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Chinese Grammar: Expressing "both...and" with 既...又... and 既...也....

Lupishu's so happy he's learning Chinese so well with Nincha. His dragon heart is full of love and he wants to say to Nincha, Yocha and the gang: Shu! You guys are both cool and clever! But then, he realized, how do you say “both...and” in Chinese? ...... and ....... are the structures to know.

Rules

When describing things or giving alternatives or when simply expressing your thoughts, you can use with either or to express “both...and”.

Using ...

This structure is actually quite simple to use, if you keep in mind one key rule: treat and the same and always put the same kind of word after them.

Allow me to explain: In this structure, you can use adjectives, nouns, verbs or short phrases after both and . All are correct, which makes this structure super flexible. Neat, no? The one thing you need to pay attention to: is the fact you have to keep the same form after each word. In other words, you can’t put an adjective after and put a verb after . That terribly recks the sentence's balance and won't sound right.

Structure

[ + ... + + ...]

Examples

漂亮 善良
She is both pretty and kind.

苹果 香蕉
I am eating both an apple and a banana.

事情
He did things quickly and well.

Using ...

The pattern ... can be also used when you want to express “both...and”. There's little difference in terms of meaning but grammar-wise, do keep in mind this structure is only used with verbs or verb phrases, placed after both and .

Structure

[ + Verb/Verb phrase] + + Verb/Verb phrase]

Examples

北京 上海
I have been to both Beijing and Shanghai.

喜欢 喜欢 面条
I like eating both rice and noodles.

唱歌 跳舞
She can both sing and dance.

So there you have it! Two ways to say "both ... and":
- ...: is quite flexible and will accept nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Just remember they like to match, so pair nouns with nouns when using this structure, adjectives with adjectives and so on.
- and : this structure is only partial to verbs and verb phrases.

See all our other Chinese grammar lessons.

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