It is the most frequently used syntactic position of Bù (不) . According to Wu (2022), it can be employed in front of an adverb, preposition, auxiliary, or verb. There are some situations where only Bù may be utilized to negate because of its semantics. Habitual situations, motivations, ongoing situations, and upcoming events are examples. Adverbs are modified by negating the progressive condition of action or the verb. It has unlimited tenses but cannot modify nouns.
For Méi (沒) , a finished event is negated. It is subjective and used to modify nouns. It transforms adverbs by nullifying the action’s completion state and modifies adjectives by negating the shift in the nature or situation of things. It is not going to deny future actions by using tense. Moreover, Bié (別) is a subjective noun that does not modify. Adverbs are modified by negating the verb’s progressive state of activity. It also does not deny previous actions.
The difference between the negation markers Bù and Méi due to different aspectual selections. Bù selects stative predicates, while Méi selects stage-level predicates. Furthermore, Chen (2007) demonstrated that the negation form of a sentence with le (了) uses Méi rather than Bù as the differentiated usage of Méi and Bù. Because le and Méi exchange the same aspectual property, Méi is expected to select only stage-level predicates such as le. This prediction reveals that Méi is the negation indicator of stage-level predicates. For example, it is acceptable to say “我吃了蘋果” (‘I ate apples’) and “我不吃蘋果” (‘I do not eat apples’), but it is incorrect to say “我不吃了蘋果” (‘I do not eat apples) (* ‘I not eat LE apples’). As a result, Bù cannot co-occur with perfective marker le.
It is also claimed that Bù cannot co-occur with the De (得) Phrase. According to Chen’s research (2007), the possible de-construction in Mandarin Chinese utilizes the infix Bù as its negator; the resultative de-construction employs the word Méi before the entire V-de phrase be its negator and licenses a prefix-like Bù. Also, the descriptive de construction employs the prefix-like Bù as its negator. For example, it is incorrect to use “他不跑得快” (‘He did not run DE fast’), but it is acceptable to use “他沒跑得很快” (‘He did not run fast.’) As a result, Bù can hardly be used with de but can be used with Méi.