Chinese Calligraphy



Lesson 18

The imperative

The imperative is used to form commands, wishes, advice, requests or prohibition. The imperative can be emphasised by an exclamation mark at the end of the sentence. When forming the imperative, the personal pronoun (你 or 你們) is often omitted. As a matter of courtesy, the imperative can be softened by using words like 请 (qǐng). Imperatives often end with the particle 吧 (ba). It is also possible to form imperatives without the particle 吧 (ba). The imperative without 吧 (ba) is not as strong as the imperative ending in 吧 (ba). If you want to express that somebody is not supposed to do something, you use the negative imperative 別 (bié) or 不要 (bùyào).

Examples of imperatives containing the particle 吧 (ba).

Imperative

Examples of imperatives containing the adverbs 多 (duō) and 少 (shǎo).

多 (duō) and 少 (shǎo)

Examples of imperatives containing the adverbs 快 (kuài) and 慢 (màn).

快 (kuài) and 慢 (màn)

Examples of imperatives containing 请 (qǐng).

请 (qǐng)

Examples of the negative imperative 別 (bié).

別 (bié)

Examples of the negative imperative 不要 (bùyào). Note that 不要 (bùyào) and 別 (bié) have the same meaning whereas 不要 (bùyào) is a little stronger in intensity.

不要 (bùyào)

You can also add the particle 吧 (ba) to the end of the negative imperative 別 (bié) or 不要 (bùyào) to increase their intensity.

吧 (ba)

Indefinite pronouns

You use indefinite pronouns, if you don't want to refer to a specific person or object. Indefinite pronouns in Chinese can be inclusive (e.g. "everywhere", "everybody/everyone" or "everything"), partial (e.g. "somebody/someone", "anyone/anybody", "somewhere", "anywhere", "something", "anything") or exclusive (e.g. "nobody/no one", "nowhere", "noting").

The following is an example of the indefinite pronoun "everybody/everyone". For saying "everybody/everyone" in Chinese, you use the question word 誰 (shéi) followed by the adverb 都 (dōu).

Everybody

The following is an example of the indefinite pronoun "everywhere". For saying "everywhere" in Chinese, you use the question word 哪兒 (nǎr) or 哪裡 (nǎlǐ) followed by 都 (dōu),or alternatively you say 什麼地方 (shénmedìfang) followed by 都 (dōu).

Everywhere

The following is an example of the indefinite pronoun "everything". For saying "everything" in Chinese, we use the question word 什麼 (shénme) followed by 都/也 (dōu/yě) or also only 都 (dōu).

Everything

The following is an example of the indefinite pronoun "somebody/someone". For saying "somebody/someone" in Chinese, you use the pattern 有人 (yǒurén).

Someone

The following is an example of the indefinite pronoun "somewhere". For saying "somewhere" in Chinese, you use the question word 哪兒 (nǎr) or 哪裡 (nǎlǐ) or alternatively 什麼地方 (shénmedìfang).

Somewhere

The following is an example of the indefinite pronoun "something". For saying "something" in Chinese, you use the question word 什麼 (shénme) or 什麼東西 (shénmedōngxi).

Something

The following is an example of the indefinite pronoun "anybody/anyone". For saying "anybody/anyone" in Chinese, you use 有 (yǒu) follwed by the question word 誰 (shéi) or alternatively 有人 (yǒurén).

Anyone

The following is an example of the indefinite pronoun "anywhere". For saying "anywhere" in Chinese, you use the question word 哪兒 (nǎr) or 哪裡 (nǎlǐ) followed by 都 (dōu) or 也 (yě) + the negation form, or alternatively you say 什麼 (shénme) followed by 都 (dōu) or 也 (yě) + the negation form.

Anywhere

The following is an example of the indefinite pronoun "anything". For saying "anything" in Chinese, you use the question word 什麼 (shénme) followed by 都 (dōu) or 也 (yě) + the negation form.

Anything

The following is an example of the indefinite pronoun "nobody/no one". For saying "nobody/no one" in Chinese, you use the question word 誰 (shéi) followed by 都 (dōu) or 也 (yě) + the negation form.

Nobody

The following is an example of the indefinite pronoun "nowhere". For saying "nowhere" in Chinese, you use the question word 哪兒 (nǎr) or 哪裡 (nǎlǐ) followed by 都 (dōu) or 也 (yě) + the negation from, or alternatively you say 什麼 (shénme) followed by 都 (dōu) or 也 (yě) + the negation form.

Nowhere

The following is an example of the indefinite pronoun "nothing". For saying "nothing" in Chinese, you use the pattern 沒(有)...什麼(東西) (méi(yǒu)...shénme (dōngxi)).

Nothing

Intensifying exclusive indefinite pronouns

If you want to intensify the exclusiveness of indefinite pronouns in the sense of "not at all", "not one bit", "not even one", then you place the noun's measure word or 一點 (yīdiǎn) before the noun and 都 (dōu) or 也 (yě) + the negation form after the noun.

Intensification

Expressing the meaning of "all" and "whole" by using 全 (quán).

全 (quán) is used before nouns to express that the statement is true for the entire noun.

全 (quán)