differences 跟 and 和

The differences between 跟 (gēn) and 和 (hé) in Chinese grammar

In Chinese Grammar, Common Chinese Questions by Angel Huang

Summary Of  "The differences between 跟 (gēn) and 和 (hé)" From The Video Above

In today's lesson, we're gonna tackle a common grammar question: 

When is 跟(gēn) and 和 (hé) not interchangeable? 

Both these characters mean "and" or "with," but there are situations where they cannot be used interchangeably. So, let's dive in and learn the differences!

跟 (gēn)

First, let's talk about 跟 (gēn). is primarily used to indicate "with" or "and" when talking about actions or events involving two or more people or things. Here are some examples:

1. 我他一起去公园。(Wǒ gēn tā yīqǐ qù gōngyuán.) - I went to the park with him.

2. 她我去咖啡馆。(Tā gēn wǒ qù kāfēiguǎn.) - She is going with me to the coffee shop.

和 (hé)

Now, let's move on to 和 (hé). is used to connect nouns, indicating "and" or "with" when listing items or people. For example:

1. 我喜欢茶咖啡。(Wǒ xǐhuan chá kāfēi.) - I like tea and coffee.

2. 小飞小王都是我的朋友。(xiǎo fēi xiǎo wáng dōu shì wǒ de péngyou.) - Xiaofei and Xiaowang are both my friends.

When and are not interchangeable:

So, as we’ve seen, is used when referring to actions or events, while is used to connect nouns. 

- 跟 (gēn): Actions and events

- 和 (hé): Listing items or people

So while both and can mean "and" or "with," they are not interchangeable in certain situations. 

Here are some examples to illustrate the differences:

If you want to say: They are father and son.

- Incorrect: 他们是父亲儿子 (Tāmen shì fùqīn gēn érzi)

- Correct: 他们是父亲儿子 (Tāmen shì fùqīn érzi)

If you want to say: I learn Chinese with Alex. (Alex is your Chinese teacher.)

- Incorrect: Alex学中文。 (Wǒ Alex xué zhōngwén.)

Alex and I learn Chinese. (Both of you are learning Chinese.)

- Correct: 我Alex学中文。(Wǒ gēn Alex xué zhōngwén.)

I learn Chinese with Alex.  (Alex is your Chinese teacher.)

The word 跟 (gēn) also carries the meaning of "to follow," implying a sequential aspect.

So, If you want to say: Read after me.

- Incorrect: 你我读。 (Nǐ wǒ dú.) - You and I read together.

This means you and I read at the same time.

- Correct: 你我读。 (Nǐ gēn wǒ dú.) -  You read after me.

This means I read first, then you read after me.

Now you know the differences between and and when they can't be used interchangeably. Remember, is used for actions or events, while 和 is used to connect nouns. Keep practicing, and you'll master this grammar point in no time!

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