把 sentence I

“把 bǎ” sentence is difficult to many Chinese learners, because it has no equivalent in English. In this grammar lesson and the upcoming one, we will introduce you how to use “把” sentence correctly.

In Chinese, “把” is a co-verb, which doesn’t carry a specific meaning. Therefore, it is usually not translated in English. “把” has the function of bringing the object of the main verb up to the front of the verb (Hence “把” can only be used with verbs that can take objects.). And the sentence pattern changes from “S + V + O” to “S + 把 + O + V”.

Note that auxiliary verbs (AV), negative words and most adverbs precede 把. However, (all) precede the main verb when it totalizes the Object.

One can use “把” in the following situations:

Motion Verbs + directional ending - 来/去

S AV Object V 来/去
(qǐnɡ) nǐ yáokònɡqì lái.
(请) 你 遥控器 来。
yīnɡɡāi zìdiǎn dài lái.
应该 字典 来。

Motion Verbs + verb-compounds with a directional ending

S AV/neg. Object V verb-compound
yóudìyuán bāoɡuǒ (dōu) jì chūqù le.
邮递员 包裹 (都) 寄 出去了。
kěyǐ wàitào tuō xiàlái.
可以 外套 下来。
bié mòshēnɡrén dài huíjiā.
陌生人 回家。

Reduplicated Verbs + Co-verb 给, 帮 or 跟

S AV/neg. Object (CV+Noun) reduplicated Verb
(qǐnɡ) nǐ shēnfènzhènɡ ɡěiwǒ kàn (yí) kàn.
(请) 你 身份证 给我 看(一)看。
kěyǐ cài bānɡwǒ rè (yí) rè mɑ?
可以 帮我 热(一)热 吗?
tāde ɡùshi ɡēnwǒ shuōshuō.
她的故事 跟我 说说。

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