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Level 2 Lesson 1.1 – I Plan To Go To The Office To Do Something

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The 到……去…… Structure in Chinese
Modal Verb 要 in Mandarin

In this HSK 2 video lesson we'll learn how to use the 到……去……structure in Chinese and how to use the Modal Verb 要 in Chinese.


2 1 yào m.v. to intend to; to want to; to plan to
2 dào v. to arrive; to go to; to get to
2 公司 gōngsī n. company; corporation
3 办公室 bàngōngshì n.  office
3 经理 jīnglǐ n. manager
3 开会 kāihuì v. (ph.) to have a meeting; to hold a meeting
4 加班 jiābān v. (ph.) to work overtime


Grammar 1: The 到……去……Structure in Chinese · HSK 2

We can use the 到……去……structure in Chinese to say, to go to some place to do something, following this structure:

Subject + 到 place  do something

For example,

  • jīnglǐ dào bàngōngshì qù kāihuì
    (the) manager goes to the office to have (a) meeting
  • wǒmen dào gōngsī qù jiābān
    we go to the company to work overtime


  • nǐ dào nàr qù zuòchē ma
    (do) you go there to take vehicle 
  • wǒmen dào nǎr qù mǎi fēijī piào
    where (do) we go buy plane ticket


For giving answers to  a yes-or-no questions with the 到……去……structure, we use "去/不去" for "yes/no", instead of "到/不到".

Q: Subject + …………

Y: , Subject + …………

N: 不去, Subject + …………

For example,

  • Q: nǐ jīntiān dào gōngsī qù ma
          (do) you go to the company today
    Y: qù, wǒ jīntiān dào gōngsī qù
          yes, I go to the company today
    búqù, wǒ jīntiān bú dào gōngsī qù
          no, I (do) not go to the company today


Grammar 2: 到……去 vs 去...... · HSK 2

Sometimes the "do something" part in the 到……去……structure can be omitted, like this:

Subject + 到 place  

Here the structure "到……去" means "to go to some place". For example,

  • Zhāng jīnglǐ dào gōngsī qù
    Manager Zhang goes to the company
  • tā nǚpéngyou dào huǒchēzhàn qù
    his girlfriend goes to the train station

In this case, "到……去……" has exactly the same meaning as "去……".

A: Subject + 到 place 去 =B: Subject +  place

For example, in the following pairs, sentence A and sentence B has the same meaning.

  • A:  Gāo Lǎoshī dào yīyuàn qù
          Teacher Gao goes to the hospital
    B: Gāo Lǎoshī qù yīyuàn
          Teacher Gao goes to the hospital
  • A: nín dào nǎr qù
          where are you going
    B: nín qù nǎr
          where are you going


Grammar 3: Modal Verb 要 in Chinese (I) · HSK 2

The Modal Verb 要 can suggest "having the plan, intention, or determination to do something", and can usually be translated as “to want to”, "to intend to" or “to plan to” in English. We can use this structure:

Subject + 要 + Verb Predicate (+ Object)

For example,

  • jīnglǐ yào dào gōngsī qù kāihuì
    (the) manager "intends to" goes to the company to have (a) meeting
  • Zhāng Lǎoshī jīntiān yào zài bàngōngshì jiābān
    Teacher Zhang "plans to" work overtime in the office today


  • nǐ xiàwǔ yào lái chīfàn ma
    (do) you "want to" come to eat meal (in the) afternoon
  • nín dào nǎlǐ qù kànbìng
    where (do) you go to diagnose sickness


For giving answers to  a yes-or-no questions with Modal Verb 要, we use "要" for "yes". We use "不/不想" for no, instead of "不要" (HSK 2 Video Lesson 2).

不 emphasizes "not having the plan, intention, determination to...", while 不想 emphasizes "not having the desire, wish to...".

Q: Subject + …… ?

Y: , Subject + ……。

N: , Subject + 不……不想, Subject + 不想……。

For example,

  • Q: Zhōu Jīnglǐ yào gěi wǒmen kāihuì ma
          (does) Manager Zhou "yao" hold the meeting for us
    Y: yào, tā yào gěi wǒmen kāihuì
          yes, he "yao"  hold the meeting for us
    bù, tā bù gěi wǒmen kāihuì
          no, he (does) not "plan to" hold the meeting for us
  • Q: nǐ yào gěi chūzūchē gōngsī dǎ diànhuà ma
          (do) you "yao" call (the) taxi company
    Y: yào, wǒ yào gěi chūzūchē gōngsī dǎ diànhuà
          yes, I "yao" call (the) taxi company 
    bùxiǎng, wǒ bùxiǎng gěi zhūcūchē gōngsī dǎdiànhuà
          no, I (do) not "want to" call the taxi company


Grammar 4: 要 vs 想 in Chinese · HSK 2

In our Level 1 Chinese Course (HSK 1+) we learn the verb 想, meaning "to want to", the differences between 要 vs. 想 are:

(1) Part of Speech 词性 Cíxìng

They are different types of Verbs in Chinese.

要 is a Modal Verb, while 想 is a Stative Verb.

(2) Meaning

要 suggests "having the intention and is kind of determined to do something".

想 suggests "to be thinking of doing something", but not necessarily exactly going to or to be able to do that.

For example,

  • tā nánpéngyou yào mǎi zhètái diànnǎo
    her boyfriend "intends to" buy this "tai" (of) computer
  • tā nánpéngyou xiǎng mǎi zhètái diànnǎo
    her boyfriend "is thinking about" buying this "tai" (of) computer


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