Chinese Grammar

Chinese Grammar:不bù VS 没méi / 没有méi yǒu - When do I use bu and mei?

不bù is the marker of negation for adjectival verbs,stative verbs,and modal verbs;


不bù is the marker of negation for:

1) adjectival verbs,stative verbs,and modal verbs;

mèi mei bù ɡāo
妹  妹  不 高     adjectival verbs
Younger sister is not tall

wǒ bù xǐ huɑn tā
我 不 喜 欢   他   stative verbs
I don't like him

xiǎo hái zi bù ké yǐ hē jiǔ
小   孩  子 不 可 以 喝 酒   modal verbs
Kids are not allowed to drink

2) action verbs describing present,future,or habitual events

tā bù chī ròu 。
他 不 吃  肉  。
He doesn't eat meat.

wǒ bù xué fá yǔ 。
我 不 学  法 语 。
I don't study French.
没méi / 没有méi yǒu

没mei is the negation word that negates the verb 有you

wǒ   méi yǒu / méi   qián 。
我   没  有  / 没    钱   。
I don't have any money.

zhè ér   méi yǒu / méi   rén 。
这  儿   没  有  / 没    人  。
There are no one is here.

In addition,没mei or 没有mei you negates action verbs under the following conditions:

1) the action is not complete

wǒ hái méi or méi yǒu kàn wán nà běn shū 。
我 还  没  or 没  有  看  完  那 本  书  。
I still haven't finished reading that book.

2) the action did not happen in the past

wǒ zuó tiān méi or méi yǒu chī wǎn fàn 。
我 昨  天   没  or 没  有  吃  晚  饭  。
I didn't eat dinner yesterday.

3) when negation occurs at the end of the sentence in verb-not-verb question,没mei must be followed by 有you

nǐ kàn wán liǎo nà běn shū méi yǒu ?
你 看  完  了   那 本  书  没  有  ?
Have you finished reading that book?


nǐ kàn méi kàn wán nà běn shū ?
你 看  没  看  完  那 本  书  ?


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