Today you will learn exactly when to use the word 和 which means ‘and’ in Chinese. 和 is often one of the most overused words by Chinese learners because the English word is extremely versatile. In Chinese, we don't use it as often and that is why we will learn how to use it properly, and better words and sentence structures to use instead of 和! (Click below for a video lesson)
Unlike in English where you can use ‘and’ for everything such as connecting sentences. In Chinese, you cannot use 和 for this.
和 is mainly used to connect nouns together in this sentence structure.
Noun 1 + 和 + Noun 2.
Let’s look at some example sentences:
Wǒ xǐhuan chá hé kāfēi.
I like tea and coffee.
Tea is a noun and coffee is a noun too so this sentence works.
Let’s look at another one.
Wǒ māma hé bàba dōu shì zhōngguó rén.
My mom and dad are both Chinese.
Note! If there are 3 or more nouns, we would normally put the 和 in front of the last noun. For example:
Wǒ chīle miàntiáo, chǎofàn hé jiǎozi.
I ate noodles, fried rice and dumplings.
We do not say: 我吃了面条和炒饭和饺子。
You may sometimes see 和 connecting verbs too. But they normally satisfy these 3 requirements:
1. The verbs share the same object.
2. The verbs are similar in nature.
3. The verbs normally contain 2 syllables.
Here is an example sentence:
Zěnyàng jīngyíng hé guǎnlǐ hǎo yījiā gōngsī?
How do I run and manage a company well?
This sentence matches the first requirement because both verbs share the same object. You can 经营 (run) a company and you can also 管理 (manage) a company.
They are similar in nature because they both have something to do with business and they contain 2 syllables each, so it flows well.
What is a better word for 和?
还有 (hái yǒu) which means ‘and’ or ‘in addition’. This is how you can connect sentences together.
Sentence 1 + 还有 + Sentence 2
Wǒ juéde xībānyá yǔ hěn nán. Hái yǒu, wǒ juéde pútáoyáyǔ yě hěn nán.
I think that Spanish is difficult. And, I think that Portuguese is difficult too.
Let’s look at another one:
Wǒ jīntiān zhēn dǎoméi! Zǎoshang chūmén shí shǒujī méi diànle. Hái yǒu, wǒ shàngbān yě chídàole.
Today I am so unlucky! When I left this morning, my phone had no battery. And, I was late for work.
A sentence structure to use instead of 和
Let’s look at this sentence structure where you can express ‘and’ naturally.
Subject + 又 (yòu) + Adjective 1 + 又 (yòu) + Adjective 2
又 means ‘and’. For example:
Nǐ de xiǎo gǒu yòu kě'ài yòu tīnghuà.
Your puppy is cute and obedient.
Let’s try another one.
Tā yòu niánqīng yòu yǒu qián.
He is young and rich.
That’s it for today where we learned when to use 和 properly. And also some words and sentence structures you can use instead of 和 such as 还有 and the sentence structure – Subject + 又 + Adjective + 又 +Adjective. If you want to review this with a video lesson, click below: