are right though, but you get the idea!)
I like any language that gets straight to the point :)
并且 is more like "moreover" rather than "and", it seems.
EmmaLouise1August 11, 2009, 10:49 PM
Haha! I guess that's sort of true from what I've heard but I think to start out with, I'll use the "and"s etc just to get into good habits and lay a good foundation and then maybe I can drop some not-so-necessary words! lol
But I'm still confused about which "and" to use in which situation/sentence! :S
tingyunAugust 12, 2009, 01:38 AM
Remember that the use of the english word "and" to connect verbs, and to connect nouns, isn't really the exact same meaning. Sebire's example is certainly right - in fact, I'm not really sure when if ever its proper to connect verbs in Chinese with he2. But I think its good to use to connect nouns.
oranginaAugust 12, 2009, 01:44 AM
there are also 又 you4 and 也 ye3 to link adjectives。。。
That man is tall and big.
But you can't use intensifiers such as 很 with 又 so you have to use 也, which also changes the sentance structure...
这只够很可爱，也很聪明 zhe4zhi1gou3hen3ke3ai4, ye3hen3cong1ming2
This dog is very cute and very smart.
Hope that doesn't overcomplicate things. For me, the best way to learn grammar is to write things as best I can, then have a friend correct my grammar. I also like to translate chinese sentances literally, without changing the grammar. This way I get a feel for the patterns without memorizing rules. I also fool myself into thinking that my chinese friends find my funny way of saying things endearing, and I am therefore excused from speaking perfectly (while of course always striving to improve.)
EmmaLouise1August 11, 2009, 08:46 PM
Thank you! :) That's helped clear things up a bit for me. I once thought I knew the word for "and" (I thought it was 并且) but my Chinese friend explained to be that 并且 is only really used in things like magazines/newspapers and quite formal situations. This explanation seems to tie in with yours so that's helped me. Thank you!
EmmaLouise1August 12, 2009, 08:22 AM
@lechuan - I'm using a grammar book called "Chamber's Chinese Grammar" It's like a pocket-sized red book and comes with a matching vocabulary book. I'd highly recommend the vocabulary book but the grammar book doesn't seem to explain things as well and you feel rather confused after reading a page.
tingyunAugust 12, 2009, 09:42 PM
Changye - your post is very helpful! I'd read before, in a book I didn't trust much, that you can never use he2 to connect verbs, but then I heard it done in contexts I trust...and then had just resolved myself to confusion. But your explanation makes sense, and now I've got a rule to follow.
sebireAugust 12, 2009, 10:05 PM
Well, my dictionary says 和 can't connect verb phrases or two sentences. I don't know if a verb phrase is the same as a verb. Though if you're doing two verbs at the same time, isn't that an 一边。。。一边 situation? I am wondering how one would translate something like "he punched and kicked his brother". I suppose that's more a 又。。。又。。。， otherwise I would imagine flying kicks and punches at precisely the same time for 一边 type phrases. I should a) stop thinking out loud and b) dig out some classic Qing Wens!
changyeAugust 12, 2009, 07:24 AM
I'm not really sure when if ever its proper to connect verbs in Chinese with he2
Me too. I just found that one of my dictionaries gives an explanation on this matter as follows,
You can connect verbs (and adjectives) only when they are two-character words. Here are some examples.