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不bù & 没méi | Negation in Chinese

August 12, 2019

 

Today we are going to learn the difference between the negative words 不bù & 没méi

 

                                                                             bù                         méi

 

01

 

不bù:To express the willingness or habit.

 

  wǒ bù xiǎng qù shāng chǎng

**我  不    想   去    商     场 

(I don’t want to go to the shopping mall)

 

  wǒ bù chōu yān

**我  不   抽   烟

(I don’t smoke)

 

 

没méi: It's objective narration. To negate something in the past.

  wǒ zuó tiān méi qù shāng chǎng

**我   昨   天   没   去    商    场

(I didn’t go to the mall yesterday)

 

  wǒ shàng ge xīng qī méi chōu yān

**我    上    个    星  期   没   抽   烟

(I didn't smoke last week)

 

 

02

 

不bù: To negate a certain quality or nature

 

  zhèi ge píng guǒ bù hóng

** 这   个   苹    果  不   红

(The apple is not ripe)

 

没méi:To negate the change of a certain quality or nature

 

  zhèi ge píng guò hái méi hóng

** 这   个   苹    果   还   没  红

(The apple is still not getting ripe)

 

03

 

不bù:Can be used in the past, present and future

 

  yǐ qián wǒ bù pǎo bù, xiàn zài wǒ de

**以  前  我  不  跑   步,  现  在  我  的

  xí guàn shì měi tiān pǎo bù 

  习   惯   是   每    天   跑  步

(I didn’t run before, and now my habit is running everyday)

 

  wǒ xiàn zài bú qù chī fàn

**我   现   在  不  去  吃  饭,

  wǒ hái yǒu gōng zuò yào zuò

  我  还   有    工    作   要   做

(I don’t go to eat now. I have work to do)

 

  míng tiān wǒ bú qù shàng bān

** 明    天   我  不  去   上     班,

   jiā lǐ yǒu shì

   家 里  有  事

(I don’t go to work tomorrow. I have some personal things to deal with)

 

没méi:Mostly used in the past

 

  zuó tiān wǒ qǐng tā chī fàn tā méi lái

** 昨  天    我   请   他 吃  饭  他  没  来,

  yīn wèi tā jiā bān dào hěn wǎn

   因   为  他  加  班  到   很   晚

(I invited him to come over to have dinner yesterday but he didn’t come, cause he worked overtime)

 

 

The above are the differences between 

不bù & 没méi.

 

 

There are some verbs that only use 不bù:

--不是bú shì (is not)

 

--不能bù néng (cannot)

 

--不会bú huì (is not able to)

 

--不知道bù zhī dào (not know) 

 

--不应该bù yīng gāi (not should)

 

--不像bú xiàng (is not like)

 

--不想bù xiǎng (not want) 

ps: only when 想xiǎng means want, the genative word is 不想bù xiǎng

 

 

There's a very common verb that only use 没méi:

--没有méi yǒu (not have)

 

 

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