New HSK 3.0 Compliant Supplement Lessons

Level 2 Lesson 11.1 – Come Back vs. Come In and Go Back vs. Go In in Chinese

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Preposition 从 meaning from in Chinese and through in Chinese | Complement of Direction 去 and 来

In today's video lesson we’ll learn how to say from and through in Chinese with the Preposition 从 and the fourth usage of Modal Verb 要, suggesting “requiring or need”. We will also learn a very important grammatical structure, to say “to come in and to go in” in Chinese with Complement of Direction 去 and 来.

  • Preposition 从 meaning from in Chinese and through in Chinese
  • Structure 从...到...
  • Phrase 从小到大
  • Modal Verb 要 (IV) suggesting “requiring; need”. See also (I), (II), (III).
  • Complement of Direction 去 and 来





Grammar 1: From and Through in Chinese with 从 · HSK 2

从 is a Preposition that suggests the starting point of (1) a time period or (2) a trip and usually can be translated as from in English.

(1) Preposition  从 suggesting starting point of a time period

 + a time point

For example,

  • wǒ shì cóng qùnián kāishǐ xué de Hànyǔ
    I (was) from last year (that) started to learn Chinese
  • lánqiú bǐdài cóng xiànzài kǎishǐ
    (the) basketball game from now starts

(2) Preposition  从 suggesting starting point of a trip

 + a location

  • nǐ shì cóng nǎbiān lái de
    you (was) from where (that) came
  • cóng zuǒbian wǎng yòubian zǒu
    walk from (the) left side towards (the) right side


Preposition 从 has another meaning as well , which is to suggest “through”.

从 + somewhere

For example,

  • wǒmen cóng zuǒbian jìnqu
    we go through (the) left
  • cóng pángbiān chūlai ba
    come out through (the) side


Grammar 2: The 从...到...Structure · HSK 2

Since Preposition 从 suggests the starting point, it is usually used with 到, to form this structure:

从 A(time point/location) B(time point/location)

For example,

  • cóng jiàoshì dào jīchǎng hěn yuǎn
    (The distance) from (the) classroom to (the) airport (is) very far
  • Běijīng cóng yīyuè dào liùyuè dōu hěn lěng
    Beijing (the time) from January to June all (very) cold

Here 从一月到六月都 suggests including all the time from 一月(January) to 六月(June). So 从早上到晚上都 suggests including the whole time period from morning till evening.

We also have this phrase 从小到大, which means "from when one was little to when one has grown big(up)", or "ever since someone was little". And the phrase 从小到大都, suggests that including the whole time period from (when one was) little till (when one grows) big(up).

For example,

  • wǒ cóng xiǎo dào dà dōu zhù zài Běijīng
    I live in Beijing from little to grown up all (the time in between)
  • cóng xiǎo dào dà, wǒ dǒu xǐhuan chī pīsà
    from little to grown up, all (the time in between) I like eating pizza


Grammar 3: Modal Verb 要 Suggesting “Requiring; Need” · HSK 2

Modal Verb 要 is really useful in daily Chinese conversation. We have learned 3 usage already. When followed by "do something", Modal Verb 要 means "should do something" or "need to do something".

In today's lesson, we'll learn how Modal Verb 要 can be used before a Noun (Phrase), to suggest "to require something" or "to need something".

要  + Noun (Phrase)

For example,

  • cóng xuéxiào dào yīyuàn yào wǔge xiǎoshí
    (the) distance from (the) school to (the) hospital needs 5 hours
  • xué Hànyǔ yào huì xiě Hànzì
    learning Chinese requires being able to write Chinese characters


Grammar 4: Complement of Direction 去 and 来 · HSK 2

Now we’ll look at Complement of Direction 去 and 来 in Chinese. 去 and 来 are both verbs.

  • qù 去 means "to exit; to go (away from the speaker)"
  • lái 来 means "to come (towards the direction of the speaker)"

So both 去 and 来 themselves already indicate the direction of whether the movement is going away or going towards the speaker. This is why we can put 去 and 来 after other verbs, used as Complement of Direction ( Qùxiàng Bǔyǔ 趋向补语), to indicate the direction of those verbs.

There are different types of Complements in Chinese, such as Complement of Degree, we will learn about those Complements in future lessons and levels.

In today's lesson we'll focus on Complement of Direction. Complement of Direction tells us about the direction that the action verb is moving towards.

The structure is as the chart below.

Verb Complement of Direction 去 Verb-Complement Phrase

to enter

to go
to go and enter

to exit

to go
to go and exit

to go and enter

to go
to go back


Verb Complement of Direction 来 Verb-Complement Phrase

to enter

to come
to come and enter

to exit

to come
to come and exit

to go and enter

to come
to come back


Below are example sentences of Complement of Direction 去 and 来

(1) Complement of Direction 去

  • wǒ néng cóng zhèbian chūqu ma
    can I go exit from here
  • wǒ xiàge xīngqī huíqu
    I (will) go back next week

(2) Complement of Direction 来

  • kuài jìnlai ba
    quickly(come on) (and) come in
  • nǐ zěnme hái bù chūlai
    how come you (have) not come exit yet


While using Complement of Direction in Chinese, be careful that no Object should be used after the Verb-Complement Phrase. For example below are some incorrect sentences or phrases.

  • wǒ néng jìnqu xuéxiào ma
    can I go enter (the) school
  • nǐ xiànzài bié huílai jiāli
    don't come back home now
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