A gratifying and intriguing experience can be had when learning the Chinese language. The use of directional complements, notably 来 (lái) and 去 (qù), is one of the fundamental concepts to master. These two characters greatly influence the direction and momentum of sentences. An in-depth discussion of 来 (lái) and 去 (qù), their usage, typical verb jumbles, temporal expressions, idiomatic phrases, and important distinctions between them are provided in this article.
Overview of 来 (lái) and 去 (qù)
Meaning of 来 (lái)
The multipurpose character 来 (lái) primarily denotes “to come” or “to arrive.” It denotes Movement in the speaker’s direction or a point of reference. It may function as a verb, directional complement, or as component of a verb-complement structure.
Meaning of 去 (qù)
It means “to go” or “to leave” in Chinese 去 (qù). It denotes moving away from the speaker or a point of reference. It can also be used as a verb, directional complement, or component of a verb-complement construction, just like 来 (lái).
Usage of 来 (lái) and 去 (qù) in Sentences
Basic Sentence Structure
The simplest way to use 来 (lái) and 去 (qù) is as verbs:
- 他来了。(Tā lái le.) – He came.
- 她去了。(Tā qù le.) – She went.
来 (lái) and 去 (qù) can be used as complements to other verbs:
- 我买来了苹果。(Wǒ mǎi lái le píngguǒ.) – I bought (and brought back) apples.
- 他寄去了信。(Tā jì qù le xìn.) – He sent (away) the letter.
Expressing Movement with 来 (lái) and 去 (qù)
These characters can also indicate the direction of Movement in a sentence:
她走出去了。(Tā zǒu chūqùle.) – She walked out.
请进来。(Qǐng jìn lái.) – Please come in.
Common Verb Combinations with 来 (lái) and 去 (qù)
来 (lái) Verb Combinations
Some common verb combinations with 来 (lái) include:
- 回来 (huílái) – to come back, return
- 过来 (guòlái) – to come over
- 上来 (shànglái) – to come up
- 下来 (xiàlái) – to come down
去 (qù) Verb Combinations
Examples of verb combinations with 去 (qù) are:
- 出去 (chūqù) – to go out
- 回去 (huíqù) – to go back, return
- 过去 (guòqù) – to go over
- 上去 (shàngqù) – to go up
- 下去 (xiàqù) – to go down
Time Expressions with 来 (lái) and 去 (qù)
来 (lái) and 去 (qù) can be used to express time in the past or future:
- 这两年来 (zhè liǎng nián lái) – in the past two years
- 今后 (jīn hòu) – from now on (literally “from now going forward”)
For expressing direction and movement in sentences, Chinese directional complements, in particular 来 (lái) and 去 (qù), are crucial. Your Chinese language skills will be much enhanced if you know their usage, typical verb combinations, time expressions, idiomatic expressions, and significant differences.
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