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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

VOCABULARY


EXPRESSIONS


GRAMMAR


 

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
    我是从去年开始学的汉语。
    I (was) from last year (that) started to learn Chinese
  • lánqiú bǐdài cóng xiànzài kǎishǐ
    篮球比赛从现在开始。
    (the) basketball game from now starts

(2) Preposition  从 suggesting starting point of a trip

 + a location

  • nǐ shì cóng nǎbiān lái de
    你是从哪边来的?
    you (was) from where (that) came
  • cóng zuǒbian wǎng yòubian zǒu
    从左边往右边走。
    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
    我们从左边进去。
    we go through (the) left
  • cóng pángbiān chūlai ba
    从旁边出来吧!
    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
    从教室到机场很远。
    (The distance) from (the) classroom to (the) airport (is) very far
  • Běijīng cóng yīyuè dào liùyuè dōu hěn lěng
    北京从一月到六月都很冷。
    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
    我从小到大都住在北京。
    I live in Beijing from little to grown up all (the time in between)
  • cóng xiǎo dào dà, wǒ dǒu xǐhuan chī pīsà
    从小到大,我都喜欢吃披萨。
    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
    从学校到医院要五个小时。
    (the) distance from (the) school to (the) hospital needs 5 hours
  • xué Hànyǔ yào huì xiě Hànzì
    学汉语要会写汉字。
    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
jìn

to enter


to go
jìnqù
进去
to go and enter
chū

to exit


to go
chūqù
出去
to go and exit
huí

to go and enter


to go
huíqù
回去
to go back

 

Verb Complement of Direction 来 Verb-Complement Phrase
jìn

to enter
lái

to come
jìnlái
进来
to come and enter
chū

to exit
lái

to come
chūlái
出来
to come and exit
huí

to go and enter
lái

to come
huílái
回来
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
    我能从这边出去吗?
    can I go exit from here
  • wǒ xiàge xīngqī huíqu
    我下个星期回去。
    I (will) go back next week

(2) Complement of Direction 来

  • kuài jìnlai ba
    快进来吧!
    quickly(come on) (and) come in
  • nǐ zěnme hái bù chūlai
    你怎么还不出来?
    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
    *我能进去学校吗?
    can I go enter (the) school
  • nǐ xiànzài bié huílai jiāli
    *你现在别回来家里。
    don't come back home now
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