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)
edited Aug 13 by Ariel | 16 views

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These conjunctions all could translate to “and” in English, but they have stylistic differences and different usages.

Gēn (跟) is usually used in colloquial expressions, (及), (與), tóng (同) and bìng (並) are more used in writing language. (和) can be flexibly used in conversation and writing.

Concerning functions, tóng (同) and gēn (跟) can connect pronouns, noun or noun phrases, and the items connected by tóng (同) and gēn (跟) can be transposed without changing the semantic meaning of the expression.

     我同/跟他是校友。(connecting pronouns)

     wǒ tóng /gēn tā shì xiào yǒu.

     He and I are alumni.

(及) is used for joining nouns and noun phrases, and it has to be placed before the last item when more than two items are being connected in the sentence. Semantically, the juxtaposed elements connected by (及) could be not equally important; the items before jí (及) is given more emphasis than the ones after (及) sometimes.

     他會演奏鋼琴、小提琴及其他幾種樂器。

     tā huì yǎn zòu gāng qín 、xiǎo tí qín jí qí tā jǐ zhǒng yuè qì。

     He can play piano, violin and several other instruments.

(與) can be used for connecting nouns and predicates, including verbs and adjectives.

    在大自然面前,人類有時是那麼的脆弱與渺小。

    zài dà zì rán miàn qián, rén lèi yǒu shí shì nà me de cuì ruò yǔ miǎo xiǎo.

    In the face of nature, human beings are sometimes so fragile and insignificant

(和) is the most flexible conjunction among all these words, which can connect juxtaposed words or phrases belonging to the same parts of speech. It can replace (及), (與), tóng (同) and gēn (跟) in most cases as conjunction.

    考生須自行準備鉛筆同/跟/及/和/與橡皮。(connecting nouns)

     kǎo shēng xū zì háng zhǔn bèi qiān bǐ tóng /gēn xiàng pí.

    Candidates should prepare pencils and erasers by themselves.

    這件事情還需要進一步的調查和分析。

    zhè jiàn shì qíng hái xū yào jìn yī bù de diào chá hé fēn xī.

    This matter needs to be investigated and analyzed further.

As for bìng (並), it is used to connect disyllabic verbs, and the use of bìng (並) has the semantic effect of indicating that the action of the second verb comes after, in addition to the first one.  

    我贊同並接受這個決定。

    wǒ zàn tóng bìng jiē shòu zhè gè jué ding.

     I agree and accept the decision.

Unlike English conjunctions, none of these conjunctions can be used to connect sentences or clauses besides except for bìng (並).

    他找到了這部機器的毛病,並研究出了修理的辦法。

    tā zhǎo dào le zhè bù jī qì de máo bìng, bìng yán jiū chū le xiū lǐ de bàn fǎ.

    He found out what was wrong with the machine and worked out a way to repair it.

answered Aug 13 by Ariel (7,620 points)

993 questions

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993 questions
1,285 answers
13 comments
7,389 users