Location Phrases in Chinese

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有 yǒu – expressing existence

In sentences expressing the presence of someone or something in a specific location, the locational phrase is usually followed by the word 有 yǒu, which means “there is/are,” as in the following example: phrase indicating location + 有 yǒu + (qualifier) + noun(s).

马路对面有一家中国餐馆。Mǎlù duìmiàn yǒu yījiā zhōngguó cānguǎn. (There is a Chinese restaurant across the road.)

我家旁边有个花店。Wǒjiā pángbiān yǒu gè huā diàn. (There is a flower shop next to my house.)

房间里有人。Fángjiān li yǒurén. (There are people in the room.)

 

是 shì in existing sentences 

It is also possible to use the verb “是 shì” in an existing sentence that begins with a location phrase. In these lines, the role of 是 shì is more intricate than that of 有 yǒu. When ‘defining’ what is present at a particular location is the focus, the prefix’是 shì‘ is followed by a noun of undefined reference:

篮球场旁边是游泳池。Lánqiú chǎng pángbiān shì yóuyǒngchí. (Next to the basketball court is the swimming pool.)

我家楼下是个健身房。Wǒjiā lóu xià shìgè jiànshēnfáng. (Downstairs from my house is a gym.)

书店对面是个咖啡厅。Shūdiàn duìmiàn shìgè kāfēi tīng. (Opposite the bookstore is a coffee shop.)

是 Shì can also be modified by 都 dōu or 全 quán ‘all’ to mean that a location is filled or covered with identified objects or people:

沙发上都是你的衣服。Shāfā shàng dōu shì nǐ de yīfú. (Your clothes are all over the sofa.)

地上都是她的头发。Dìshàng dōu shì tā de tóufǎ. (Her hair was all over the ground.)

包里全是苹果。Bāo lǐ quán shì píngguǒ. (The bag is full of apples.)

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着Zhe in existing sentences 

Action verbs with the aspect marker 着 zhe, like 有 yǒu and 是 sh, can be used in existing sentences that refer to a specific location. These verbs denote a “condition brought about by an action.”

桌子上放着两本书。Zhuōzi shàng fàng zhe liǎng běn shū. (There are two books on the table.)

杯子里装着热水。Bēizi lǐ zhuāng zhe rè shuǐ. (The cup is filled with hot water.)

墙上挂着他们的婚纱照。Qiáng shàng guàzhe tāmen de hūnshā zhào. (Their wedding photos hung on the wall.)

 

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