• Meaning ‘for’, indicating the action is a service or an act of kindness (为 can replace 给 in a more formal situation)
Xiǎo wáng lái le ，nǐ kuài qù gěi tā kāi mén 。
Xiao Wang is here. Hurry and go open the door for him.
Wǒ yào qù shū diàn gěi wǒ mèi mèi mǎi liǎng běn shū 。
I am going to the bookshop to buy two books for my younger sister. (This can either
mean an act of service – going to the bookshop for her, or an act of kindness – buying
the books as gifts for her.)
Nú guǒ nǐ men xuǎn wǒ dāng shì zhǎng ，wǒ yī dìng nǔ lì dì wéi nǐ men fú wù 。
If you elect me to be mayor, I will defi nitely serve you (work for you) diligently.
• Meaning ‘to’, indicating the person is the target or recipient of the action (为 cannot be used to replace 给.)
Wǒ cháng gěi jiā rén fā duǎn xìn ，dàn shì bú cháng gěi tā men dǎ diàn huà 。
I often send text messages to my family, but I don’t often call them (literally, make
phones to them.).
 Yip, P. C., Rimmington, D., Xiaoming, Z., & Henson, R. (2009). Basic Chinese: a grammar and workbook. Taylor & Francis.