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Chinese Verbs

Verbs are doing words, and in Chinese, just like in English, they're used to denote an action performed by someone or something.

Anything you do or anyone else does, needs a verb so that you can do it. You can't run without verbs, you can't sing without verbs. Let's face it, without verbs you just can't do anything at all.

Love, breathe, live... All verbs.

So let's hear it for the mighty verb, and let's find out more about exactly how the Chinese verbs work ...

Pronouncing verbs in Chinese

Let's get started...

Simple and Compound Tenses

chàng

to sing

跳舞

tiàowǔ

to dance

做梦

zuòmèng

to dream

pǎo

to run

kàn

to see

害怕

hàipà

to fear

Chinese verbs do not have tenses. In other words, the form of verbs never changes, regardless the change of time. They remain the same if they are actions of the past, present or future, if they are active or passive voices.

Instead of changing the form of verbs when talking about past, present or future actions, Chinese people put a particular time phrase in the sentences to indicate the different time.

昨天我去看电影了。

Zuótiān wǒ qù kàn diànyǐng le。

I went and watched a movie yesterday.

现在我正在看电影。

Xiànzài wǒ zhèngzài kàn diànyǐng。

I am watching a movie right now.

明天我要去看电影。

Míngtiān, wǒ yào qù kàn diànyǐng。

Tomorrow, I will go and watch a movie.

More Chinese Verbs

to go

lái

to come

去了

qùle

went

走路

zǒulù

to walk

游泳

yóuyǒng

to swim

滑雪

huáxuě

to ski

站起来

zhànqilai

to stand up

喜欢

xǐhuān

to like

我喜欢他。

Wǒ xǐhuān tā。

I like him.

Active Voice Versus Passive Voice

Active voice:

林萍已经喝咖啡了。

Línpíng yǐjīng hē kāfēi le。

Lin Ping has drunk the coffee.

Passive voice:

咖啡已经被林萍喝了。

Kāfēi yǐjīng bèi Línpíng hē le。

The coffee has been drunk by Lin Ping.

Here are some more examples how Chinese verbs are used in sentences:

我吃饭以后会出去。

Wǒ chīfàn yǐhòu huì chūqù。

I will go out after finishing eating.

那个时候我很有名,因为我已经把国王杀了。

Nàge shíhòu wǒ hěn yǒumíng,yīnwéi wǒ yǐjīng bǎ guówáng shā le。

I was famous, because I had killed the king.

我和她结婚以后,学了汉语。

Wǒ hé tā jiéhūn yǐhòu,xuéle Hànyǔ。

I learned Chinese, after I married her.

我把作业做完了以后,会吃饭。

Wǒ bǎ zuòyè zuòwán le yǐhòu huì chīfàn。

I will eat, after I will have done my homework.

我小的时候,常常发烧。

Wǒ xiǎo de shíhòu,chángcháng fāshāo。

When I was a kid, I had fevers very often.

到那时我会已经唱歌了。

Dào nàshí, wǒ huì yǐjīng chànggē le。

By that time, I will have already sung.

That's it for this lesson! Here are a few recommended Chinese lessons to try next!

Huí tóu jiàn! (回头见) Signature Lin Ping Rocket Chinese