07. 不(bù) vs 没(méi)

不 vs 没

There are two ways to say ‘no’ in Chinese: 没 (méi) and 不 (bù).

1. 没 (méi) can never be used with 是 (shì).


e.g.
✘ 今天没是一月一号。
√ 今天不是一月一号。(Jīntiān búshì yī yuè yī hào.) Today is not January 1

✘ 我妹妹没是十岁。
√ 我妹妹不是十岁。(Wǒ mèimei i búshì shí suì.) My younger sister is not 10 years old.

2. 不 (bù) is used for the present and future time on a regular or habitual basis. Often, the adverbs of time, including words like today, tomorrow, next week, usually, or regularly, indicate which of these is meant.


e.g.
现在在。 (Tā xiànzài búzài.) He’s not home now.我从来喝酒。 (Wǒ cónglái bù hējiǔ.) I never drink alcohol. –> as a habit, in general.

3. 不 (bù) is used to negate something subjective, such as “不想”,“不愿意” or “不要,” while 没 (méi) is used to negate something objective.


e.g.
A:你吃午饭了吗?(Nǐ chī wǔfànle ma?) Have you had lunch yet?
B:今天我不想吃饭。(Jīntiān wǒ bùxiǎng chīfàn.) I don’t want to eat today.

A:你吃午饭了吗?(Nǐ chī wǔfànle ma?) Have you had lunch yet?
B:我太忙了,吃午饭。(Wǒ tài mángle, méi chī wǔfàn.) I was too busy to have lunch.

4. There are some collocations are often used to indicate someone’s capability, will, or judgment, such as “不知道” “不应该” “不清楚” “不会” etc.

e.g.
不知道这件事。(Wǒ bù zhīdào zhè jiàn shì.) I don’t know about i

不应该生气。(Tā bù yìng gāi shēngqì.) She should not be angry.


1. While 没 (méi) is used when talking about the past. Adverbs of time, including words like yesterday, last month, last year, before, or once long ago, indicate that something did not happen in the past. The past here includes the perfect tenses, those forms that used “have + the past participle,” as in ‘I have never been to XX’ 我没去XX。 (Wǒ méi qù. I didn’t go; I haven’t gone.)


e.g.
昨天我上课。(Zuótiān wǒ méi shàngkè.) I didn’t go to class yesterday.

2. Only “没” is used to negate the continuation of an action or a state.


e.g.
关,进来吧!(Mén méi guān, jìnlái ba!) The door is open, come in!

A:你在看书吗?(Nǐ zài kànshū ma?) Are you reading a book?
B:我在看书,在听音乐。(Wǒ méi zài kànshū, zài tīng yīnyuè.) I’m not reading a book. I’m listening to music.


3. Since single 有 (yŏu) means “have.” So 没有 (méiyŏu) means” not have.” “不” can’t be used to replace “没” in this case.


e.g.
钱。(Wǒ méiyǒu qián. I don’t have money.)
时间。(Tā méiyǒu shíjiān. He doesn’t have time.)

In spoken Mandarin, 没 is the short form of 没有, so 有 (yŏu) is often omitted.


e.g.
(有)去过长城。(Wǒ méi yŏu qùguò chángchéng.) I haven’t been to the Great Wall.
(有)汽车。(Wǒ méi yŏu qìchē.) I don’t have a car.

1. 我不知道妈妈想吃什么。(Wǒ bù zhīdào māma xiǎng chī shénme.)
2. 她从小就没喜欢音乐。(Tā cóngxiǎo jiù méi xǐhuān yīnyuè.)
3. 灯不关,他可能还在学习。(Dēng bù guān, tā kěnéng hái zài xuéxí.)
4. 不有人看过这个电影。(Bù yǒurén kànguò zhège diànyǐng.)
5. 我还没清楚这个问题。(Wǒ hái méi qīngchǔ zhège wèntí.)
6. 你小时候没会踢足球吗?(Nǐ xiǎoshíhòu méi huì tī zúqiú ma?)
7. 我不钱了,你给我一点吧!(Wǒ bù qiánle, nǐ gěi wǒ yīdiǎn ba!)
8. 不好意思,我没时间散步。(Bù hǎoyìsi, wǒ méi shíjiān sànbù.)
9. 这没是我的书。(Zhè méi shì wǒ de shū.)
10. 这个地方以前不有人住。(Zhège dìfāng yǐqián bù yǒurén zhù.)
11. 风很大,因为窗子不关。(Fēng hěn dà, yīnwèi chuāngzi bù guān.)
12. 你不应该想那么多。(Nǐ bù yìng gāi xiǎng nàme duō.)
13. 他总是没听别人的建议。(Tā zǒng shì méi tīng biérén de jiànyì.)

 

