City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Aug 13 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (7,620 points) | 21 views

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Guī(歸) and huí(回) both convey the meaning of going back to someplace. Guī(歸) usually doesn’t use as a verb alone. It usually appears in compound words such as four-word idioms. Huí(回) can either take an object itself or be used after a verb to form a verb phrase.

    無家可歸             榮歸故里     

    wú jiā kě guī           róng guī gù lǐ

    to be homeless         return to one’s native place with high honors

    *我明天歸家。

     wǒ míng tiān guī jiā.

    我明天回家。         

    wǒ míng tiān huí jiā.

    I will go home tomorrow.

     請把這本書放回原處。

 Please put this book back to its original place.

When guī(歸) itself severs as a verb, it means “belong to”, and it must take an object.

    他搬走之后, 这间屋子就归你了。

    tā bān zǒu zhī hòu, zhè jiān wū zǐ jiù guī nǐ le.

    This room will belong to you after he moves out.

Huí(回) also could be used when to express the meaning “ to reply, or answer”, in this case, it can take one or two objects.

   我晚上會給他回個電話

   wǒ wǎn shàng huì gěi tā huí gè diàn huà.

   I'll call him back in the evening.

   他回了一封, 我還沒有看。

   tā huí le wǒ yī fēng xìn, wǒ hái méi yǒu kàn.

   He answered me a letter, but I haven’t read it yet.

answered Aug 13 by Ariel (7,620 points)

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993 questions
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13 comments
7,389 users