Chinese Grammar: Lesson Part 2: Using 在 to talk about location
Expressing where something is in relation to another object
Imagine you want to say something is on the table or is under a chair, you know 在 is an excellent candidate to express that, but how do you specify where exactly is the object? You need to add a little location word to go with it!
You start by indicating where the object is, in general, and then you explain where it is exactly. In English, we say "on the table", in Chinese, the order is " table, on".
On with 上
Under with 下
When 在 follows the verbs
- 坐 (zuò - to sit),
- 住 (zhù - to live),
- 站 (zhàn - to stand),
- or 放 (fàng - to place),
在 is then exceptionally placed directly after the verb.
These verbs are all related to position, placement or movement so in these cases 在 is used to further explain where these verbs are taking place. To live in; to stand on; to place on; to siton...
Subject + Particular verb + 在 + Location
These are the main verbs which cause 在 to follow the verb. There are other verbs that nearly always follow this same exceptional rule, as you'll realize when you come across them.
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