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Beginner Grammar

  • Numbers – 数字
  • Money – 钱
  • Expressions about Time – 时间
  • Expressions about Dates and Week – 日期
  • 二(èr) vs 两(liǎng)
  • 几(jǐ) vs 多少(duō shǎo)
  • 不(bù) vs 没(méi)
  • 是(shì) vs 有(yǒu) vs 在(zài)
  • 是…的 (shì…de)
  • 的(de) vs 地(di)
  • 会(huì) vs 能(néng)
  • Wh-question: Interrogative Questions – 疑问句
  • 能(néng) vs 可以(kěyǐ)
  • 了(le)
  • 了(le) vs 过(guò)
  • 一点儿(yìdiǎnr) vs 有点儿(yǒudiǎnr)
  • 吗(ma) vs 呢(ne) vs 吧(ba)
  • 想(xiǎng) vs 要(yào) vs 想要(xiǎngyào)
  • 正在(zhèngzài) vs 正(zhèng) vs 在(zài)
  • 要/快/快要/就要……了(yào/kuài/kuàiyào/jiùyào……le)
  • 着(zhe)
  • Existential Sentences (1) – 存现句 (1)
  • The Verb Reduplication – 动词重叠
  • The Adjective Reduplication – 形容词重叠
  • 从(cóng) vs 离(lí)
  • 给(gěi)
  • Double Objects Sentences – 双宾语句
  • Compound Sentence Patterns (1) – 复句 (1)
  • 还是(háishì) vs 或者(huòzhě)
  • 应该(yīnggāi) vs 该(gāi)
  • 朝(cháo) vs 向(xiàng) vs 往(wǎng)
  • 全(quán) vs 都(dōu)
  • 刚刚(gānggāng) vs 刚才(gāngcái) vs 刚(gāng)
  • 一会儿(yīhuìr) vs 一下(yīxià) vs 一下子(yīxiàzi)
  • 以为(yǐwéi) vs 认为(rènwéi)
  • Classifiers (1) – 量词 (1)
  • Classifiers (2) – 量词 (2)
  • Classifiers (3) – 量词 (3)
  • Comparative Sentences (1) – 比较句 (1)
  • Comparative Sentences (2) – 比较句 (2)
  • Comparative Sentences (3) – 比较句 (3)
  • The Complement of Result (1) – 结果补语 (1)
  • Simple Directional Complement (1) – 简单趋向补语 (1)
  • The State Complement (1) – 状态补语 (1)
  • The Quantitative Complement (1) – 数量补语 (1)

Intermediate grammar

  • Classifiers (4) – 量词 (4)
  • Classifiers (5) – 量词 (5)
  •  Numbers(2)- 数字(2)
  • The extended uses of interrogative pronouns
  • Approximate number – 概数
  • Serial Verb Sentence 连动句
  • All the uses about 还 (hái)
  • 常常(chángcháng) vs 往往(wǎngwǎng)
  • 常常(chángcháng) vs 经常(jīngcháng) vs 时常(shícháng)
  • The Overlap of quantifiers and quantity – 数量词重叠
  • The Separable words – 离合词
  • 又(yòu) vs 还(hái) vs 再(zài)
  • 一直(yìzhí) vs 总是(zǒngshì) vs 老是(lǎoshì)
  • 左右(zuǒyòu) vs 前后(qiánhòu) vs 上下(shàngxià)
  • 大概(dàgài) vs 大约(dàyuē) vs 恐怕(kǒngpà)
  • Prefixes and Suffixes – 前缀 后缀
  • Rhetorical question – 反问句
  • Pivotal Sentence (1) – 兼语句 (1)
  • Pivotal Sentence (2) – 兼语句 (2)
  • The Bei-Sentence (1) – 被字句(1)
  • “Ba” Sentence(1)- “把”字句
  • Verb Overlap Construction – 重动句
  • The Complement of Result (2) – 结果补语 (2)
  • Compound Directional Complement (2) – 趋向补语 (2)
  • Complements of Possibility (1) – 可能补语 (1)
  • The Degree Complement (1) – 程度补语(1)
  • The Quantitative Complement (2) – 数量补语(2)
  • Compound Sentence Patterns (2)
  • 越(yuè) …… 越(yuè) …… / 越来越(yuè lái yuè……)
  • 按照 (ànzhào) vs 根据 (gēnjù)
  • 才(cái) vs 就(jiù)
  • 跟……一样(gēn…yīyàng) / 像……一样(xiàng…yīyàng)
  • 别的(bié de) vs 另外(lìngwài)
  • Double Negation – 双重否定
  • Order Of Attributives
  • 及时(jíshí) vs 按时(ànshí)
  • 对于(duìyú) vs 关于(guānyú)
  • 经过(jīnɡɡuò) vs 通过(tōnɡɡuò)
  • 本来(běnlái) vs 原来(yuánlái)
  • 几乎(jīhū) vs 差不多(chàbùduō)
  • 却 (què)
  • 渐渐(jiànjiàn) vs 慢慢(mànmàn) vs 逐步(zhúbù) vs 逐渐(zhújiàn)
  • Extended Uses of The Directional Complement(3)- 趋向补语 (3)
  • “Ba” Sentence(2)- “把”字句 (2)
  • The Bei-Sentence (2) – 被字句(2)
  • Existential Sentences (2) – 存现句 (2)
  • Comparative Sentences (4) – 比较句 (4)
  • Compound Sentence Patterns (3)

Advanced grammar

  • 差(一)点儿 (chà yīdiǎnr) vs 差不多 (chàbùduō)
  • 就 (jiù)
  • 才 (cái)
  • 由 (yóu)
  • “有” Sentence
  • 偶尔(ǒu’ěr) vs 偶然(ǒurán)
  • 竟然 (jìngrán) vs 居然 (jūrán)
  • 对……来说 vs 拿……来说
  • 到底 (dàodǐ) vs 究竟 (jiūjìng) vs 终于 (zhōngyú) vs 毕竟 (bìjìng)
  •  Classifiers (6) – 量词 (6)
  • 从而 (cónɡ’ér) vs 一旦 (yídàn) vs 完了 (wánle) vs 加上 (jiāshànɡ)
  • Compressed complex sentence – 紧缩复句
  • Comparative Sentences (5) – 比较句 (5)
  • “Ba” Sentence(3)- “把”字句 (3)
  • The Bei-Sentence (3) – 被字句(3)
  • The Directional Complement(4)- 趋向补语 (4)
  • Complements of Possibility (2) – 可能补语 (2)
  • The Degree Complement (2) – 程度补语(2)
  • The State Complement (2) – 状态补语 (2)
  • Compound Sentence Patterns (4)
  • Pivotal Sentence (3) – 兼语句 (3)