Mei and Bu

After studying Chinese for a little while, you might notice that we have both “不” and “没” for negating the meanings. On the basic level, they both mean “no,” but they usually are not interchangeable. In this infographic, you will learn when to use the appropriate word, either  “不” or “没”.

In the infographic, we explain that in the following situations you should use “不”,

  1. Negating the action in the present or future
  2. Negating habitual actions
  3. Negating an adjective
  4. For asking questions
  5. Almost exclusively with certain verbs: 是、在、知道、认识

And in the following situations you should use “沒”,

  1. Negating past actions
  2. Only 没 negates 有 since “有” mean “have”, “没有/没” means “do not have”
  3. For making comparisons


Use the “can-do” list to check if you learned this grammar.

Can-do checklist:

⃞    I can recognize “不” and “沒” when people use them in a Chinese conversation.

⃞    I can use “不” and “沒” correctly in a Chinese conversation.

⃞    I can write “不” and “沒” in pinyin/Chinese characters.

⃞    I can place “不” and “沒” correctly in Chinese sentences.



Simplified Chinese Version

Video Credit to Carol from

Voice Over: Carol

Traditional Chinese Version

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