90. How to Say “And” & “With” in Mandarin

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1:12 Grammar Point

GW-Relator-Towards-What-PPT-介词-对

The character 和 is either a “connector” (conjunction) or a “relator” (preposition). The difference comes down to the sentence structure. If the subject of the sentence is something like “你和我 Nǐ hé wǒ – You and I,” then 和 is a ‘connector.’ However, if 和 is in a phrase that modifies another part of the sentence, it’s a relator. Here’s an example as a “connector”:

Sentence 1:

我和儿子上午过来吗? – Level 13
Wǒ hé érzi shàngwǔ guòlai ma?
Shall my son & I come over in the morning?

Here we have a connector usage of 和, because “我和儿子” isn’t modifying anything, but rather is the “Host” (subject) of the sentence. 过来 is the “Does What” (verb), and “上午” is the “Guest” (object). Usually, textbooks will translate “和” as “and,” but as you can see from this example, it’s also sometimes more appropriate to think of it as “with.”

Only when 和 is in a part of the sentence that is modifying the “Host,” “Does What,” or “Guest” do we classify it as a “relator.” Here are some examples:

Sentence 2:

我想要和一个美女在一起。 – Level 19
Wǒ xiǎngyào hé yíge měinǚ zài yīqǐ
I want to be with a beautiful woman.

Here we see “和” as a relator. Why? Because the primary “Host – DoesWhat – Guest” (subject – verb – object) in this sentence is “我 – 想要 – 美女.” Everything else is modifying “美女.”

Unsurprisingly, there’s a bit more to this sentence than “I want a beautiful woman.” Surrounding 美女 with “和一个 “&” 在一起” expresses the relationship (hence the relator usage) between the subject’s desires (我想要) and the 美女. It’s with her (和).

Sentence 3:

我看见你能用中文和中国人聊天儿。 – Level 22
Wǒ kànjiàn nǐ néng yòng zhōngwén hé zhōngguó rén liáotiānr.
I saw that you can talk to Chinese people in Chinese.

This sentence has multiple verbs and verb phrases, and 和 isn’t in the context of a Host or Guest in any of them.

Phrase 1:

Host: 我
Does What: 看见
Guest: 你

Phrase 2:

Host: 你
Does What: 能用
Guest: 中文

Phrase 3:

Host: 你
Does What: 聊天儿

In this case, 和 helps to modify “聊天儿.” It’s relating “你” and “聊天儿” by saying who “你” is speaking with (中国人).

It’s fun to breakdown sentences with multiple verbs like this by starting from the primary sentence and building up:

你·聊天儿。
你·和中国人·聊天儿。
你·用中文·和中国人·聊天儿。
你·能·用中文·和中国人·聊天儿。
我看见·你·能·用中文·和中国人·聊天儿。

Each sentence is grammatically correct, but adding those extra words changes the meaning significantly. Ultimately, this sentence is about the speaker remarking on his/her recognition of your abilities, which is why 我看见你 comes first.

Sentence 4:

很多人都等着和她拍照。 – Level 25
Hěn duō rén dōu děngzhe hé tā pāizhào.
There’s a lot of people waiting to take a picture with her.

We know that 和 is a relator here because it’s function is to show the relationship between taking pictures (拍照) and who/what is having their photo taken (她).

As a final point, whether it’s the connector or relator usage, you can replace “和 “with “跟 gēn” or “与 yǔ.” You can use “和 “and “跟” interchangeably (with one exception), but “与” is for more formal contexts. We’ll leave you with a couple of examples showing this:

Sentence 5:

我跟/和他是朋友。 – Level 32
Wǒ gēn/hé tā shì péngyǒu.
He and I are friends.

Sentence 6:

人与动物的区别就是人能制造和使用劳动工具。 – Level 51
Rén yǔ dòngwù de qūbié jiùshì rén néng zhìzào hé shǐyòng láodòng gōngjù.
The difference between humans and animals is that people can create and use tools for labor.

The One 跟/和 Exception

As we mentioned above, 跟 & 和 can be used interchangeably with one exception. Since “跟” also carries the meaning of “follow,” there are certain commands where you can use “跟” but not “和.”

Sentence 7:

跟我走。 – Common Phrase
Gēn wǒ zǒu.
Follow me.

In this sentence, 和 isn’t correct because there’s no sense of “follow” inherent in the character. However, if you add “一起,” you can use either:

Sentence 8:

跟/和我一起走。
Gēn/Hé wǒ yīqǐ zǒu.
Come with me.

Starting in Phase 3 of  The Mandarin Blueprint Method video course, you’ll receive sentence flashcards tagged with their respective grammar points. This makes finding example sentences for each structure as simple as a click. To learn more, start your free trial.

10:40 Comments & Emails

Daan Helsloot on New Vocabulary Unlocked! 为了

What’s the grammar rule behind 吃不下饭? Why isn’t it just 不吃饭?

13:45

TJ Chernick on BONUS: From FAILURE to HSK 6 Exam in ONE YEAR!

You guys are so awesome! SO grateful to have discovered this
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15:05

Denis Aganin on BONUS GRAMMAR POINT: #GW-Helper-Possession-助词-的

Those comment mentions are really nice, makes the whole thing
feel very personal 🙂 Cheers, guys, you’ve done an amazing job,
still don’t believe how lucky I am to stumble upon your course!

17:50

Irene Ong on Pick a Prop 午

I must say that having studied mandarin characters for the last
3 years, I was unable to remember the simple WU. Now that I have
studied the Mandarin Blueprint Method, I will be reminded that at
NOON, whenever the church bell rings out loudly at my childhood
home in Kuala Lumpur, Winnie-the-Pooh will appear mysteriously to
scare Snoopy (Loser).

