不bù & 没méi | Negation in Chinese


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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