Chinese Pronouns

Chinese Personal Pronouns: Subject vs Object Pronouns (I vs Me)



Chinese Personal Pronouns: Subject vs Object Pronouns (I vs Me)

Chinese Personal Pronouns are words that comprise of “I, you, he, she, it, we, they, me, you, him, her, us, and them”. They are divided into two categories – Subject Pronouns and Object Pronouns. In English is “I vs Me” whereas, in Chinese, it is “我 vs 我”. Confusing?

In the first article, we introduce the use of Chinese Subject Pronouns together with the English verb to be and verb to have, followed by Asking Questions in Chinese with 吗|Ma. The verbs used would be familiar for English speakers to relate and learn the Chinese grammars more easily.


Mandarin Personal Pronouns List

Now, we are going to take a step further to include the Object Pronouns (me) with the Subject Pronouns (I) to have a deeper understanding of the use of Personal Pronouns. Also, we will compare similar contextual sentences inter-changing their positions from the phrasal construction.

Learning the Chinese Personal Pronouns is the most fundamental grammar structures for beginners. Refer to the two tables below in English and Chinese for an overview of the Subject and Object Pronouns.

English Personal Pronouns List

Subject PronounsObject Pronouns
IMe
YouYou
HeHim
SheHer
ItIt
WeWe
You (Plural)Us
TheyThem

Chinese Personal Pronouns List

Subject PronounsObject Pronouns
你,您你,您
我们我们
你们你们
他们他们
她们她们
它们它们

You can see that the Subject Pronouns and the Object Pronouns have the same Chinese characters which might be confusing to some people. If you need audio, you can refer to this link – Chinese Pronouns Pinyin.



Simple Sentences with Chinese Personal Pronouns

(S) = Subject Pronoun
(O) = Object Pronoun

I (S) want you (O) to go to the city centre.

我要你去市中心。
Wǒ yào nǐ qù shì zhōng xīn.


You (S) ask him (O) to come over now.

你叫他现在过来。
Nǐ jiào tā xiàn zài guò lái.


He (S) has no chance to explain to you (O – plural).

他没机会向你们解释。
Tā méi jī huì xiàng nǐ men jiě shì.


They (S – females) sing a birthday song for me (O).

她们唱生日歌给我。
Tā men chàng shēng rì gē gěi wǒ.


Can you (S) go and look for her (O)?

你可以去找她吗?
Nǐ kě yǐ qù zhǎo tā ma?

 

Replacing Nouns and Names with Chinese Personal Pronouns

The examples below demonstrate how you can replace the nouns to Subject and Object Pronouns.

Peter called Mary.
He called her.

彼得打电话给玛丽。
他打电话给她。

Bǐ dé dǎ diàn huà gěi Mǎ Lì.
Tā dǎ diàn huà gěi tā.


Do you think you and Mary are compatible?
Do you think you and her are compatible?

你觉得你和玛丽配吗?
你觉得你和她配吗?

Nǐ jué dé nǐ hé mǎ lì pèi ma?
Nǐ jué dé nǐ hé tā pèi ma?


My husband drives me and the children to school.
He drove us to school.

我丈夫驾车载我和孩子去学校。
他驾车载我们去学校。

Wǒ zhàng fū jià chē zài wǒ hé há izi qù xué xiào.
Tā jià chē zài wǒ men qù xué xiào.



Chinese Imperative Sentences with Object Pronouns

Imperative sentences are when you are giving instruction or an order to someone. Likewise in the same instances when constructing Chinese sentences, you do not have to use the subject pronouns but only the object pronouns.

Give the food to me.

拿食物给我。
Ná shí wù gěi wǒ.


Don’t be angry with us.

不要生我们的气。
Bù yào shēng wǒ men de qì.


Apologise to her.

向她道歉。
Xiàng tā dào qiàn.


Ask him to hurry up.

叫他快点!
Jiào tā kuài diǎn!


Go and play with them.

去和它们玩。
Qù hé tā men wán.


Tonight, let me cook dinner for them.

今晚,让我煮饭给他们吃。
Jīn wǎn, ràng wǒ zhǔ fàn gěi tā men chī.


The last Chinese sentence above is similar to English construction using two object pronouns.


Questions and Answers with Chinese Personal Pronouns

Can I help you?
Can you let me help you?
Please, (you) help me (for a while).

我可以帮你吗?
你可以让我帮你吗?
请你帮我一下。

Wǒ kě yǐ bāng nǐ ma?
Nǐ kě yǐ ràng wǒ bāng nǐ ma?
Qǐng nǐ bāng wǒ yī xià.


Do you know Professor Lim?
We do not know him.

你们认识林教授吗?
我们不认识他。

Nǐ men rèn shì Lín jiào shòu ma?
Wǒ men bù rèn shì tā.


Have (our) brother and sister seen the new neighbour?
They have not seen her yet.

弟弟和妹妹看过新的邻居吗?
他们还没看过她。

Dì dì hé mèi mei kàn guò xīn de lín jū ma?
Tā men hái méi kàn guò tā.


Can you teach me Chinese? I can teach you English.
I can teach you Chinese. Teach me English!

你可以教我中文吗?我可以教你英语。
我可以教你中文。教我英语吧!

Nǐ kě yǐ jiào wǒ zhōng wén ma? Wǒ kě yǐ jiào nǐ yīng yǔ.
Wǒ kě yǐ jiào nǐ zhōng wén. Jiào wǒ yīng yǔ ba!

 

Triple Chinese Personal Pronouns

Here are three personal pronouns used in Chinese sentence constructions. Either:-

  1. Two Subject Pronouns and one Object Pronoun or
  2. Two Object Pronouns and one Subject Pronoun.

They are constructed similarly like a direct English translation which might be familiar to you.

I (S) want him (O) to accompany me (O) to go shopping.

我要他陪我一起去逛街。
Wǒ yào tā péi wǒ yī qǐ qù guàng jiē.


I (S) hope that you (S) can give me (O) one more chance.

我希望你可以再给我一次机会。
Wǒ xī wàng nǐ kě yǐ zài gěi wǒ yī cì jī huì.


Please (S – you) tell them (O) and ask them (O) to come for an interview tomorrow.

请你告诉他们,叫他们明天来面试。
Qǐng nǐ gào sù tā men, jiào tā men míng tiān lái miàn shì.



Active and Passive Sentences

From Active Voice sentence construction to Passive Voice sentence construction with Chinese Personal Pronouns. The third example is using the Chinese word 被 bèi which is common when constructing passive sentences.

A: Active Voice
P: Passive Voice

A: I am the person in the photo.
P: The person in the photo is me.

我是照片里的人。
照片里的人是我。

Wǒ shì zhào piàn lǐ de rén.
Zhào piàn lǐ de rén shì wǒ.


A: I give you a present.
P: This present is for you.

我给你一份礼物。
这份礼物是给你的。

Wǒ gěi nǐ yī fèn lǐ wù.
Zhè fèn lǐ wù shì gěi nǐ de.


A: He touched me.
P: I am touched by him.

他感动了我。
我被他感动了。

Tā gǎn dòng le wǒ.
Wǒ bèi tā gǎn dòng le.

 

Next Lesson on Chinese Possessive Terms

Check out the next lesson on Chinese Possessive Pronouns vs Possessive Determiners (Mine vs My) with “的 De”. Learn how to distinguish the two by having different placements of the nouns.

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