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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.

VOCABULARY


HSK CHINESE
PINYIN P.O.S ENGLISH AUDIO
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


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
    经理到办公室去开会。
    (the) manager goes to the office to have (a) meeting
  • wǒmen dào gōngsī qù jiābān
    我们到公司去加班。
    we go to the company to work overtime

 

  • nǐ dào nàr qù zuòchē ma
    你到那儿去坐车吗?
    (do) you go there to take vehicle 
  • wǒmen dào nǎr qù mǎi fēijī piào
    我们到哪儿去买飞机票?
    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
          你今天到公司去吗?
          (do) you go to the company today
    Y: qù, wǒ jīntiān dào gōngsī qù
          ,我今天到公司去。
          yes, I go to the company today
    N: 
    búqù, wǒ jīntiān bú dào gōngsī qù
          不去,我今天不到公司去。
          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
    张经理到公司去。
    Manager Zhang goes to the company
  • tā nǚpéngyou dào huǒchēzhàn qù
    他女朋友到火车站去。
    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
          高老师到医院去。
          Teacher Gao goes to the hospital
    B: Gāo Lǎoshī qù yīyuàn
          高老师去医院。
          Teacher Gao goes to the hospital
  • A: nín dào nǎr qù
          您到哪儿去?
          where are you going
    B: nín qù nǎr
          您去哪儿?
          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
    经理要到公司去开会。
    (the) manager "intends to" goes to the company to have (a) meeting
  • Zhāng Lǎoshī jīntiān yào zài bàngōngshì jiābān
    张老师今天要在办公室加班。
    Teacher Zhang "plans to" work overtime in the office today

 

  • nǐ xiàwǔ yào lái chīfàn ma
    你下午要来吃饭吗?
    (do) you "want to" come to eat meal (in the) afternoon
  • nín dào nǎlǐ qù kànbìng
    您到哪里去看病?
    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
          周经理要给我们开会吗?
          (does) Manager Zhou "yao" hold the meeting for us
    Y: yào, tā yào gěi wǒmen kāihuì
          ,他给我们开会。
          yes, he "yao"  hold the meeting for us
    N: 
    bù, tā bù gěi wǒmen kāihuì
          ,他给我们开会。
          no, he (does) not "plan to" hold the meeting for us
  • Q: nǐ yào gěi chūzūchē gōngsī dǎ diànhuà ma
          你要给出租车公司打电话吗?
          (do) you "yao" call (the) taxi company
    Y: yào, wǒ yào gěi chūzūchē gōngsī dǎ diànhuà
          ,我给出租车公司打电话。
          yes, I "yao" call (the) taxi company 
    N: 
    bùxiǎng, wǒ bùxiǎng gěi zhūcūchē gōngsī dǎdiànhuà
          不想,我不想给出租车公司打电话。
          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
    她男朋友要买这台电脑。
    her boyfriend "intends to" buy this "tai" (of) computer
  • tā nánpéngyou xiǎng mǎi zhètái diànnǎo
    她男朋友想买这台电脑。
    her boyfriend "is thinking about" buying this "tai" (of) computer

 

Lesson Content
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Lesson Discussions

avatar
Joe_seph92
Premium Student
Joe_seph92

Hi Lili, I was wondering why we can’t use “不要” in this class? I often hear friends or people in general use this here in China, so can it be used in different contexts? Thanks very much as usual!

vcirilli
Premium Student
vcirilli

他要学游泳
他想学游泳
What the difference?

omareduardo
Graduated Student
omareduardo

Per the lesson, and my experience, “他想学游泳” is more appropriate if there’s no plan to actually do it. You’re just expressing that he’s thinking about it/considering it. If actually intend to, are planning to, do it, then “他要学游泳” would be more appropriate.

igorgoga
Premium Student
igorgoga

Your lessons are very very strong, thank you!

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