18:47

Irene Ong on 9. How to Integrate Chinese Characters, Vocabulary, and Grammar

I can relate to every word you said about how you learnt the
Chinese Language. I am so so glad I found your website. I have
been enjoying every minute with this new learning the Mandarin
Blueprint Method. Thanks Luke & Phil. I really love the
instructions presented here as opposed to the “old method “ of
teaching.

20:44

Irene Ong on BONUS VIDEO: The 6 Types of Chinese Character (Part 3 of 3)

I second your comments JULIO. I am so glad this is explained so
well. I am beginning to have a better understanding of how to
remember the Chinese characters and it makes sense as I was all
over the place trying to get the grips of it. I am just glancing
at these for now as an initial step towards learning more
characters in the coming lessons. The text explanation is
fantastic too. TQVM.

22:12

Raymond Bergmann on  Pick a Prop for “一” – Razor Blades, Cigars & Lead Pipes

Luke was saying that people with Aphantasia relate to non-visual
hints, i.e. it’s like the mind’s ear or the mind’s touch rather
than the mind’s eye. So if touch and sound work better for you
than pictures then imagine touching or hearing something, instaed
of visualizing.

24:10

Roger Milford on Self-Evaluation: What’s Your Chinese Level?

I started dabbling in learning mandarin in 2007. Bought the
Rosetta Stone course, and really enjoyed learning the basics,
learning what I considered to be a few good words and phrases. I
then went on a business trip to Taiwan, and tried to communicate
a few simple words, and no one had any clue what I was saying,
which was pretty discouraging. Took it up again about 6 months
ago, and just completed the pronunciation course, and I feel like
I am finally starting to really understand the words and
characters way better than before. Great course so far.

26:44

Chris Murray on Nasal Final IONG (YONG): 用 yòng,有用 yǒuyòng,不用 búyòng

Fair play for turning romantic humiliation into a teaching
moment

27:54

Thomas lancer on It’s a Word! 香

Does “ 香” have a good connotation? In the second sentence, it
may he literally translated to “this table of food smells very
fragrant.” So, Is it implied that “ 香” means smells good? Could
it be used to describe a terrible fragrant smell?

28:44 Movies! 

This blog post explains the theory behind Movie Scenes and learning characters.

29:59

Georg Lohrer on  Make a Movie 云

Janus, the double-faced Roman God, is called into the kitchen of
my en-location. The Weasly-Twins (Harry Potter) are starting to
perform magic in a muggle-environment. That’s strictly forbidden.
Janus sets up his biggest nose, hides himself in a big CLOUD and
terrifies the twins by suddenly appearing in front of them. They
instantly stop with the nonsense.

31:30

Della Fuller on Make a Movie 信

My sister Sharon is in her backyard with The Rock and a
librarian. Sharon is behind a pulpit, and The Rock and a
librarian are sitting politely in the chairs in front of the
pulpit. Sharon is giving an emotional “hell and brimstone”
sermon, and ends by asking, “Do you BELIEVE, do you BELIEVE?”
Raise your hands to the heavens if you BELIEVE!” The Rock and the
librarian have been completely convinced, and raise their hands
while they fall to their knees and pray, “We BELIEVE, we
BELIEVE.”

33:08

Al (泰光) Roy (王) on Make a Movie =

As of this 汉子电影, I’m starting to use a bit of 汉子 in the scripts,
as shown in the example below:

Walter White thinks the POSITION of the flying saucer that sits
on the ground near Chuck Norris reminds him of his Heisenberg
hat. In any case, 她想拍照片, so he asks Chuck to get into POSITION
beside the saucer so he can snap the photo.

Baby steps, but always moving forward at every opportunity. I
hope to use 汉子 as much as possible in future movies. Will need to
work on making it a habit.

35:24

Natalia Kovalenko on Make a Movie 班

Location – an (outside of my friend ANdy’s house
Actor – Brad Pitt
Props – 2 chess kings and a vegetable peeler

Brad Pitt, having miserably failed in his Hollywood career, now
makes a living peeling vegetables. Before his WORK SHIFT he stops
by his friend ANdy’s (location owner’s) house. They sit outside
and play chess. They play for so long that now the only pieces
left of the board are two kings. Suddenly Brad looks at the time
and realizes his WORK SHIFT has already started. He takes out his
vegetable peeler and starts peeling the potatoes he brought with
him.

37:03

Denis Aganin on  Make a Movie 累

I have Leonardo Di Caprio, Kraig (from TMNT) and Tyrion
Lannister pulling a large Cell, trying to get it for themselves
and then being exhausted and sitting on the floor.

38:04

Della Fuller on Make a Movie 寄

My niece Jessica is in the backyard of my childhood home with
Jesus, who is very lost. He is trying to make his way back to
Heaven, but is unsure how to go about that. Jessica decides that
MAILing him back is the best solution. She places him in a box,
puts a lid on it, tapes it shut, and addresses it to heaven.

39:02

jay a on Make a Movie 事

Sean Connery (sh-) is in the appropriate set/room minding his
own business; quietly sorting things in his Filing Cabinet (彐).
Audrey 2, from Little Shop of Horrors (口), barges in and attacks
him with a Syringe (十) — which has been duct-taped to the end of
Hockey Stick (亅) to increase range. The attack fails, however, as
whatever is in the syringe turns Sean into The Thing from
Fantastic Four. Sean/Thing roars, “It’s clobberin’ time!” and
chases after Audrey 2.

(The scene would work without it, but “Syringe” doesn’t have a
hook at the bottom, so I added the “Hockey Stick”. Even though
technically it violates the “no more than 3 props” rule.)