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Chinese Grammar: Lesson 存现句 - Existential verbs and sentences

As Shakespeare once said: to be or not to be, that is the question. “be” in Chinese is an existential verb and that is what we’re going to learn about today. An existential word can show you if something exists or not. So if you'd like to know if there’s a Starbucks in the neighborhood, you can use an existential word.

Now that you know what existential words are, you'll find they appear a lot in daily conversations.

Existential verb

You can use “to be” to express the existence of an object.

Structure

Place + + object

Examples

书桌 旁边
The bed is right by the desk.

另一 衣柜
A wardrobe is on the other side of the bed.

上面
The paintings are on the wall.

Existential verb

Another verb to express the existence of something is to have.

Structure

Place + + object

Examples

桌子 啤酒
There are five or six bottles of beer on the table.

花园 里面
There are flowers in the garden.

上面
There are words in the book.

Existential verb

You can also use to express the existence of something.

Structure

Place + Verb + + object

Examples

旁边 筷子
There is a pair of chopsticks beside the bowl.

行李箱
A little multi-colored kitten is sitting on the suitcase.

窗户 旁边 书桌
There are two tables beside the window.

Existential verb

A little different than the other words we just saw to express existence, with , you can both express something that appears or disappears.

Structure

Place + Verb + + object

Examples

家里 几位 客人
Some guests came to our home.

教室 一个人
A man Ran into the classroom.

书架
There are two books missing from the bookshelf.

上下 个人
There are two people coming out of the car.

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