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Chinese Grammar: Standard negation with 没

We have already learned the most common form of negation in Chinese: . However, as you learned in that lesson, is a pretty cool word, but it can't do everything. It can only be used in the present and the future and doesn't sit well with actions in the past. What didn't happen in the past doesn't concern it, ok? Also, has a major feud with one verb in Chinese: (yǒu).

So, instead, another negation word valiantly steps in to offer negation when can't: (méi). As you guessed, likes talking about what didn't happen to verbs in the past and it's a big fan of . Let's start by seeing how works to negate the past.

Negating the past with

To talk about things that didn't happen in the past, is your go-to negation word. Here's how it works:


S + + V + Object.

As you see, is also easy to use. Just place it before the verb to say something didn't happen in the past.


He didn't come yesterday.

昨天 学校
I didn't go to school yesterday.

看见 哪里
I didn't see you. Where are you?

Negating the verb , to have, with

The only negation word which works with the verb (yǒu), is . As you saw before, can't be used with

So it's important to remember this rule: is always negated by .


S + + Object.


I don't have money.

Do you have a computer?

No, I don't.

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