Omission in Chinese - I

Chinese is a language of great brevity. Words are often omitted when they are easy to be told from the context. Learning how to delete words that are superfluous will make your expression more brief and authentic.

Omission of Subject

zǒu bɑ!

走 吧!

Let’s go!

zhēn lěnɡ!

真 冷!

It’s really cold!

xīnɡqītiān bù kāimén.

星期天 不开门。

The store doesn’t open on Sundays.

Omission of pronoun when referring to the same person in both clauses

rúɡuǒ nǐ bù mánɡ, kěyǐ lái zhǎo wǒ.

如果 你 不 忙,可以 来 找 我。

If you are not busy, you can come to find me.

wǒ wèn tā qù méi qù ɡuò běijīnɡ.

我 问 他 去 没 去 过 北京。

I asked him whether he had been to Beijing.

Omission of conjunctions

wǒ chī cài, bù chī ròu.

我 吃 菜,不 吃 肉。

I eat vegetables but not meat.

nǐ búqù, wǒ yě búqù.

你 不去,我 也 不去。

If you don’t go, then I’m not going either.

Learn more types of omission in mandarin Chinese.

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