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Today`s word:【The special verb: Yǒu (to have】

Updated: Nov 3, 2021

你有电脑吗Do you yǒu (yo) a computer? No?! Too bad. Everyone else seems to have one these days. How about a Ferrari? Do you yǒu one of those? If not, welcome to the club. People who have lots of things use the word yôu pretty often. It means “to have”: 我又一万块钱Wǒ yǒu yí wàn kuài qián. (waw yo ee wahn kwye chyan; I have $10,000.)

我有三个房子Wǒ yǒu sāngè fángzi — yíge zài ōuzhōu, yíge zài Yàzhōu, yíge zài Měiguó. (waw yo sahn guh fahng dzuh — ee guh dzye oh joe, ee guh dzyeyah joe, ee guh dzye may gwaw; I have three homes — one in Europe,one in Asia, and one in America.)

Another way yǒu can be translated is “there is” or “there are”: 有很多孩子 Yǒu hěn duō háizi (yo hun dwaw hi dzuh; There are many children), as opposed to 我有很多孩子Wǒ yǒu hěn duō háizi. (waw yo hun dwaw hi dzuh; I have many children.) 书桌上有五张纸Shū zhuō shàng yǒu wǔ zhāng zhǐ. (shoo jwaw shahng yo woo jahng jir;There are five pieces of paper on the desk.)

To negate the verb yǒu, you can’t use the usual negative prefix bù. Instead, you must use another term indicating negation, méi: 没有很多孩子Méiyǒu hěn duō háizi. (mayo hun dwaw hi dzuh; There aren’t many children.) 书桌上没有五张纸 Shūzhuōshàng méiyǒu wǔ zhāng zhǐ. (shoe jwaw shahng may yo woob jahng jir; There aren’t five pieces of paper on the desk.)

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