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Chinese Grammar: 和 Grammar: a simple way to say “and” in Chinese

Ever find yourself in a situation where you’re super hungry, and when ordering you’re tempted to say “I want fried rice (炒饭) AND a sizzling plate of braised eggplant (鱼香 茄子)? But then, you realize you don’t quite know how to say “and” in Chinese yet? Fear not, after this lesson, you’ll know all about a very simple way to say “and “in Chinese. Ready to learn all about the grammar behind

The most commonly used way to say “and”:

The word “and” in English can seem simple, and it is used all the time in daily speech. In Chinese, things aren’t so simple. There are several words and ways to express “and” in Mandarin. That’s the reason why it can be quite tricky to translate ‘’and’’ into Chinese. No worries, there’s an easy word to know: .

is the most common way to say “and” in Chinese. You’ll often hear in Chinese people’s daily conversation. The way it works is quite simple: it’s like “and” in English - just place it between two nouns.


Noun + + Noun

is your friend if you want to link nouns together. It’s a little stricter than “and” in English. will only link up nouns and noun phrases.

If you only remember one thing, remember that: only links nouns. Not verbs, not phrases, not adjectives. Just straight-up nouns.
It’s a common mistake when learning Chinese to try to link verbs or actions with . You can’t say “I eat and drink” using for instance. doesn’t work that way in Chinese. It only links things and not actions.


中国 美国
China and America

学习 汉语 法语
I study Chinese and French.

I bought books and newspapers.

Use to list and link several nouns together

You can also use as a link when there are more than two nouns. In fact, works great when you want to list 3 items or more! Just place between the last two items in your list. See, just like in English:


喜欢 咖啡绿茶牛奶 可口可乐。 I love coffee, green tea, milk, and coke.

also works well with other grammar words. Let’s start with + .

When meets

Remember ? It means “both”, “all”. When placed before ( ), it can also mean “neither”.

Well, and are good pals. Together, they mean “...and... both...”. For instance, if you wanted to say “Lupishu and Nincha are both good-looking” or “I like both Lupishu and Nincha” in Chinese, these two words are the magic keys to help you. All you have to do is remember the two patterns below and use them as much as possible!

There are two patterns to know about, and both are very close to each other.


Noun + + Noun + + Verb/Adjective
Noun + + Noun + Subject+ + Verb


The bowl and the cup are both on the table.

Nincha Lupishu 喜欢
I like both Nincha and Lupishu.

学校 超市
He went both to school and to the supermarket.

姐姐 喜欢 看书
Neither his big sister nor him likes reading books.

When gets together with 一起

In addition to , has another good friend: 一起. 一起 means “together” and “with”. is often used with 一起 to group nouns together.


Noun + + Noun +一起 +Verb

Two things to note: Here, has a meaning closer to "with" in English than “and”. In this pattern, only a verb can be used after 一起. That’s important to remember to avoid making another common Chinese learner’s mistake.


妈妈 一起 逛街
She's shopping with her mother.

老师 学生 一起 电影
The teacher and his students went to the movies together.

What if you want to link something other than nouns together?

As you just saw, only works with nouns. So, in Chinese, won’t work to link something else together, such as verbs, or phrases, or a series of actions. Here’s an example: In English, we’d say I went to the café AND had a cup of coffee. doesn’t cut it here.

So what can you use instead? Now, that’s a topic we’ll have plenty of time to explore because there are many words you can use instead. You'll learn of words that are happier being used with verbs or phrases and you’ll love knowing them.

But here’s a simple trick that’s good to know straight away: When talking about simple actions, you can just make really long sentences in Chinese! That's right; without any specific words to say “and”. In other words, you can just link several actions together without any specific connector aside from a simple comma! Neat, no? So if you want to say "I went to the café ANd had a cup of coffee" you can say:

咖啡店 咖啡
咖啡店 , 咖啡

The only caveat? This only works with simple actions. For more complicated actions, other words exist to express the idea of “and” in Chinese such as 而且 and more. You’ll learn about them later, not to worry!

So there you have it: How to use express “and” in Chinese with ! What do you say we go practice now?

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