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Chinese Grammar: Lesson: Using 跟 & 对 to express “to/with/from”

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In Chinese, prepositions may have lots of usages. Do you know how to express “to/with/from” in Chinese? Only two words can give you all of the answers!


In Chinese, both and are prepositions which can mean “to/with/from” in English. They have similar points and different points. Let’s first look at their common use.

The same usage of &

When you want to imply some kind of communication, you can both use these two words with to express talking “to” someone.


A + / + B ...


He told me that he liked me.

What did you say to him?

不要 说话
Don’t talk to him.

Mom already told me about it.


There are situations that you cannot replace with . For example when using as a verb for expressing “to follow with” in English or to express learning something “from” someone/somewhere.


+ Object


跟上 队伍
Please follow with the team.

这里 小猫 跟着
Here is a little kitten following me.

I’m leaving with you.

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Another situation that you can only use , not is when using in comparison. You can use in the pattern ...(一样 to indicate two things are similar or not.


A + + B + (一样


姐姐 妹妹 长得 一样
The older sister and the younger sister look the same.

北京 跟上 不一样
Beijing is not the same as Shanghai.

一样 吃饭
I didn’t eat a meal like you.


Same as , indeed some situations can only use . For example, when it is used as a verb, it can indicate direction like “towards”. Or to express “to point to” a particular target. In these situations, you can’t interchange it with .


+ Object + Verb


He laughs at me.

枪口 不要
Don't point that at people.

镜子 梳头
Comb the hair in the mirror.

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